Late last year the Federal Hill noodle shop Tenosix (1006 Light St.) closed. It reopened a couple of weeks ago as a fine dining restaurant with the same name but a new owner and chef.
Several readers have called raving about the food. Thomas Chungsakoon was executive chef at Suburban Country Club for 10 years, with his wife, Penny, as his sous chef. The pair is now in the tiny kitchen of the newly renovated Tenosix, turning out gourmet meals. Don't be surprised, for instance, to find steak with foie gras on the menu. Many of the dishes, says Chungsakoon, involve French techniques and have Thai accents. Entrees range from $11 to $20.
Fresh breeze on waterfront
Piccolo's at Thames and Broadway in Fells Point has become Brown's Wharf. "The Italian thing just wasn't working on the waterfront," says new manager Charles Leary. "We want to have a little more fun with seafood." Besides seafood, the extensive menu offers beef, lamb and lots of light fare. Entrees run from $7 to $24. Starting in mid-March, Brown's Wharf will have swing dancing to big-band music on weekends.
Aloha and aloha
Remember the old Leilani's of Hawaii, the restaurant on Howard Street that closed after 16 years? Leilani and her husband, Lloyd Wallace, ended up in the Towson Commons food court, but they managed to continue producing their eclectic restaurant-quality cuisine -- maybe the only food-court food in the world served on china plates.
Last year the two expanded to the Hunt Valley Mall with a second Leilani's Cafe. Both mall locations have become popular stops for people who want quick, inexpensive and good dinners like blackened prime rib and grilled salmon.
The Wallaces are currently negotiating with the Hunt Valley Mall to open a sit-down restaurant there. But their most ambitious project will be to take over the spot in Towson Commons where J. P. Henry's closed -- if they can get the liquor license. The liquor board hearing is set for this month.
The Ruby Lounge at 802 N. Charles St. has new owners once again. (Last year it was sold by Donna Crivello, then bought back again, and now sold to people she feels will run the restaurant the way she would.) David Smith and Mary Soto, who has been the chef there, have both worked with Crivello for several years. They say they plan to keep everything exactly the same.
"It's not broken," says Smith, "So there's no reason to fix it."
One change for the better will be midweek wine specials. Tuesday and Wednesday nights all bottles of wine are half-price with dinner.
New in Canton
Hoang's Grill and Sushi opened a couple of weeks ago in Canton at 2748 Boston St. This is the sister restaurant of Hoang's in Mount Washington. It specializes in Vietnamese food with sushi and some Thai dishes. The new place has a liquor license and parking next door.
Pizza and pasta
Now open in Federal Hill: Vespa, the Italian cafe and wine bar located where Pimella's Market Cafe used to be at 1117-21 S. Charles St.
Spike and Charlie Gjerde have a hand in the jazzy little spot, which specializes in pizzas and pasta; but it's mainly the child of Steve Ward, who was general manager of their restaurants. Amy Gjerde, wife of Spike, is also a partner.
Get ready to dip
And opening this week: the long-awaited Melting Pot at 418-20 York Road in Towson. This is the fondue restaurant whose opening was put on hold because of Baltimore County officials' food-safety concerns. Apparently they've been satisfied, so get your dipping forks ready.
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 email@example.com.
Pub Date: 02/18/99