New look, new taste coming for the Orchard Inn


May 13, 1999|By ELIZABETH LARGE | ELIZABETH LARGE,Sun Restaurant Critic

Take heart, those of you who miss the original M. Gettier, the Fells Point restaurant that two years ago moved to the burbs and became M. Gettier's Orchard Inn. Changes are planned that may make owner-chef Michael Gettier's new place more like his original idiosyncratic French restaurant.

They start with renovations this summer -- relatively minor ones in the dining rooms, but a complete makeover for the lounge. Dan Procttor of Kirk Designs, who was responsible for Gertrude's handsome interior at the Baltimore Museum of Art, will be in charge.

Most important, a new menu will feature more of what Gettier does best -- an intricate, French-oriented cuisine for sophisticated diners -- while dishes like the prime rib will probably disappear.

"Not the crab cakes, though," Gettier says. "We worked hard on it, and it's a killer recipe."

It also looks as if the name "Orchard Inn" will go, although the restaurant probably won't revert back to "M. Gettier."

"I get embarrassed when my name is up," jokes Gettier. "It sounds like I'm personally responsible."

Great expectations

North Charles and 21st streets isn't a great location for a restaurant; but don't write off Indian Tandoor, just opened where the Blue Nile used to be. Those who have been around awhile may remember owner Dilawar Singh Khadhar's former restaurant, the Indian Grill in Federal Hill. (He sold it in the early '90s, and it became Banjara.) The Indian Grill was excellent, so I have high hopes for the new place. It's open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner, with a lunch buffet.

Location isn't everything

The upscale Artful Palate Cafe (10517 York Road, Cockeysville) opened Monday in an inauspicious location -- between a High's and a Jiffy Lube where a sub shop used to be. Don't let that put you off. You'll only be able to get lunch there (Monday through Friday) until Labor Day; but lunch could be a soft shell crab sandwich with roasted yellow pepper aioli, salmon with an apricot teriyaki glaze, or a mandarin orange and spinach salad. Dinner will be served starting in September.

Ciao Ciao?

A reader called asking why the chic Mediterranean bistro Ciao (51 West St.) in Annapolis had closed. I hadn't realized it had. When I called, I got this message: "We are temporarily closed for renovations." No mention when it would be opened again -- never a good sign. So far no one has returned my calls.

That name thing

Investment banker Mel Deruledge has bought the two Baltimore locations in the Pargo's chain (6700 Security Blvd. and 1401 Bloomfied Ave.) and changed the name to Picasso's. He's keeping much of the same menu but adding more seafood. The Security Boulevard spot also now has live entertainment four nights a week.

Why name a restaurant after a dead painter?

"We put our signature on what we do," says Deruledge.

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

Pub Date: 05/13/99

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