'No Reservations' at the Hippodrome

Table Talk

March 23, 2010|By Richard Gorelick | Special to The Baltimore Sun

Fine dining is at least part theater, everyone knows. And now, it's theater entirely. Tickets go on sale Wednesday for "No Reservations", a one-night-only event at the Hippodrome Theatre featuring Anthony Bourdain and special guest Eric Ripert. Tickets range from $29 to $89, and the top price includes admission to a post-show reception in the Hippodrome's Pavilion that will feature samplings from Baltimore's top restaurants. There are, in addition, a limited number of $250 VIP tickets that guarantee some face time with the chefs.

The evening will feature "storytelling and observations" from Bourdain, who before his "No Reservations" show on the Travel Channel was best known for his frank and funny memoir/expose "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly." Ripert, executive chef and co-owner of the three-star Michelin restaurant Le Bernadin, has his own show on PBS, "Avec Eric."

"No Reservations" will include a question-and-answer session, which, considering how some Baltimoreans have taken Bourdain's published and recorded observations about the city, could get real juicy. Tickets for the May 22 show, which starts at 8 p.m., are on sale at the Hippodrome Theatre box office and Ticketmaster (410-547-SEAT and ticketmaster.com).

And speaking of the Hippodrome, the in-house Hipp Cafe at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center will now start serving lunch, not just on matinee days, but every weekday. One reservation about the Hipp apparently was that the 60-seat cafe didn't take dinner reservations, but they will, beginning April 8. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and dinner begins two hours before curtain time.

The number for the cafe, which is behind the ticket office but has a separate entrance at 12 N. Eutaw St., is 410-539-7275. Online reservations are available at thehippcafe.com.

Obrycki's reopening In last week's "restaurant-related signs of spring in Baltimore" piece, I left out a classic -- the annual reopening of Obrycki's Crab House and Seafood Restaurant in Fells Point (1727 E. Pratt St., 410-727-6399, www.obryckis.com), always right about the middle of March, and always on a Tuesday night. This year, the opening fell on March 16. Why a Tuesday? Because, co-owner Cheri Cernak explains, it's always been and still is difficult to get good crabs on a Monday. The Cernaks aren't the flashy kind, and Obrycki's annual reopening night is a low-key affair -- ceremonial lowering of the first live crab into a pot of boiling water. Few, if any, customers have made the opening night into an annual ritual, but reservation books were filling up, as they did every year, for opening weekend. It's been so long since I've been to Obrycki's, I had to ask Rob Cernak if it had a proper bar where folks come to eat. Yes, they have one, and yes, people do. In Obrycki's off-season, the Cernak family focuses on their mail-order business and, more recently, on the year-round restaurant they opened in 2006 in the Airmall at Baltimore- Washington-International Thurgood Marshall Airport. This year, though, the Cernaks have been gearing up for the late-April opening of the first Obrycki's to cross state lines -- a second Airmall restaurant, at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The airport versions of Obrycki's serve a limited version of the Fells Point menu but no steamed crabs.

On the trail of the elusive Honey Pig The March 7 nonopening of Mi Yung Kim's second Honey Pig Barbecue (10045 Baltimore National Pike) sent the area's food and restaurant bloggers back to their keyboards. Most of the action continues to be on the HowChow blog (howchow.blogspot.com), where correspondents have been phoning the original location in Annandale, Va., for information about the new one in Ellicott City, and have been making periodic sorties to both. They have scouted out what looks to be the new location's actual phone number (which no one has yet to get anyone to answer), as well as a sign posted at the Annandale restaurant announcing an April 1 opening in Ellicott City.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.