Cafe de Paris opens in Columbia


April 11, 2002|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

Many loyal patrons thought it would never happen, but after almost a year the respected Laurel restaurant Cafe de Paris has finally reopened - in Columbia. Its new location is at 8808 Centre Park Drive, off Route 108, the space where the Tavern at Centre Park used to be. Blame the holdup on owner Erik Rochard's expired visa. In December, he had to return to France with his family to have it renewed.

The new Cafe de Paris will have all the things customers loved about the old one, starting with the country French food and including a three-course prix-fixe dinner for $32.50. The dining room is bigger, and a French deli with gourmet carryout and French sandwiches and pastries has been added.

Reservations are a good idea, and I'm going to do something I don't usually do, which is include a phone number (410-997-3560). That's because the phone company has the restaurant listed under Cafe de Terrace, and Rochard hasn't been able to get it changed.

Piccolo's people move to Aida's Bistro

Piccolo's in Columbia is gone, but several key people from the staff of the popular Italian restaurant are involved in the new Aida Bistro & Deli at 7185 A Gateway Drive in Columbia. Right now, only the deli is open, but renovations of the space where MegaBytes Cafe was should be completed by the beginning of next month, at which time the bistro will open.

Aida's bistro menu, fashioned by chefs Michael Wagner and Fred Eklund from Piccolo's, will feature freshly made pastas and regional European entrees. A wine bar will offer extensive selections by the glass.

Tearoom in Hampden

Hampden will be getting a new tearoom, but probably not until this fall. Alice Ann Finnerty, owner of the Turnover Shop at 3547 Chestnut Ave., is planning to renovate the space next door, move her consignment shop into it and put the tearoom in the vacated storefront. No name has been decided on yet, but it may be a play on the Finnerty (Finner-Tea) name.

Donna's, Part 10

The Donna's coffee bars and restaurants just keep on coming. A 10th (a couple have closed) is scheduled to open today at 5809 Clarksville Square Drive in Clarksville. It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with what co-owner Alan Hirsch calls "a substantial dinner menu." It doesn't have its liquor license yet, so BYOB. Look for yet another Donna's to open in Columbia in a couple of months.


This will be my last Table Talk column, although my restaurant reviews will continue to appear in the Sunday Home & Family section. After this week, tips, tidbits, rumors and hard news about restaurants should be sent to Helen Jones, editor of Live, at 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. You can also fax your news to her attention at 410-783-2519.

Elizabeth Large's restaurant reviews appear in Sunday's Home & Family section. This Sunday: Jordan's Steakhouse in Ellicott City.

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