Troia has closed at the Walters Art Gallery

Table Talk

September 17, 1998|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun Restaurant Critic

Troia the Bistro at the Walters closed quietly this week, with no new tenant in the wings to take over the handsome space. Why Troia left depends on whom you talk to.

"Troia's a great restaurant," says Lynn Wolfe, manager of public relations for the Walters Art Gallery. "But it was a hard mix with a museum. People were looking for something more casual."

The Walters is moving its gift shop into part of the dining room during the current renovation of its 1974 building. Carol Troia, who with her husband, Gino, opened the original Cafe Troia in Towson, says, "Gino isn't interested in running it anymore. It's neither fish nor fowl."

The immediate solution, says Wolfe, will be to hire a caterer part time to provide lunches and refreshments. The dining room will function as a bookstore-cafe until renovations are completed, probably in 2001, and the gift shop moves back to the 1974 building.

Healthy Chinese

Olive & Sesame - sounds like a Mediterranean restaurant, doesn't it? Instead it's Pikesville's newest Chinese restaurant. It's owned by John Luen, originally from Hong Kong, who was a chef at Tony Cheng's for four and a half years.

"This is healthy Chinese," he says. "Most [American] Chinese food isn't. It's too greasy. Our fish is fresh every day. We steam, grill and stir fry."

Olive and sesame oils are used in the cooking, hence the name. The restaurant, located where Stixx Cafe used to be, also has Japanese dishes, California-style salads and a sushi bar.

Canton's Tin Can Alley

Tindeco Wharf is in the area, as is the American Can Co. When John and Joanna Schaefer made reference to "tin" and "can" in the name of their new Canton restaurant, the word "alley" just naturally followed.

Tin Can Alley, at 2706 Dillon St., has opened quietly; the Schaefers are skittish about getting more business than the new staff can handle. The second-floor dining room isn't quite finished yet, and as of now the menu is mostly just light fare during the week. But on the weekends look for more upscale American cuisine, with specials like scallop corn chowder and salmon with a chili honey glaze. Entree prices run from $8.95 to $18.95.

Retooling Encore

Encore (2876 Baltimore Blvd.) in Finksburg is under new management and has a new chef. There's even a new menu, mostly steak and seafood with Mediterranean specialties. Entree prices run from $9.95 to $21.95.

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

Pub Date: 9/17/98

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