New restaurant near Fulton offers contemporary menu


November 30, 2005|By SLOANE BROWN

A brand, spanking new community is popping up near Fulton, according to Allan Berrier. And he says the restaurant he's opening there this week is Maple Lawn's first.

Berrier owns a management company that runs two other restaurants, Nottingham's in Columbia and Bluestone in Timonium. Add Trapeze to that list. The name can give you an idea of the mood Berrier and owner Mel Sharoky were going for in the eatery.

"It's pretty nifty-looking. Airy, high ceilings. Very, very colorful," Berrier says. Think deep reds, deep blues, light yellows. Don't worry. Berrier says the only hint of a circus theme is two light fixtures above the hostess stand that look like two men on a high wire.

There are four separate dining rooms, a couple of which can be used for private functions. And the walls dividing them have various geometric cutouts inset with colored ribbed glass.

There is a bar and lounge area, featuring a copper-topped and brick-faced bar, and lots of booth seating. And there's a large, stainless-steel wine wall. Berrier says the interior has a contemporary, yet comfy feel. The same could be said about the menu, as well.

The handful of salad choices includes a roasted garlic Caesar ($5) and a salad with duck ham, Anjou pears, baby greens and toasted pecans in a sherry vinaigrette ($6.50). Appetizers include fried green tomatoes with jumbo lump crab meat ($11) and a plate of shrimp, scallops, hot smoked turkey, salmon and duck breast ($15).

Fresh fish is the house specialty. Among the entree choices are Hawaiian swordfish grilled with Southwestern spices, topped with black bean mango relish and served with green chili grits and fresh veggies ($22); pan-seared Chilean sea bass with pumpkin risotto, wilted spinach and a brown-butter caper-and-lemon sauce ($28); and a plate of yellowfin center-cut tuna served two ways: Delta-spiced and sesame-seed encrusted ($21).

Other entrees include a grilled pork chop rubbed with Dijon mustard and sage and served with white sweet potatoes and sauteed greens ($19), dry-rubbed rib-eye steak with frizzled leeks and mushroom/potato hash ($27) and pan-roasted Szechuan chicken with sesame ginger glaze ($17).

Trapeze, 301-498-4411, was set to open yesterday. You'll find it at 8180 Maple Lawn Drive, an address so new Berrier says Mapquest doesn't have it. So, go online to to find your way.

The restaurant's hours are 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Trapeze also plans to open for lunch weekdays in about a week.

For steak lovers

Towson can now claim its own steakhouse. JJ McBride's Steakhouse & Pub has opened where the old Velleggia's used to be. Owner Stacey Rose says she went for a "higher-end steakhouse, but not as high end as Ruth's Chris and the others downtown. But, a step up from Outback."

Rose says she gutted the interior and enlarged the bar, putting it where the dining room used to be, and vice versa. Think comfortable traditional. Lots of burgundy and oak.

The menu is traditional, too, with a few tweaks. There are appetizers like steamed shrimp ($10.95), smoked salmon ($8.95) and "pile o' frizzled onions" ($5.95).

Salads include the wedge ($6.95), a chopped salad ($7.95) and a Thai peanut salad ($7.95). The entree choices include several types of steak - such as filet mignon ($17.95 to $25.95), porterhouse ($23.95), rib-eye ($15.95) - as well as crab cakes (market price); rockfish broiled, blackened, with lemon butter ($19.95) or stuffed with crab meat ($24.95); and Tuscan chicken, a grilled chicken breast stuffed with pancetta and fontina cheese and served with a sage butter sauce ($15.95). Sides like fries, frizzled onions, spinach au gratin and mac and cheese are an additional $2.50.

Speaking of "on the side," JJ McBride's also offers live music several nights a week. Tuesday, it's karaoke. Thursday night, Naked Blue, a "soft rock/folk group" performs. And Friday and Saturday nights will feature older dance and swing music like Velleggia's used to have.

JJ McBride's Steakhouse & Pub, 410-821-9003, is located at 204 E. Joppa Road in the Hampton House apartment building. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.

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

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