The Owings Mills Red Hot & Blue closed in January, but the space won't stay vacant long. The owners of the New Towne Diner a few doors down on Reisterstown Road are planning to open a family steakhouse there by this summer. Tentatively named the Rib Eye Grill, it will have 100 more seats than the barbecue place did and both an indoor and an outdoor bar.
When asked if Red Hot & Blue hadn't done well in that location, company president Robert Friedman said, "I think you can assume that." He added that the chain would "like to come back into Baltimore sometime. We're looking for a franchisee."
Open for lunch
It seems as if fewer and fewer downtown restaurants are open for lunch these days. So I was happy to learn that starting April 1 the hip Italian restaurant Sotto Sopra in Mount Vernon will be open from 11: 30 a.m. to 2: 30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Why now after Sotto Sopra has been in business two years? The public has been demanding it, I was told.
When I reported a few weeks ago that the owners of Hampton's in Towson were considering turning the restaurant into a steak house, some customers assumed it had closed or was about to close (and so started canceling reservations and worrying about their gift certificates). Not so. In fact, owner Brian Chester says they now have decided to stay with the Continental menu. Hampton's will close for four days the week of July 4 to renovate.
Wine on tape
No hour-long audiocassette is going to make you a connoisseur, of course. But the Instant Genius tape on the subject of wine will get you started. If nothing else, you'll be ready to move beyond a carafe of the house red at your favorite restaurant.
Written by one of only 33 master sommeliers in the United States and narrated by a professional actor, the cassette is easy listening. You get the basics of deciphering a wine list, pairing wine with food, and ordering and tasting wine.
Instant Genius Wine ($12) can be ordered by calling 800-488-8040.
Pepper with that?
On a list of "Words That Should Exist" that I pulled off the Internet, I found this one -- which really should exist:
PEPPIER (pehp ee ay) n. The waiter at a fancy restaurant whose sole purpose seems to be walking around asking diners if they want ground pepper.
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: 3/05/98