Cosmos is coming

Kirkwood's is changing

March 02, 2000|By Elizabeth Large | By Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

Mix vodka, Triple Sec and cranberry juice with a twist and you get a cosmopolitan. As of late March or early April, look for the Cosmopolitan Bar and Grill to open at 2933 O'Donnell St. in Canton. (It's where Shanghai Lil's used to be.) Cosimo Savino, one of the owners, says the Cosmopolitan will feature a martini bar specializing in cosmos, the trendy mixed drink described above.

Other owners include the Liberatore brothers, who are involved with several area Italian restaurants. Cosmopolitan's food won't be Italian, though. The menu will include bar food, seafood and steaks, says Savino, who describes the decor as "South Beach -- bright colors and a mural in the upstairs dining room."

Pet names for Kirkwood's

Eventually Kirkwood's will be a restaurant on its own. Right now it's the nonsmoking upstairs dining room of Kooper's Tavern (1702 Thames St. in Fells Point).

Kirkwood's is open on weekends and for private parties; but as of the middle of this month, says owner Patrick Russell, you'll be able to get its Southern-style menu during the week as well. "Our wine selection will shine," he adds. "Lots of bottles from small vineyards from all over the world." Signature dishes include jambalaya, gumbo and homemade bread pudding. Entrees run from $11 to $18.

"It's a quaint room," says Russell, "with a fireplace and a good view of the harbor."

Russell is the chef and runs the business with his wife, Katie. The pub and dining room are named after the couple's yellow Labrador (Kooper) and black Labrador (Kirkwood).

Bold flavors on the menu

McCormick & Co. Inc. has put out a study of flavor trends in the year 2000 with the help of chefs from across the country, including Cindy Wolf of Baltimore's Charleston. Here's what the study says we're seeing in American restaurants:

* Bold flavors and textures: sweet and hot flavors in particular, chunky vegetables and whole seeds (often as crusts for fish and meat)

* Unusual fruits and vegetables, such as blood oranges, yucca root, jicama and fennel

* Ethnic cuisine, Latin flavors in particular

* Flavors infused into each bite with techniques like rubs, reductions and "foams," created by whipping soups or sauces for a foamy topping

* Appetizers as entrees

* Role reversals, with spices and extracts typically used in desserts turning up in main courses, and savory herbs and vegetables becoming part of dessert.

Table Talk welcomes tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; fax to 410-783-2502.

Elizabeth Large's reviews of restaurants appear inside the Sunday Home & Family section. This Sunday: the new Lynn's in Locust Point

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