Aquarelas offers Brazilian dishes

TABLE TALK

Little Italy's Amicci's adds a bar

September 20, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN

The cuisine of another South American country has come to Fells Point. Adding to the mix there of Latino eateries that offer dishes from Mexico, El Salvador and Argentina -- just to name a few -- you'll find the Brazilian-themed Aquarelas. The name comes from a style of Brazilian music, according to Carmen Nusinov, who co-owns the place with fellow Brazilian Soraya Asmar.

Before you lump Aquarelas into the rest of the spicy Latin combo, Nusinov points out the biggest difference between her country's cuisine and that of many other Central and South American countries.

"Many of them use a lot of seasoning. We don't."

For instance, the national dish, feijoada, Nusinov says, is a slow-cooked stew of pork sausage, bacon, ribs and dried meat with black beans. Coxinhas, she says, is her country's version of a chicken nugget. And empada she compares to a mini version of a chicken potpie.

You can try the last two, as well as two other Brazilian specialties, for $1.50 each. The feijoada comes as a full meal with rice and green veggies for $8. Much of the menu, however, is American-centered. There are burgers ($4.60-$5.99), chicken wings ($4-$12) and entree platters like ribs ($6.99), grilled chicken ($6.99) and grilled sirloin ($8).

Aquarelas itself is more carryout than sit-down restaurant, with just six small tables for folks who want to eat their orders there.

Aquarelas, 410-276-6012, is at 1622 Eastern Ave., just west of Broadway. It's open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Amicci's gets a bar

There's one more place to "hang" in Little Italy these days. After 16 years, Amicci's now has a bar. Scott Panian, who owns Amicci's with Roland Keh, says the two always wanted to have a bar area in their casual restaurant, but never had the room for it. At least not until the building next door went up for sale more than a year ago.

"We didn't want to go for the old Italian [look], but we didn't want it to look too hip," he says.

So the owners combined the two. Panian says the brick walls are painted red and black. He says there's a copper bar, with seats for 15, that has fiber optic lighting wrapped around it. There are also seven bar tables with wooden bar stools.

Panian says that the bar will provide a place for people waiting for their tables in the restaurant, but he and Keh also hope that it also will be its own destination. The full menu will be available there from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week. However, unlike the restaurant, you cannot reserve seats or tables in the bar.

That policy doesn't apply to a private wine room in the back of the bar area. Panian says it features wine-rack walls, a large wood table (made from the building's original hardwood floors) that seats 10 and cushioned chairs.

Amicci's, 410-528-1096, is at 231 S. High St.

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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