Culinary college opens a restaurant in the Mount Vernon Hotel

TABLE TALK

June 15, 2000|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

Fruits of the sea

Don't confuse it with other restaurants in the area with nearly the same name. The Bay Atlantic Seafood Restaurant has opened in the Mount Vernon Hotel where the Washington Cafe used to be, at Cathedral and Franklin streets. It's run by the Baltimore International College as a teaching facility for the School of Culinary Arts and the School of Business and Management. The menu emphasizes seafood like the restaurant's signature dish, Bay Atlantic seafood stew with clams, mussels and catfish in a tomato garlic broth.

The new restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.

A change at Ladew

The Brass Elephant is no longer in charge of the food for the Ladew Cafe at the Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton. Jane Fallon Catering, which has provided cafM-i fare in past years, is back. The format is somewhat different, though. The cafM-i will have self-serve sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. You can also get picnic baskets for lunch on the nature walk or in the gardens.

Don't hold the salt

From my e-mail box:

"I want to mention that some restaurants, such as Michael Gettier's former establishments and the Milton Inn, seem to think they are capable of determining the exact amount of salt for every person's taste, and do not supply salt and pepper shakers. This is very presumptuous of them in my opinion. Any comments?" (Bob Stahl)[ I've always thought it's because chefs get tired of seeing people salt and pepper their creations before they taste them. It doesn't bother me unless they salt too heavily. E. L.]

"My husband and I eat out a lot with our 18-month-old daughter, and we quickly discovered most restaurants, regardless of their full menu, have almost identical children's menus: hamburgers and french fries, macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, cheese pizza and/or spaghetti....Not only is the basic menu boring, it is also lacking in nutritional variety and value....

These menus could easily be improved. The Cheesecake Factory at the Harbor brings young children a plate of banana and orange slices to enjoy while waiting for meals to be served....We have found another good option to be Chicken Out. Their children's menu includes ham or roasted turkey and your choice of side dishes...." (Diana Spencer)

Sea beans, anyone?

Sea vegetables: a hot new restaurant trend, at least according to the National Restaurant Association.

A recent issue of the trade magazine Restaurants U.S.A. reports that high-end eating places are starting to serve nori, dulse, sea palm, kelp, wild sea beans and the like. The draw is not only their unusual taste but also their potential health benefits (although those are arguable).

Amazingly, not all the restaurants mentioned in the article are in California.

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 410-783-2505; or e-mail to elizabeth.large@baltsun.com.

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