A new eatery set for Soigne's spot



People keep asking what's going to happen to the space where Edward Kim's Soigne and then Sly Fox Pub were, and now I have the definitive answer. Assuming all goes well. The owner of the Bicycle, Nicholas Batey, is in the process of buying the building at 554 E. Fort Ave.

Renovations will begin soon on the first and second floors; and this fall Ullswater, named after a lake in the English Lake District, will open. No, it won't serve British food. Batey had a poster of the lake when he first started out, and he just likes the name.

Ullswater is Batey's dream restaurant. He drew up the plans for it, he says, even before he bought the Bicycle. It will be a "nice, casual but still upscale restaurant," serving mostly Italian but some New American dishes.

Batey plans to go back and forth between the restaurants. His current sous-chef at the Bicycle will become the chef de cuisine at that restaurant.

Sea change --Pisces in the Hyatt Regency, the seafood restaurant with the best view in Baltimore, has a new chef, George Gomez. The 26-year-old Gomez trained at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and has worked in some of the finest hotel restaurants on the East Coast.

His new menu features dishes like sea bass with a lemon-thyme glaze and rockfish with crab salad and a champagne-lime essence. Tuna tartare comes with a ginger sabayon and micro greens, and oysters come with cucumber spaghetti and a champagne mignonette.

Old standards such as cream of crab soup and crab cakes are, of course, still on the menu. Appetizers range in price from $9 to $14, and entrees start at $33. Pisces is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and brunch on Sundays.

Cross Keys changes --Remember the Village Roost and the Cross Keys deli with nostalgia? Let's hope the Village Square Cafe, scheduled to open at the end of the summer in the Village of Cross Keys, will take their place in our hearts.

The food will be "fresh and simple," says Roseann Glick, who with her husband, Robert, will own the restaurant. It will open at 7 a.m. for breakfast and stay open for lunch. Eventually, dinner will be offered.

The space is where Hess Shoes used to be a very long time ago, near the Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys. This comes at a time when the Radisson is downsizing its Crossroads restaurant, making it half the size it was and redoing the decor.

Extreme makeover --Those of you who spend six months on a home renovation, eat your hearts out. Linwoods in Owings Mills did a complete makeover of its dining room in three days. Jay Jenkins of Jenkins/Baer designed the update, which included a more contemporary look, new carpeting, a new color palette, walls covered in fabric, new chairs and banquettes, and new beaded curtains. Even the black columns near the hostess station were replaced by square mahogany ones.

The menu has been updated, too, with much more flexibility built in. Appetizers and entrees now come in two sizes, so you can eat lighter or more economically if you wish. Dishes are paired with wines by the glass.

All this was in honor of the restaurant's 20th anniversary.

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, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.

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