City chef opens county restaurant

TABLE TALK

October 11, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN

One of Baltimore's best-known chefs, Nancy Longo, has finally come to Baltimore County. The space at Greenspring Station that housed the popular Harvey's restaurant, and then has gone through several incarnations in recent years - including City Crab and Mick & Tony's - is now Longo's.

Longo said that over the years, she's had numerous customers of her Fells Point eatery, Pierpoint, ask her to come to the county. "And there were only two places there I've ever been interested in moving to - the Valley Inn [on Falls Road] or here." When owner Andrew Silverman asked her to take over the place, Longo says she jumped at the chance.

Longo says she's going with the type of food she knows and does best: "Maryland-style with Mediterranean accents." She says she's starting with a smaller menu that will grow with time and customer feedback.

To start, there are a couple of soups, like fresh Chincoteague oyster stew with celery root, leeks, fennel, cream and shoe peg corn pudding ($11), and butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash soup with cipollini onion, porcini mushrooms and white truffled pancetta confit ($9).

There's a "boxes and bowls" section that features a "Balto Box" - a sectioned Japanese bento box filled with a petite smoked crab cake (Longo's signature dish), pancetta broiled Chesapeake clams casino, corn fried oysters, gingered cucumber slaw and a mini coddie with horseradish sauce ($14).

The entree section includes traditional or smoked crab cakes with brussels sprout coleslaw, shoestring fries and sorrel caper tartar sauce ($26) and grilled beef tenderloin with crisp pancetta gorgonzola fingerling potato hash and a porcini rapini saute and chianti demi- glace ($26).

As an opening special, and as Longo looks for feedback from customers, she's also offering a three-course dinner for $29 - so people can sample several things.

The interior of the restaurant has undergone some renovation, and Longo says there will be more after the holidays. She says she's changed a lot of the old black upholstery to warmer earth tones. She says she plans to get rid of all the booths in the dining room and replace them with banquettes to open up the space.

Meanwhile, she says, you can expect a few changes at Pierpoint, too. Portions - and prices - will be downsized. "So people can eat more casually, with more options. I want to make [Pierpoint] more neighborhood friendly without going to a cheeseburger menu."

You'll find Longo's, 410-339-7717, at 2360 W. Joppa Road, in Greenspring Station. Its starting hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Expect an old Harvey's-style buffet Sunday brunch to start in November. Pierpoint, 410-675-2080, is at 1822 Aliceanna St.

New in Annapolis

Ports of Call has just opened in the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis. General manager Jessica Jackson describes it as "casually upscale." The menu is divided into sections - different ports, if you will. Each section features a couple of appetizers, a soup, a salad and a couple of entrees.

Ports of Call, 410-573-1350, is at 210 Holiday Court. It's open for breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. seven days a week. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week. Dinner hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

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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