TableTalk

TABLE TALK

February 13, 2003|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Downtown workers, take note. You can now go French for breakfast and Middle Eastern for lunch - all at the same new restaurant.

Bon Appetit, which opened last week at 203 E. Redwood St., offers a bit of both cuisines. It's a reflection of the owner's personal history. Dgavad Azimzadeh says he is of Persian descent but lived most of his adult life in France before moving to the United States a few years ago.

The eatery's breakfast menu offers American standards such as eggs, bacon, toast and coffee, as well as crepes. Most of the lunch entrees are kebabs, either wrapped in a pita or served with rice and grilled tomatoes.

The Middle Eastern influence extends to one of the salad offerings, tabbouleh. The touch of francais includes French vegetarian specials, such as ratatouille and a French cheese and walnut sandwich. American lunch dishes include a variety of salads, such as chef's and tuna. And Azimzadeh offers two homemade soups each day.

Bon Appetit is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Where's the shrimp?

Who knew so many folks relied on the Bay Cafe for their shrimp-salad fix? Owners Tom Kaiser and David Naumann found out the hard way when they closed the Canton hangout for two weeks recently.

Naumann says they spent the time repainting, refinishing the floors and adding new light fixtures.

"It's amazing how many people come down here for the shrimp salad," says Naumann.

"In those two weeks, a lot of people walked to the front door, realized we were closed, and every one of them made a comment about the shrimp salad."

Shrimp-salad addicts can rest easy. The Bay Cafe reopened this week.

For those of you whose interest is now piqued, you'll find the Bay Cafe at 2809 Boston St., behind the Tindeco building. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Vivat! on the menu

Here's one Baltimore eatery that's getting into the spirit of Baltimore's Vivat! celebration - the citywide festival honoring St. Petersburg, Russia. Starting next Wednesday, Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art will offer a Russian/African-American menu inspired by the antics of local performance artists Joyce J. Scott and Lorraine L. Whittlesey.

Among the selections: borscht ($4), caviar and sweet potatoes with creme fraiche ($9.95), fried chicken Kiev served with kale and sweet potato hash ($14.95) and broiled pastrimka (lake trout served with collard greens, the Russian grain side dish kasha, and a warm Stolichnaya vodka tomato ketchup, $15.95).

The ethnic menu will be available through March 2. And on Feb. 22, you'll get more than food for dinner at Gertrude's; Scott and Whittlesey will give their satirical take on the mixing of Russian and African-American cuisines.

And don't forget, Baltimore does have its own Russian restaurant - New York Palace, 1111 Park Ave. Anyone for black or red caviar on blinis or crepes, pirogi, sturgeon served in a basil and vodka sauce or beef stroganoff?

New York Palace is working with the Baltimore Opera Company to provide "Opera Entrees" on Feb. 26 and 28. For $100, you get a five-course dinner and an orchestra ticket to the BOC performance of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.

New York Palace is open from 6 p.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday for a brunch buffet.

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions by fax to Sloane Brown at 410-675-3451, or by e-mail to sloane@livetabletalk.com.

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