In the restaurant business, a sign that says "closed for renovations" too often means the place is closed for good. Not so with Stella's (1009 W. 36th St., 410-243-0051), the Italian restaurant owned by Cafe Hon's Denise Whiting. It was closed for much of the summer and fall, but has now reopened with a new awning, seating for 40 upstairs and a "somewhat abbreviated menu," says Whiting. Most noticeably, the pizza has disappeared.
This is the kind of food that needs to be eaten with a glass of wine, but Stella's doesn't have a liquor license. So stop in at the Hampden Food Market a couple of doors down. It carries wine just for Stella's patrons, says Whiting, and stays open late Friday and Saturday to accommodate them.
Fodors, the guidebook publishers, did a survey of American travelers and their top restaurant peeves, reports Knight-Ridder. Unlikely as it sounds, No. 1 is hand dryers in the bathrooms. The next four, in descending order of importance, are uncomfortable dining-room temperatures, waiters paying more attention to other tables, waiting too long for water refills, and too-small portions.
What about bad food? Shouldn't that be one?
One bigger world
One World Cafe (904 S. Charles St., 410-234-0235), known for its vegetarian food and fancy desserts, has expanded both its seating (doubling it upstairs) and its kitchen area. The cafe can now turn out much more in the way of brunch items and dinner entrees. Look for its organic juice and smoothies bar to open in a month or so.
Unlikely as it seems, Washingtonian magazine has named a chain restaurant as Washington's Best New Restaurant of 1997. The award-winning McCormick & Schmick's Seafood may have opened in D.C. first, but we have one coming our way soon, probably in February. It will be located in Baltimore next to the Harbor Inn on Pier 5.
Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; or e-mail to elizabeth.largaltsun.com.
Pub Date: 12/11/97