Some of Baltimore's landmark restaurants have died lingering deaths as tastes and neighborhoods changed, but not Bo Brooks. The Bel Air Road crab house has reinvented itself as a Canton tourist attraction while updating its menu to appeal to 21st century tastes.
Bo Brooks recently reopened at 2701 Boston St. in the Baltimore Marine Center. The biggest difference in the new location, according to manager Kristen Olsson? "We hired a chef."
The menu offers seafood like arctic char and Chilean sea bass as well as such old-time favorites as fried hard shells and crab fluffs. Dinnertime entrees range from $13.95 to $23.95. Business has been brisk, says Olsson.
The piece de resistance is, of course, steamed crabs, which Bo Brooks serves year round. Most come from the Gulf of Mexico, although the restaurant uses local hard shells whenever it can get them. Current prices are $26 for mediums, $32 for large, and $40 for extra large. Occasionally larger sizes are available.
As for the dM-icor, Olsson says the number one change is that the new location has windows. "Before we had beautiful orange plastic chairs and black laminate tables," she adds laughing. "Now we have oak butcher block."
New man at Hampton's
Notes and tidbits: Hampton's maitre d' Marc Dettori has left the Harbor Court Hotel. Its famed service will now be directed by Nelson Calderon, who was last assistant maitre d' of Lepinasse in Washington. ... Harryman House in Reisterstown has a new executive chef, Jack France, who for the past year has been working in restaurants in France and Italy. ... Harryman House has been buying its ice cream from the St. Michaels Ice Cream Company, now owned and run by chef Michael Rork, who also owns Michael Rork's Town Dock Restaurant in St. Michaels. ...Todd Smith, who was trained in Switzerland, is the new head chef at Hull Street Blues CafM-i in Locust Point. ... Denis Manneville, former owner of Weber's on Boston, is now food and beverage director of Loews Annapolis Hotel, home of the Corinthian restaurant. And speaking of Annapolis, Phillips has opened a new steamed crab deck at its Annapolis City Dock location. ... Crabs are also available for the first time at Manor Tavern in Monkton every Thursday and Sunday on the restaurant's terrace through July and August.