`Great Tastes' expo coming to town


February 14, 2007|By SLOAN BROWN

A new culinary expo hits Baltimore this week. The "Great Tastes" show begins tomorrow night with a "Dine Around Baltimore" event.

Several local restaurants - including Taste, Birches, Pazo, Da Mimmo, Vin, Oceanaire and Phillips Seafood - will offer an $85 dinner with wine pairings to participants. Then dessert and champagne will be offered at the Tremont Grand Hotel, the home base for the four-day eating extravaganza.

Each of the next three days, one local restaurant will join forces with a Food Network chef to prepare a chef's meal. Friday, chef Ann Nault of Taste will work with chef Juan-Carlos Cruz (of Food Network's Calorie Commando and Take It Off) and vintner Mark Enlow from Tamayo Family Vineyards on a wine dinner at her restaurant.

Saturday, Blue Sea Grill's chef, Fabio Mura, and Gourmet magazine's executive chef, Sara Moulton (she's also the host of Sara's Secrets), will prepare a seafood-and-wine dinner at the restaurant. And Sunday, Charleston's chef, Cindy Wolf, joins forces with Cruz for a luncheon, including wine pairings.

From noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, you can attend the expo itself at the Tremont Grand and peruse more than 150 exhibits with the latest in cooking and entertaining items, as well as sample all sorts of food and wine. There also will be cooking demonstrations and seminars held by local chefs and experts throughout the day.

Tickets for the various events can be purchased separately or all in one nice big chunk. Just go to greattastesshow .com for the details.

Quick bites

Baltimore's Eastern Avenue has a couple of little eating additions worth mentioning. Pizza Presto has opened recently in the new Anchor Square Plaza on Eastern Avenue, near the Interstate 95 exits.

Formerly assistant manager at Canton's late Franco Zeppi's, owner Julian Giraldo is keeping it sweet and simple. And not too expensive, either. Yep, you've got pizzas - medium, large and Sicilian (think Chicago-style) - that generally run from $7.99 to $14.99. But, the big attraction may be Pizza Presto's pizza, salad and ice cream bar. Self-serve, all-you-can-eat for $5.99. For both lunch and dinner. In a couple of months, that price will go up to a whopping $6.99.

You'll find Pizza Presto, 410-631-6099, at 6500 Eastern Ave., Suite F. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile, Highlandtowners not only have a newly revamped grocery store in their neck of the woods, but it now comes with its own coffee shop. The Coffee Pot is inside the Markets at Highlandtown and run by Josh Hershkovitz, the son of Markets owner Avi Hershkovitz.

Josh Hershkovitz says he uses only fair-trade coffees, most of them roasted right down the street at High Grounds Coffee. He says he offers all the usual espresso drinks and Greek coffee, as well. Prices generally run from $1.29 to $3.89. You'll also find a few baked goods, like pastries, muffins and locally produced Greenspun bagels.

"I'd put these up against New York bagels any day," Hershkovitz says.

The Coffee Pot is at 3801 Eastern Ave. It's open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. It shares the same phone number, 410-563-7488, as the Markets.

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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