Table Talk: Pazo debuts finishing touches on its update

After 10 months of changes, the restaurant shows off its new menu and tricked-out design

  • Tony Foreman is onwer of Pazo, which has put the finishing touches on a number of updates, including the draperies on the second floor behind him.
Tony Foreman is onwer of Pazo, which has put the finishing touches… (Algerina Perna, The Baltimore…)
March 14, 2011|By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun

Consider Pazo refreshed.

Dating from Michael Costa's departure as executive chef, it's been just about 10 months since we first heard that Pazo was refreshing, updating and otherwise reconsidering itself. Owner Tony Foreman installed himself as the restaurant's executive chef upon Costa's departure, and he's the mind behind the changes to the menu — chef de cuisine Mario Cano-Catalan is largely responsible for their continuing implementation.

Menu additions have included seafood grilled a la planxa, wood-grilled chicken, lamb and sausage items, and paella-style "La Bomba" rice creations. It's the menu's rationale and structure, however, that are fundamentally different from when Pazo opened back in 2005.

"We have two main types of customers," Foreman said. "Those that are looking for a traditional dinner experience and those that are looking for tapas-style dining. The menu that's evolved since last April recognizes that distinction — there are now two separate menus — while still allowing diners to have it both ways.

The soaring and opulently tricked-out space has kept pace with the menu's quiet evolution. Foreman, working with his longtime collaborator, designer Patrick Sutton, has made changes gradually, and not even a regular customer will recognize every stitch of new carpeting, drapery and upholstery. The biggest changes — the mezzanine is now the intended space for formal dining from the dinner menu, and the mezzanine bar is now a destination with its own identity, and even has its own name: Trago. Downstairs is intended for more casual gathering and grazing. Look for the new velvety love-seat groupings where the communal table used to be. Foreman says they're as close as Pazo will ever get to making anyone think of Victoria's Secret.

Pazo is at 1425 Aliceanna St. Call 410-534-7296 or go to

Greek week The first Baltimore Greek Week kicks off Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. event at Ikaros restaurant. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Deputy Mayor Kaliope Parthemos are expected to attend. The weeklong festival, organized by the Baltimore-Piraeus Sister City committee, has a tempting theme: "The Mediterranean Diet: A Greek Journey Through Food." Area restaurants will be running discounted specials throughout the week, which will culminate on March 27 with the Maryland Greek Independence Day Parade in Greektown.

What caught my eye: Zorba's restaurant is running a $16 fixed-price menu next Monday through Thursday, the new Olive Room at the Inn at the Black Olive is hosting a Greek wine tasting next Wednesday, and the Hazelwood restaurant in Frankford is hosting free movie showings throughout the week.

For information, go to

Down at the Corner A new restaurant named The Corner (850 W. 36th St., 443-869-5075) opened a few weeks ago in the old Avenue Diner space, at the corner of 36th and Elm in Hampden, next door to the Wine Source. That's pretty convenient because the Corner is BYOB.

The chef is Bernard Dehaene, the founding chef-owner of Mannequin Pis, the well-regarded Belgian restaurant in Olney, and the owner is Cecille Fenix.

The Corner isn't full-on Belgian, though — Dehaene describes it an American restaurant — but it's pretty Belgian.

Moules et frites are absolutely on the menu, and the Belgian-born chef Dehaene is preparing them five different ways. Also on Dehaene's opening menu are Dover sole, flambeed steak and lamb brochette. And, Dehaene says, kangaroo, ostrich and yak. Kangaroo, Dehaene told me, is a stand-in, tastewise, for horse meat, which is frequently seen on Belgian menus but unacceptable in the United States.

The Corner is now open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Sweet addition Richard D'Souza of Sweet Sin is about to open a new restaurant, named Meet 27, adjacent to his gluten-free bakery. D'Souza is working with a partner, Paul Goldberg, on this new project, which the team hopes will become a "go-to spot" for the emerging stretch of Howard Street — Charmington's, a newish cafe, is one block south. The menu will have gluten-free options, but Meet 27 will not be a gluten-free environment. As of this writing, D'Souza was still said to be considering kind of buns to use for the hamburgers.

Meet 27 is scheduled to open Sunday in the old Two Sisters Grille space at 127 W. 27th St., on the border of Charles Village and Remington. The new joint, which will include full bar service, will be open for dinner seven days a week.

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