Si Salsa Offers Dining With A Woodsy View



I was in Pikesville last week and stopped by the new Si Salsa (1700 Reisterstown Road, 410-484-4405, for lunch. This is the bar, grill and cafe in the Pomona Square space that once housed a Kosher restaurant, Amanda's, and before that, the Brasserie.

It's a pleasant place to be, but not terribly ethnic-looking, with lots of booths and white-clothed tables. Relatively modest decorative accessories like strings of red-pepper lights and South American wall hangings have been added to the neutrals of the former dining room.

The best part of the room is the glass on three sides that looks over the wooded area in back of the square. And the patio will be a fine place to eat as the weather gets warmer.

General manager Nick Liston calls Si Salsa a "Mexican American" restaurant. By that he means it has the traditional tacos, chimichangas, enchiladas and fajitas; but the mainstay of the menu is American dishes with a Latino accent. A signature dish, for instance, is the Mexican crab cake seasoned with a little cumin and peppers and served with a jalapeno tartar sauce. Rack of lamb is marinated in a chile sauce, grilled and accompanied by an apple-fennel salad.

Music is an important part of the mix at Si Salsa. It's live Friday and Saturday nights. Salsa dancing lessons are available for $10 every Thursday evening, and there's salsa dancing Saturday nights.

Dinner entrees at Si Salsa run from $10 to $24. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with weekend brunch starting soon.

Corvino celebation Taverna Corvino (1117 S. Charles St., 410-727-1212) in Federal Hill is holding its grand opening celebration Thursday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. These days grand openings usually take place long after restaurants have actually opened, but this has to be some kind of record. I wrote in my Feb. 18 Table Talk column that a new Italian restaurant, located where Juniors was, had been open for a couple of weeks.

Thursday's celebration will feature selected small plates (the specialty of the house) for $7. A white peach bellini (sparkling wine and peach puree) will cost $5; a bottle of Peroni, $3; and a Negroni cocktail (gin, sweet vermouth and Campari), $6.

Corvino's chef is Christopher Paternotte, formerly of Vin in Towson.

Changes, changes Look for upgrades and improvements at a couple of local bars this spring. Actually, Kooper's Tavern (1702 Thames St., 410-563-5423) in Fells Point has always been more than a bar; but under Bill Irvin, the new director of operations, the physical appearance is being updated (out with the Irish appointments, in with a new ceiling, murals and snazzy chairs from New York). The menu is still casual but there's an emphasis on local sourcing now. The beer and wine lists, too, are being redone, with local breweries and American wines from lesser-known areas featured.

Woody's Rum Bar & Island Grill (821 S. Broadway, above Slainte Irish Pub, 410-563-6600), part of the same group of bars as Kooper's and Slainte, is getting fixed up, as well, and has a new Caribbean menu.

deal of the week

Where:: Shuckers, 1629 Thames St.

The deal:: $5 burgers all day Thursdays

Call:: 410-522-5820

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