Two maritime-theme galas have the wind at their backs

HOT STUFF

September 23, 2004|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Smooth sailing for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's annual gala last Saturday. After all, the theme was "Evening At Sea: An Affair to Remember."

Some 930 guests toured the "decks" of the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (the lobby), while being served cocktails and hors d'oeuvres by waiters dressed as cruise-ship crew members. Nautical flags fluttered above. Folks then filed into the hall, where 96 tables were set for dinner. Two dozen BSO musicians played a few ensemble pieces. A live auction and dinner followed.

This "affair" even had its own shipboard romance, so to speak, in BSO senior development director Lee Kappelman and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine assistant dean Dr. John Rybock. It was love at first sight for these two a couple of years ago. And John was at Lee's side as she battled breast cancer during the last year.

The all-clear sign came last spring. The couple decided to take the plunge -- recently flying off to Las Vegas for a "lovingly tender" ceremony at the Graceland Chapel, complete with Elvis as best man. The perfect wedding for these two wacky kids! They were both glowing at the BSO Gala.

Also last weekend: adventure on the high seas at "Maritime Magic," Living Classrooms Foundation's annual shindig. Living Classrooms provides all sorts of maritime programs for Baltimore's at-risk kids, therefore the seafaring theme. But Mother Nature added further "ambience" by deluging the couple thousand guests with the leftovers of Hurricane Ivan. Not that the rain dampened anyone's spirits. Folks mingled in several buildings on the foundation's East Harbor campus and boogied under a big tent to Clarence Clemons and his 12-piece band.

New seafood chain

Mondays are generally not the most happily anticipated day of the week, but next Monday could be an exception. Especially for Owings Mills seafood lovers. That's when Bonefish Grill opens, right next to the old Ravens training camp. The fresh-seafood chain is a subsidiary of the Outback Steakhouse group, and the Owings Mills location is the first in Maryland. Managing partner Tom Popp describes Bonefish as a "polished casual restaurant."

"We don't want to be fine dining. We have the price point and fun of casual dining, with a little nicer food and better service."

He says the place has hardwood floors, a granite bar top and a stainless steel sculpture of a fishing scene. Modern and comfortable. The restaurant seats 244, including seating for about 96 in the bar area.

You'll find various choices of fresh fish -- prepared on an oak-burning grill -- with lemon butter sauce, lime tomato garlic sauce, warm mango salsa or pan-Asian style. Prices for the grilled fish start at $14.95.

There are other grilled choices, like pork chops topped with fontina cheese and a mushroom garlic wine sauce ($14.50), fire-roasted chicken with chevre, wilted spinach, artichokes and a lemon basil sauce ($13.95) and sirloin steak ($14.25).

You'll find Bonefish Grill (410-654-5500) at 10906 Owings Mills Blvd. Open for dinner only, its hours are 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. -11:30 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.

To submit tips, ideas and possible items for Hot Stuff, e-mail sloane@sloanebrown.com or fax information to 410-675-3451.

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