Cinghiale opens in Harbor East

TABLE TALK

October 03, 2007|By ELIZABETH LARGE

Repeat after me: "Ching-GYAH-lay. Ching-GYAH-lay." And note how Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf's newest restaurant is spelled: Cinghiale (822 Lancaster St. in Harbor East, 410-547-8282). Yes, it's open now, more or less on schedule.

The name, which means "wild boar" in Italian, may be the most problematic thing about the new enoteca (wine bar) and osteria (wine, more food, a bit fancier and pricier - despite what the word signifies in Italy). I've been hearing good things about Cinghiale, in spite of a few new-restaurant glitches.

The chef is Stefano Frigerio from the highly regarded Maestro in McLean, Va., who says he's interpreting traditional dishes from northern Italy in new ways. The entrees on the current menu range in price from $26 for Il Merluzzo, "Baked Black Cod, Crushed Potato and Roasted Pearl Onions, Cod Milk Froth" to $39 for La Costaletta alla Milanese, "Veal Rib Chop from the Pan, Sage Butter." Pastas, naturally, are a bit less, as are the small plates.

Cinghiale is open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Monday through Saturday.

Fells Point family fun --Alexander's Tavern is supposed to open today at 710 S. Broadway in Fells Point. This is Charlie Gjerde's antidote, he says, to all the fine dining restaurants he's been involved with before (Spike & Charlie's, the Atlantic, Joy America).

Gjerde describes Alexander's, which is named after his partner's son (she's Carrie Podles), as a "place for families" as well as a bar. There will be games, a big menu and "tons of specials." Monday is half-price bottles of wine night, Tuesday there are the "endless" bowl of spaghetti for $5.99 and "When it rains, it pours" - $1 beers.

Wednesday may be the most unusual: You can roll a 5-inch die at the end of the meal, and whatever number comes up, that's what you get off your check.

The Zen of eating --In the yin and yang of the restaurant business, it sometimes seems as if there's a closing for every opening. But right now, I think we're gaining places faster than we're losing them. Since this column last appeared, Dogwood, the eco-gourmet restaurant in Hampden, Mia Carolina, traditional and contemporary Italian in Glyndon, and Ze Mean Bean, upscale Slavic in Fells Point, have reopened after major renovations. Meanwhile the Backfin, a longtime Pikesville favorite, and Fusions Grill, also in Pikesville, have closed.

Mistakes were made --When I described the new restaurants (Morton's Steakhouse, Carpaccio Italian Bistro and Fado Irish Pub) opening in the Westin Annapolis Hotel a few columns ago, I should have said that the hotel and the restaurants were all part of the Park Place complex, which also includes condos and shops. To make up for the omission, I have a grand opening date for you: Oct. 19.

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 21278.

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