Ikaros, a classic Greektown restaurant, is moving half a block… (Kim Hairston, Baltimore…)
You could have knocked someone over with a galaktoboureko. That's how surprising the news was in Greektown that Ikaros, which the Kohilas family has operated in the Eastern Avenue location since 1969, will be moving — a half a block up Eastern Avenue. That's Baltimore for you.
The move could happen as soon as March 1, says Xenophon Kohilas, who co-owns the restaurant with his brother, Theodosis. The new location is on the same side of Eastern Avenue, just across Ponca Street, in a big corner building where Aztec de Oro was the last in a succession of restaurants to open and close.
With its broader dimensions and higher ceilings, the new location will allow Ikaros to do things it never could in the cozy, old space: The new Ikaros will have a brick oven, a rotisserie spit and a display of live seafood in the dining room. The space at 4901 also has an upper floor — a perfect, large rectangle — that Ikaros will use as a catering space.
Ikaros won't be abandoning the current space, which even its most devoted admirers acknowledge has grown a bit frayed. The family will operate an Ikaros Express there, a Greek version of popular fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle.
Kohilas says that the family had long considered renovating the original space, but the opportunity to finally have the amenities they had always wanted was too good to pass up.
Winter restaurant weeks Rested from the holidays? Well, too bad, because, winter restaurant week promotions are here. It's your local government's nice way of saying, "Hey, get out and spend some money at our wonderful restaurants!"
There are a few changes this year. Frederick is offering overnight packages, Baltimore County has contracted its promotion period from 15 to 10 days, and Baltimore City has lowered its menu prices.
First up is Baltimore County Restaurant Week, which begins Thursday and runs through Jan. 21. Thirty-six restaurants will be participating in this year's promotion, which again allows participating restaurants a wide range of options. Restaurants can set the prices for a lunch or dinner menu from $10 to $35, for anywhere from one to three courses.
Planners of Baltimore County's winter promotion think the shorter period will give it a heightened sense of urgency in the minds of diners. For a full list of participating restaurants, go to baltimorecountyrestaurantweek.com.
Next up is Howard County Restaurant Weeks, which run Jan. 16 through Jan. 30 this year. Howard County's winter dining promotion features a global theme, with participating restaurants offering fixed-price menus ranging from $10 to $40. For more information, go to howardcountyrestaurantweek.com.
Baltimore City Restaurant Week runs Jan. 20 through Jan. 29. The big changes this year are lower-priced menus. The fixed price for a three-course dinner menu, which had been $35, will now be either $30 or $20. Participating restaurants will be able to offer one of those dinner options — but not both. And lunch, which had been a three-course option, priced most recently at $20, is now $15 for two courses. For more information, go to baltimorerestaurantweek.com.
Although Frederick's restaurant week is further down the road (March 5-11), it's worth mentioning now. For the first time, the promotion's planners have arranged lodging packages, so diners can stay overnight and see some of Frederick in the sunlight. For more information about Frederick Restaurant Week, go to frederickrestaurantweek.com.
Direct from Vegas Patrick Dahlgren has announced the opening date for Heavy Seas Alehouse. The restaurant will debut on Feb. 15 in the Bank Street space where Tsunami, and later, Diablita, were.
Heavy Seas has also announced that its executive chef will be Matt Seeber, who held that title for six years at Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
If you're wondering, maybe, why Seeber would leave that post for this one, there's a perfectly good explanation. His wife, Stacey, is in a doctoral program at the University of Maryland.
Who could it be? The Hippodrome has a date for the third annual Foodie Experience. It's Saturday, May 12. The first year brought Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert to town, and Alton Brown was last year's headliner. The Hippodrome will be announcing the May 12 headliner later this month.
If it's Tom Colicchio, maybe he can stay with the Seebers.