house of ruth 'Crabaret'


August 31, 2008|By SLOANE BROWN

Were those soft summer breezes blowing through the Baltimore Museum of Art's Sculpture Garden? Or were they, perhaps, a collective sigh of relief from members of the House of Ruth board? This was the sixth year they had planned their outdoor "Crabaret" party and the second year in a row in which Mother Nature had complied.

"You know, planning a summer event outside in Baltimore is a little nuts, but we were blessed again this year. The weather is perfect," said event chairwoman Vicki Deyesu.

"The zydeco band, isn't that the best?" board member Linda LoCascio said.

Well, there were the numerous food stations - each featuring different preparations of crab dishes - to consider. And then there were all the different wines available for tasting.

With some 400 guests, there was some major catching up to do. There were House of Ruth board members like president Holly Edington, Christy DePietro, Mary Miller, Tim Daniels, Olwen Modell, Amy Newhall, Pam Malester and Dan Proctor. Just standing in line for crab cakes could net you conversations with the likes of Comcast Spotlight regional sales manager Jim Dolan and his wife, AGM Commercial Real Estate broker Yasmin Dolan; WPOC promotion director Sheila Silverstein; Constellation Energy public affairs director Mary Dempsey; Fresh boutique owner Heidi Slacum; BMA director Doreen Bolger ; interior designer Stiles Colwill; founder Monyka Berracosa; public relations maven John Yuhanick; and Gertrude's owner-chef John Shields.

For self-described "professional volunteer" Bonnie Serpick, Crabaret was the best of both worlds.

The House of Ruth "is the best thing that ever happened to Baltimore, and the women of Baltimore ... and the party is so much fun. It's a delight," Serpick said.


Stories ride on two and three wheels

At the Prime Rib one recent Thursday night, I was greeted at the door by general manager David Derewicz. He's lost a little weight in the past year - 120 pounds. He credits the Rotation Diet and an hour a day of exercise.

"I now bike about 125 miles a week and run about 40 miles a week," David says. He has run four half-marathons this year and just completed his first Olympic-distance triathlon, in North East, two weeks ago.

Avid bike rider and PR maven Amy Elias, who was enjoying salmon and salad at the bar, says when she goes biking with David, he leaves her in the dust.

On the other side of the bar, Maryland Public Television diva Rhea Feikin was having a drink with interior designer Ted Pearson. And a deep, dark secret of Rhea's emerges. A secret that also has to do with biking.

It seems the face of MPT never learned to ride a bicycle. Never. That could have been a problem on her recent vacation in Italy. She and pal Leslie Shepard, director of the Baltimore School for the Arts, were guests of Elias and her beau, Richie Pearlstone, at a house in the Tuscan village of Forte dei Marmi. Apparently, the best way to get around all the narrow streets in town is on a bike. Or, in Rhea's case, a trike. Amy and Richie rented a three-wheeled beach tricycle for her.

"Richie was wonderful," Rhea says. "He would stay behind me and tell me when I needed to brake. Did you know you do that with your hand?" Every night, the gang would dress for dinner, then pedal to a restaurant. Amy says Rhea literally rose above the rest of the pack ... in makeup, heels and dressed to the nines. "Rhea just looked so elegant, like this floating statue gliding down the street. The only thing moving were her legs."

BTW, the buzz around the restaurant that night was all about the national recognition the eatery just received. Esquire magazine said the "Rib" serves one of the 20 best steaks in the country.

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