A change of pace


Eats: dining reviews, Table Talk

October 16, 2003|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Seems a lot of business folks with offices around Camden Yards have been celebrating a newcomer to the neighborhood. Table Talk reader John Tracey tells us that he and his colleagues at nearby Ferris, Baker Watts have found Luna Del Sea's lunch and dinner fare not only a welcome relief from all the pub food in the area, but delicious as well.

Good news to owners Karnran Assadi, Majid Sajjad and Asghar Mahmoudian. Assadi says that was exactly the reason the three set up shop there.

"There are a lot of high-rises - Morgan Stanley, Legg Mason - around Camden Yards, good take-out traffic," says Assadi. "But there were just pubs and bars [in the area]. The only restaurants were in hotels."

Starting tomorrow, Tracey et al. will have even more to look forward to. Luna Del Sea will also open for breakfast.

Assadi says he and his partners refer to Luna Del Sea as a "steak and seafood bistro ... with a traditional Maryland seafood menu." Accordingly, you'll find items like New York strip ($21) and Maryland crab imperial ($21), and a few seafood pasta dishes like Luna Del Sea Fettuccine Alfredo with shrimp, scallops and mussels ($24). There's also a variety of sandwiches and burgers ($6-$7), and several salads.

Luna Del Sea, 410-752-8383, is at 300 W. Pratt St. Its hours now are 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Old pub, new look

But hey, sometimes a neighborhood pub is just the ticket. Especially when it's one with a history of being just that in South Baltimore. And that's exactly what Faith Laarkamp and Tim Whisted were counting on when they took over the old Captain Larry's from the captain himself a couple of years ago.

At first, they ran the South Baltimore police-and-port hangout as is.

"It was this really great Baltimore dive. ... But the whole building was falling apart," Laarkamp says. "We started out doing a little remodel and ended up with a major renovation."

That redo is now complete, and the kitchen has just re-opened for business. But, if you're expecting the food selection to have undergone a major overhaul, too - think again.

"Same name. Same menu. Just bar food at a corner tavern," Laarkamp states, "Cheap and easy."

That menu is small and succinct. French onion soup ($3.50), Caesar salad ($4.50), fried calamari ($5), homemade french fries ($2 - $3 if you want gravy or cheese), char-grilled burger ($5.50), scrapple sandwich ($4 - $4.75 with fried egg), Captain Larry's famous crab cake (sandwich served on cracker or kaiser roll $11, entree with fries and coleslaw $22). Double the number of those choices, and you've got the full list.

The place itself has been a bit reconfigured. Laarkamp says the old place had the bar dividing the bar room from the dining room, which no one used and ended up becoming a "weird storage place." Laarkamp and Whisted - with the help of Whisted's brother, Little Havana owner Chris Whisted - opened the room up by moving the bar to one side. But, they were careful to retain the original flavor of the place by decorating with Captain Larry's memorabilia - often things given to him by sailors and port workers who frequented the place.

You can find Captain Larry's, 410-727-4799, at 601 E. Fort Ave. The hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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