Prime rib, seafood in familiar spot

TABLE TALK

July 19, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN

If you've driven around Padonia and York roads lately, you may have noticed a new face on the corner. Rib 'N Reef has taken the spot vacated last November by Gibby's.

John Bartsocas, who bought the space with his nephews George Tragas and Pete Vavaroutsosos, says while you won't find steamed crabs on the menu, there's plenty of other seafood to choose from. And then some.

The menu is extensive. Let's start with the appetizers. They include crab imperial ($11.95); ahi tuna wrapped in nori and panko, flash-fried and served with a warm sake dipping sauce ($9.95); as well as nonseafood choices such as a lamb chop "martini" served over spinach and deep-fried feta-stuffed olives ($11.95) and an "Athenian sampler" of Greek items such as spanakopita, tyropita and baba ghannouj ($9.95).

You'll find a half-dozen soup and salad choices. There are several pastas, such as open-faced ravioli with shrimp, scallops, mussels and crab meat with ricotta cheese, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and fried leeks ($17.95); fettuccine Alfredo ($9.95); and grilled pesto chicken breast served over homemade potato gnocchi ($14.95).

Entrees are divided into two sections. The "rib" segment offers prime rib (petite cut, $19.95; house cut, $24.95); veal chop stuffed with spinach, roasted red pepper and fresh buffalo mozzarella ($24.95); and Long Island duck finished in a raspberry-teriyaki reduction ($24.95).

The "reef" portion has whole Maine lobster stuffed with crab cake, served over saffron risotto and finished with a lobster sauce ($26.95); soft-shell crab stuffed with crab cake and finished with imperial sauce ($24.95); and fresh Chilean sea bass pan-seared and finished with a miso glaze over steamed bok choy, served with vermicelli ($29.95). All the entrees include a salad, rice pilaf and a vegetable of the day.

Bartsocas says old Gibby's patrons will notice quite a difference as soon as they walk in the door. While the layout didn't change, the interior has been totally redone. There are two dining areas. One to the left of the front door is framed by maroon and gold walls. The other is in the atrium, the area with greenhouse-looking windows that look out on Padonia, where you'll find sunny red, green and yellow decor.

There's also a lounge area, where the bar has been resurfaced with silestone (a quartz composite). There are also two large circular booths and about five high-top tables, with seating for 30 to 35.

The aim of Rib 'N Reef? "We're trying to appeal to people who live in the area," Bartsocas says. "[Those] who go out a couple times a week and like upscale items. But we also want to create a place where you're happy to bring in your kids and not feel out of place."

Rib 'N Reef, 410-560-0905, is at 22 W. Padonia Road. Hours for the dining area right now are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, although that may change as the restaurant settles in. A limited menu is available in the lounge area until 1 a.m.

Week to dine out

If you like to go out to eat, next week - Baltimore Restaurant Week - is a perfect time to do so. It's being billed as "the most delicious week of the year."

From Monday through July 28, more than 50 area restaurants are offering a three-course dinner for $30. The price doesn't include liquor, tax or tip.

The restaurants run the gamut. There are casual hangouts like Kali's Mezze, Obrycki's, Loco Hombre and Mother's Federal Hill Grille. And then there are high-end eateries like the Capital Grille, Da Mimmo, Saffron, the Black Olive, Prime Rib and Tio Pepe. Some places also are offering a $20 two-course lunch.

To check out who's on the list and what's on the menu at each place, visit baltimorerestaurantweek.com. Enjoy!

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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