With new owner/chef, Red Fish hopes to catch waves of diners



For some reason, Red Fish (2350 Boston St., 443-524-1454) in its first incarnation never quite made it, although it seemed to be the perfect kind of place for Canton -- jazzy and fun and not too expensive.

Right after New Year's, Joshau Hill, formerly of Truffles catering, came on as executive chef to revive the place. Now he's bought it. "I'm getting rid of all the bad karma," he says. "I'm bringing the phoenix out of the ashes."

He's also producing dishes like coconut-crusted mahi-mahi with charred pineapple salsa, and using lots of seafood, including local rockfish.

The new Red Fish has "an eclectic Mediterranean feel," he says, with a casual atmosphere and upscale food. Entrees run from $18 to $28.

Red Fish is open every night for dinner and for Sunday brunch. If you don't go to Canton because you can't find a parking space, valet parking will be available Thursday through Saturday starting May 26.

BYE, BYE BACKFIN --After more than 35 years, Sharon and Tony Thomas have decided to retire. Their Pikesville seafood restaurant, Backfin (1116 Reisterstown Road, 410-484-7344) has been on the market for three months.

They're looking for a buyer, Tony says, who will keep it pretty much the way it is -- for the sake of the staff and the people who eat there.

"We have customers who come in two or three times a week. They are beside themselves," he says. "Put it in your column. Wanted: owner for a large family, which is basically what our staff is."

WINE FLIGHT --We've discussed plane food on my restaurant blog, but not what to do when you get to the airport early, unexpectedly get through security quickly, and then have time to kill.

If you're on concourse A at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the wine bar Vino Volo, which opened last month, is now an option.

It sounds very civilized. You can buy wine by the glass or a flight of wine. There's also food available, mostly small plates that pair well with wine like smoked salmon wrapped around crab with creme fraiche.

The food (artisanal cheeses and the like) is available to go, as are bottles of wine. In fact, it all sounds so good that next time I fly Southwest, I might just arrive early to check it out.

UPSCALE AND DOWN-HOME --Timothy Dean Bistro (1717 Eastern Ave., Fells Point, 410-534-5650) is now serving chicken 'n' waffles on Tuesdays. That's a hoot because this is the restaurant that also has "oven-roasted free-range chicken with white truffle essence mousseline and garlic confit" on its spring menu.

Talk about getting back to your roots. (Not.) This chicken 'n' waffles is a bit pricey at $15.

Send restaurant news, trends, questions of general interest or observations to me at elizabeth.large@baltsun.com or fax me at 410-783-2519. Snail mail works, too: Elizabeth Large, The Sun, Box 1377, Baltimore, MD 21278.

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