Already Troia the Bistro at the Walters has been informally shortened to Bistroia, and it isn't even scheduled to open until mid-November.
The Pavilion at the Walters will close in a week or so for renovations and a redesign by Rita St. Clair Associates. When the restaurant in the Walters Art Gallery reopens, Towson's Cafe Troia will be running it.
Bistroia will be open for dinner Wednesdays through Sundays, lunch Tuesdays through Fridays, and brunch Saturdays and Sundays. The menu will be mostly Italian, but with other Mediterranean influences.
Openings around town
There's nothing a restaurant critic likes better than openings, and this week there are several to report. Spike & Charlie's new offspring, jr., has opened to rave reviews in Bolton Hill where Cusack's used to be (1501 Bolton St.). The food is casual, along the lines of noodle dishes, pizzas, soups, salads and pot pies, a specialty. Most everything is priced under $9. Drinks are on you; jr. is BYOB.
Tabrizi's is now officially Daniel's (1026 S. Charles St.). Baltimore's first Mediterranean restaurant has now become Baltimore's newest Maryland seafood restaurant, with traditional favorites and imaginative new dishes by chef Paul Slover. The owner, Susan Daniel, stays the same. She reports she simply got a little bored with Mediterranean after all these years.
The Panhandle, defunct home of the oversized Dutch pancake, has just reopened as the Sea Witch. Located at 1636 Thames St. in the Admiral Fell Inn, it's the middle restaurant between the fine-dining Savannah and the pubby Point.
The new place has murals with underwater scenes, a raw bar and an expanded kitchen. The menu includes seafood, steaks, ribs and light fare.
Finally, there's the Silk Road at 336 N. Charles, not to be confused with the Silk Road Cafe farther up Charles. The new restaurant specializes in Afghan cuisine. Try the aushak: scallion "ravioli" with a yogurt, beef, tomato and mint sauce.
Sad news: Everybody's favorite waitress, the sprightly 96-year-old Marguerite Schertle, has been in St. Joseph's Hospital with a broken hip. She isn't expected to return to her job at the Woman's Industrial Exchange, 333 N. Charles St. It's our loss.
Peter Zimmer of the Joy America Cafe in the American Visionary Art Museum took his strange and wonderful cuisine north a couple of weeks ago when he prepared dinner for food professionals and other guests at the prestigious James Beard House in New York. The invitation by the James Beard Foundation to be a guest chef is considered a great honor.
The menu started with Japanese bamboo-steamed lobster pot stickers with mango-ginger hot Thai oil and ended with buttermilk chocolate cake with espresso crunch frosting and chocolate shards. Chinese barbecued venison chops were only one of several courses in between.
Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or fax to (410) 783-2519.