Expect a Crush of wine at new eatery

TABLE TALK

August 13, 2008|By Elizabeth Large

Don't be put off by the name of the restaurant that opened last week in the Belvedere Square location where Taste was, even though it sounds scary. Crush (510 E. Belvedere Ave., 443-278-9001) refers to the winemaking process, as in "first crush," and new owner/chef Daniel Chaustit says that wine is taken seriously there, with a global list and 20 wines by the glass.

Chaustit is the Daniel half of Christopher Daniel. (His former partner, Christopher Ellis, is still the head chef/owner of the popular Timonium restaurant.)

The food at Crush, Chaustit says, is modern American, and priced more moderately than Taste's was, with sandwiches for $9 to $15, and dinner entrees from $18 to $28. The focus is on locally grown produce, as much as possible, and sustainable seafood. OK, we've heard that before, but it's good to hear it again.

Crush is open 11 a.m. to midnight daily.

HEADS UP Now that Vin in Towson has closed while the traffic-circle construction is going on, Justin McGaunn, its sous-chef, and Billy Peterson, Vin's general manager, will be moving to Luckie's Tavern in Power Plant Live! when it opens next month.

Luckie's will have "serious food in a fun environment," says Reed Cordish, a vice president of Cordish Co., which financed Vin and runs the entertainment complex.

"It's not a nightclub and not fine dining," he says. The menu will range from burgers to "more advanced entrees."

The tavern will be located where a nightclub was on the first level of Power Plant Live! Cordish describes the 7,000-square-foot interior as "a comfortable, well-done space with a touch of Vegas and Rat Pack imagery." There's an outdoor deck in front.

Luckie's may have serious food, but this will be first and foremost a tavern, with live music, "a TV presence for sports viewing" and 16 beers on tap.

SO LONG For various reasons, we've lost or are losing several well-known restaurants in the area. Northwoods, a mainstay in west Annapolis, will be closing its doors Saturday.

"This has been my life and passion for the past 23-plus years, and I am very sad to see it come to this; but I can't survive the continuing corporate invasion of Annapolis and the sinking economy," says owner/head chef Russell Brown.

Zodiac, in the 1700 block of N. Charles St., closed last Saturday after 12 years. Owner Joy Martin blames the city's streetscape construction, which she says discouraged customers for months.

Finally (at least for the moment), Tiburzi's, an Italian grill and cafe in Canton, closed earlier this summer after seven years.

AN OPENING AND MORE CLOSINGS Dizzy Issie's, the fan-favorite bar in Remington, has a new opening date, Sept. 2, after significant renovations, including a new heating and cooling system.

While many things will stay the same, the bar now will be called The Dizz, and it has a new owner, Darlene Basta, sister-in-law of the previous owner, Elaine Stevens. Stevens will return as general manager.

The other closings are temporary. Junior's Wine Bar in Federal Hill will be closed from Aug. 25 through Sept. 2 for vacation. Joe Squared Pizza in Station North is closed this week (scheduled to reopen Sunday) to install a coal-fired pizza oven and complete other renovations to the dining room and kitchen.

elizabeth.large@baltsun.com

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Check out restaurant critic Elizabeth Large's daily blog (baltimoresun.com/diningatlarge) for restaurant news and notes and reader feedback. Don't miss Top 10 Tuesdays.

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