Pierpoint's Nancy Longo is cooking for Levinson

TABLE TALK

October 22, 1998|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

Like many other people, Barry Levinson loves Nancy Longo's smoked crab cake. But unlike most other people, he could afford to hire the chef-owner of Pierpoint to cook for himself and his guests. (He's in Baltimore filming "Liberty Heights.")

Since mid-September Longo has been producing her one-of-a-kind cuisine out of Levinson's trailer, then leaving around 6:30 p.m. to cook for the customers at her Fells Point restaurant.

Besides her famous crab cake, Longo says, Levinson likes healthy food and eclectic dishes. A recent lunch, for instance, consisted of split pea soup, bouillabaisse and pumpkin pie.

"It's fun," she says of her demanding schedule, which should continue until mid-December.

Dallas chain La Madeleine debuts in Columbia

People who know about the Dallas-based La Madeleine chain are excited that one has just opened up in Columbia at 6211 Columbia Crossing. Specializing in French country cuisine, the cafes are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything is priced under $10 except for a salmon beurre blanc and two vegetables for $10.49.

Each La Madeleine has its own French chef; most serve wine and beer. As for breakfast: handmade croissants. Need I say more?

Introducing Zi Pani and its 'artisan breads'

Cafe cuisine is definitely a trend. Also new to the area is Zi Pani, which has recently opened eight locations in and around Baltimore. They took over many of the Bruegger's Bagels sites.

The cafes serve breakfast and lunch and also have bakery counters, with the specialty being "artisan" breads - Euro-grain baguette, ciabatta, caraway rye, boule and the like. Zi Pani is more eclectic than the pure French of La Madeleine. Look for sandwiches ranging from Southwest chicken with chili-cilantro mayonnaise to PBJ & M (peanut butter, strawberry preserves and marshmallow spread).

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 410-752-6049; or e-mail to elizabeth.largaltsun.com.

Elizabeth Large's reviews of restaurants appear inside the Sunday Home & Family section. This Sunday: Akbar Palace in Randallstown.

Pub Date: 10/22/98

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