It's Italian and it isn't. The new Josephine's at 2112 Fleet St. is a mid-range Italian restaurant, says owner-chef Ellen Davis; but specialties include a filet Chesapeake - tenderloin with crab and basil hollandaise - and a crab cake. If Angelina's (the Harford Road Italian restaurant famous for its crab cakes) comes to mind, that's not surprising. Davis has worked in its kitchen, as well as the now-closed Stella's in Hampden.
As for the Italian food, it ranges from lasagna and meatballs to torta rustica, capellini with red bell pepper pesto and stuffed shells with ricotta, mozzarella and Gorgonzola. Entrees run from $7.50 to $21.95.
The new restaurant is bright and cheerful, with fresh paint, wooden floors, Italian art deco posters, glass-topped tables and wildflowers from Davis' yard on the tables. The dining room seats 40; the bar, 30.
Josephine's, named after co-owner John Ryan's Italian grandmother, is open for dinner only Monday through Saturday. Lunch service should begin this fall.
Towne Hall's wine list is better than bar list
If you eat at the new Towne Hall in Greenspring Station and want to order a bottle of wine, make sure your server has brought you the right list. I was startled at how skimpy the selections were on the wine list our waitress brought us. I found out later - after I had complained in print - that we had been given the bar list. Towne Hall's actual wine list (which, not surprisingly, the restaurant faxed to me) is quite respectable, with an emphasis on California wines. And a good number of the choices are available by the glass.
A chef and his ice cream
The new Great Chefs magazine, now on newsstands, features a Maryland chef in its premiere issue. Along with a profile of Paul Milne of 208 Talbot in St. Michaels, the restaurant's recipe for homemade coffee-Butterfinger crunch ice cream is printed in full.
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