Phillips closes for renovation


January 04, 2001|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

Tourists will have to go elsewhere for the Inner Harbor's most famous crab cakes now that Phillips' waterfront dining room in the Light Street Pavilion of Harborplace is temporarily closed for renovation. The dining room is scheduled to reopen in February for dinner only; lunch will have to wait until the remodeling is completely finished in another month or so.

When the renovation is completed, Phillips will be designed to look like a waterfront Eastern Shore home, with a garden area, patio, parlor and boathouse. Also planned are a new entrance, flooring, tables and chairs, lighting and piano bar. A new two-story, three-dimensional mural at the south end of the pavilion will depict a 19th-century seafood-packing plant.

Phillips' All-You-Can-Eat Buffet will remain open during the renovation, with a limited a la carte menu.

New Japanese steakhouse

If the success of Nichi Bei Kai in Lutherville is any indication, the area will welcome Ginza, the new Japanese steakhouse in the Yorktowne Plaza. Dinners are prepared hibachi-style at the table, with chefs putting on a show as well as delivering meat, seafood and vegetables. There's also sushi.

Ginza is open every day for lunch and dinner.

Hailing the homey

Before Christmas, I had a small celebratory breakfast with a friend at Cafe Hon (1002 W. 36th St. in Hampden). An old-fashioned radiator steamed comfortingly near our table as we downed Belgian waffles with bananas and maple syrup, crisp bacon and grits. I was reminded once again how much I like homey restaurants that serve comfort-food breakfasts - not chains, not diners, not hotel coffee shops, but individual restaurants like the Morning Edition Cafe near Patterson Park and Jimmy's in Fells Point.

If you have any other suggestions that fall in this category, send them along.

Chow on the Web

I always like checking out restaurant-related Web sites to see how they treat the Baltimore area. One of the newest is, and it's still a work in progress. But it does have some interesting features, such as links to restaurant Web pages and articles on subjects ranging from tipping to Greek food.

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 410-783-2519; or e-mail to

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