Table Talk: City restaurant scene welcomes three newcomers and one old favorite

In three weeks, Baltimore sees openings of Waterfront Kitchen, Ten Ten and Wit & Wisdom and the reopening of Phillips

  • Benjamin Lambert, Executive Chef at Wit and Wisdom, a restaurant in the new Four Seasons hotel in Harbor East, holds the roasted chicken in a copper pan.
Benjamin Lambert, Executive Chef at Wit and Wisdom, a restaurant… (Barbara Haddock Taylor,…)
November 08, 2011|By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun

New restaurants opened at snail's pace over the first 10 months of 2011. All of a sudden, they're arriving at jack-rabbit speed.

In a span of 19 days, three new restaurants will have opened, all within a nine-block radius. And another restaurant will re-open in a new home. Big personalities and impressive resumes are attached to all four projects, and one of them has potential to alter Baltimore's dining landscape.

Waterfront Kitchen (1417 Thames St., 410-681-5310, opened Oct. 28 in the Living Classroom's Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Museum in Fells Point. The menu of "spirited American cuisine" is from Corks proprietor Jerry Pellegrino, co-host of a long-running food and cooking program on Baltimore's NPR affiliate. Waterfront Kitchen plans to use produce on its season-following menu grown by Living Classroom students in their nearby greenhouse.

Appetizers range in price from $8 for an herbed winter vegetable soup to $18 for a Maryland crab cake, and entrees range from $16 for an herbed winter vegetable pot pie to $31 for a 20-hour braised Mancho Farm veal shank.

The restaurant is owned by Charles Nabit and Michael Klein. Patrick Sutton guided the redesign of the 75-seat dining room, formerly the Northstar Bistro.

On Nov. 3, Ten Ten (1010 Fleet St., 410-244-6867, opened six blocks away in Harbor East. The sumptuously appointed "new American bistro" is the first of two restaurants the fast-growing Bagby Restaurant Group has announced for the Bagby Building, where Bagby Pizza Co. opened in 2009.

Ten Ten launched immediately into seven-day-a-week lunch and dinner service, with menus credited to executive chef Mark Davis, formerly of Woodfire in Severna Park and the Baltimore Country Club. Appetizers range from $6 to $11, and eight entrees are priced between $20 and $22. Those starters are things like steak tartare, duck-fat fries with chive creme fraiche and Medjool dates wrapped in grilled bacon. Main plates include a crispy duck confit with balsamic roasted figs, grilled steak frites, grilled shrimp and grits and a pan-roasted chestnut chicken-bacon roulade. with Brussels sprouts, parsnip puree and apple cider jus.

The lunch menu focuses on salads (e.g., East Coast Cobb, Caesar and roasted beets) and sandwiches (e.g., bison patty melt, fried shrimp po'boy and roasted porchetta.

Next up, Wit & Wisdom, which will open to the public on Nov. 14. The anchor restaurant of the new Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, Wit & Wisdom is from Michael Mina, and whose San Francisco-based Mina Group operated 18 restaurant properties, including a handful in Las Vegas and Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons Georgetown, which opened in 2008. San Francisco's Michael Mina, the group's flagship, was recently named restaurant of the year by Esquire magazine.

The Wit & Wisdom menu was being kept under wraps, but press materials describe it as an American tavern menu of comfort food classics with Eastern seaboard influences.

It's a lot to take in, even without Phillips in the picture. The seafood restaurant, which left its 30-year home at Harborplace in September, will open on Nov. 11 in its new Power Plant home. The new 400-seat restaurant (601 E. Pratt St., 410-685-6600) includes outdoor terrace dining, lobby lounge, a piano bar, raw bar and private dining room and a swell looking main dining room with views of an open kitchen. The crab deck will debut in the spring of 2012.

Veteran news Veterans eat for free on Friday at the new Mission BBQ. The Veterans Day celebration will include a specially made cake by Charm City Cakes, modeled after Bam Bam, the mammoth mobile unit Mission BBQ sends out to fundraisers and charity events. Mission BBQ is at 7748 Governor Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie. Call 410-773-9888 or go to

Michael Tabrizi is hosting his third annual Salute the Troops dinner Nov. 9 at his self-named Inner Harbor restaurant. More than 100 veterans from Maryland-area veterans hospitals and their families are expected to attend the evening of dining and entertainment donated by Tabrizi's, which is being held in conjunction with the USO of Metropolitan Washington.

Turkey Day We'll tell you in next week's Table Talk about which restaurants are serving Thanksgiving dinner. If you know of one, or if you are one, please send us information.

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