New life for a Highlandtown landmark

TABLE TALK

November 09, 2005|By SLOANE BROWN | SLOANE BROWN,SUN REPORTER

The old Haussner's is getting new life. Six years after the Highlandtown landmark closed its doors, Dunstin's Steakhouse and Seafood Grille has reopened them.

New owner James Micklos says he decided on the steakhouse idea because "there wasn't an upscale restaurant within a one-mile radius" of Highlandtown. So, it seemed like a good opportunity.

What James says he had in mind was the kind of luxury steakhouse you find in Las Vegas. So, down came all of Haussner's old wood-paneled walls (you may never have noticed with all the paintings that used to cover them).

Now, you'll find elegant off-white walls, flowery carpet and white tablecloths waiting for you. James says there's also a separate bar, with both high-top tables and banquettes. That's the main floor.

Down in the basement, where you'll find a crab house, things are more casual. And in another week or so, the space also will become a comedy club Friday and Saturday nights.

The second floor holds a banquet hall.

The menu is what you'd expect. You've got several types of steak ($18.95 to $26.95), chicken dishes ($14.95 to $20.95), lamb chops ($14.95), barbecue ribs ($15.95) and a variety of seafood ($14.95 to $25.95). There are also several pastas, such as spaghetti and meatballs ($8.95) and shrimp, scallops, calamari and mussels in a roasted-garlic-tomato sauce over linguine ($18.95). There are also a few comfort food items: meatloaf ($12.95), pot roast and mashed potatoes ($12.95) and sour beef and dumplings ($12.95).

Dunstin's Steakhouse and Seafood Grille, 410-342-6333, is at 3244 Eastern Ave. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. James says once the comedy club gets up and running, the weekend hours will extend to 2 a.m.

Sotto Caffe

Baltimore's popular upscale Italian restaurant, Sotto Sopra, has opened a satellite establishment. But you have to know where to look. Sotto Caffe can't be seen from the street. It's inside the lobby of the T. Rowe Price building.

Owners Danilo Bosio, brother Riccardo Bosio and Michele Mavias are hoping to bring a taste of Italy to the downtown lunch crowd. Riccardo says they've gone very authentic, decorating the space just like the kind of cafe you'd find in Tuscany, "not too rustic, not too fancy."

The food is basically carryout. You order at a counter and take it to go, or seat yourself at one of about 10 tables inside.

Michele says you can get a salad made to order, with your choice of greens and toppings. The same goes for panini - those yummy Italian grilled sandwiches. Or you can order one of the suggested panini off the menu.

Sotto Caffe also will feature several specials every day from its parent restaurant, all of it made that day from fresh ingredients. And, if any of those appeal for dinner, Riccardo says, the specials will be packaged up for take out that afternoon. Most of the lunch selections will run you a six bucks or so.

There is also an espresso bar, some imported Italian foods and several baked breakfast goodies, including "the best muffins you've ever eaten in your life," according to Michele. She says she spent weeks perfecting the recipe.

You'll find Sotto Caffe, 410-332-1010, inside 100 E. Pratt St. Its hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you have information regarding a local restaurant's opening, closing or major changes, please e-mail that information to sloane@sloanebrown.com or fax it to 410-675-3451.

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