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By Donna Ellis | February 1, 2011
Among the intriguing things about Pure Wine Café is that everyone there - from patrons to employees - seems to be enjoying the experience. This 32-seat wine and tapas place on Main Street in Ellicott City can charm you. The decor is simple and contemporary - bare-topped tables and black linen napkins with local art adorning the walls. There's live music some nights after 9 p.m. The place filled up over the couple of hours we lingered, attesting to the fact that this can be a late-night place for a glass of wine and a nosh.
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NEWS
Kit Waskom Pollard and For The Baltimore Sun | September 2, 2014
Columbia's Aida Bistro & Wine Bar has been a Howard County favorite since it opened in 2002. Loyal customers have followed the restaurant through several changes, including relocation and the introduction of an innovative - and cool - tap system for serving wines by the glass or carafe. During summer of 2014, owners Joe and Mary Barbera ushered in another set of changes, as former sous-chef Nina Swartz took over as executive chef and the restaurant introduced a new menu offering entrées at a mix of prices.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Elizabeth Large | elizabeth.large@baltsun.com | August 28, 2005
How do you like your food? When you eat out do you want your meal to be a delicious backdrop to an evening with friends? Or do you want it to grab you and demand that you pay serious attention to it?Do you like to ponder the textural contrast of a tiny morsel of silky salmon tartare with salty beads of caviar, then roll the flavors on your tongue while you sip a chilled champagne? Or do you just like to eat good food? How you answer those questions may determine how you feel about the newly reopened Charleston in Inner Harbor East.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun | April 24, 2014
The Little Italy restaurant formerly known Germano's Trattoria is now Germano's Piattini. Germano's was doing just fine as a trattoria, the owners said, but they wanted to keep one step ahead of changing tastes. So they revamped just about everything. The main dining areas in the restaurant were renovated last fall, and the menu was given a nearly complete overhaul. But really, the restaurant's whole approach to dining has changed. Dining at Germano's Trattoria was always a commitment to a full dinner, your basic Little Italy package of appetizer, entree and bottle of wine.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Elizabeth Large | elizabeth.large@baltsun.com | February 10, 2010
S ometimes restaurant work gets in your blood and there's nothing you can do about it. That seems to be what's happened to Michael Marx, who opened Blue Agave in Federal Hill and then sold the Mexican restaurant and tequileria because he was tired of the grind. A little more than a year later he was back, opening Rub , a Texas barbecue place in South Baltimore. Not content with that, Marx started making plans for another Mexican restaurant, and a few weeks ago opened Miguel's Cocina y Cantina (1700 Beason St., 443-438-3139, MiguelsBaltimore.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick, Special to The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2010
Centro Tapas Bar is off to a promising start. This is the old Bicycle spot, and it's nice to have the place back open after a brief hiatus. Centro was lively on the weeknight when we visited, though only the front room, which includes the bar, was seating diners. The two smaller (and, frankly, less inviting) dining rooms weren't in use, and Bicycle's sweet old back patio, appearing to be in peak condition, was waiting for nice weather to come and stay. Centro is the project of George Dailey, whose On the Hill Café in Bolton Hill has earned him many friends and fans.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Elizabeth Large | elizabeth.large@baltsun.com and Sun restaurant critic | January 3, 2010
Does Baltimore, and more specifically Fells Point, have room for yet another tapas restaurant? The Kali's Restaurant Group, which includes Kali's Court, Mezze and Meli, is betting yes. Its new place is Tapas Adela, now open next to the Admiral Fell Inn where the Petticoat Tearoom and Southern Accents gift shop were. The interior design firm Rita St. Clair Associates has come up with a clever concept, dividing the space into two distinct areas. The first is the high-energy room (alert: code word for noisy)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun | February 18, 2011
Late last November, Demi showed up, fully formed, on the basement level of Crush, like Athena having just burst out of Zeus' head. It sounded like a trick — that Demi was just a ruse to get overflow diners from Crush to move into an undesirable seating area. But this new lower level, we were told, was not "Demi at Crush," or any other kind of halfway gimmick; Demi and Crush, it was promised, were two separate restaurants: Crush above, Demi below. The truth is there is a tiny bit of blurring, some of it inevitable, at least for the short term.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Houser III, Special To The Baltimore Sun | November 3, 2011
Wine is the focus at Grand Cru, a bar in the charming food market at Belvedere Square. It's a good spot to sit and learn about new wines — chances are, Grand Cru's knowledgeable staff can help you find a new favorite grape. The selection of small plates, however, needs some of the particulars worked out. More of an after-work meet up than a first date destination, the setting for this lively bar is a sparse and industrial interior with exposed pipes. The kitchen/prep area is modern and warm, with accents of wood compared to the rest of the cold concrete and aluminum room.
NEWS
Kit Waskom Pollard and For The Baltimore Sun | September 2, 2014
Columbia's Aida Bistro & Wine Bar has been a Howard County favorite since it opened in 2002. Loyal customers have followed the restaurant through several changes, including relocation and the introduction of an innovative - and cool - tap system for serving wines by the glass or carafe. During summer of 2014, owners Joe and Mary Barbera ushered in another set of changes, as former sous-chef Nina Swartz took over as executive chef and the restaurant introduced a new menu offering entrées at a mix of prices.
ENTERTAINMENT
Wesley Case | November 20, 2013
Walk down 36th Street in Hampden and you could easily miss it. Even a stroll down the less busy Elm Avenue, where the inconspicuous entrance is located, could lead to a missed opportunity. But while the Other Corner Charcuterie Bar, an adjoining bar-meets-cafe companion to the adventurous Corner BYOB restaurant (which opened in March 2011), may exist quietly in the shadows, it was well worth uncovering last Tuesday night. The space charms you from the first step inside. Behind the bar, aged meats hang from the ceiling on oversized hooks, as if Ron Swanson had decorated a Christmas tree.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Kit Waskom Pollard, For The Baltimore Sun | December 12, 2012
It's only 2 years old, but Tatu just got its first face-lift. The pan-Asian restaurant in Power Plant Live, which opened in September 2010, reopened in October after a renovation and menu revamp. The new space is dimly lit, with a mix of high and low tables taking the place of traditional dining tables and chairs. Loud music and glamorous decor send the not-so-subtle message that Tatu aspires to be a nightclub - you won't see a giant sculpture of a topless mermaid or mirrored tables at your neighborhood sushi joint.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2012
After closing in April for renovations, the 13th Floor in Mount Vernon's the Belvedere will reopen at 4 p.m. on Thursday, according to a press release. Unhappy with its inconsistent "experience," the Belvedere Restaurant Group (BRG, which also operates the Owl Bar) used the renovation period as a time to refocus the 13th Floor, on top of giving it a new look. For example: The weekend's live music (one of the bar's former issues, as it often varied in style and genre from night-to-night)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun | September 21, 2012
Earth Wood & Fire, a new restaurant in the Bare Hills section of Baltimore County, is testament to the wisdom of keeping things simple. The menu offers a handful of salads, a selection of small plates and a daily special or two. But the partnership at this new restaurant is serious about getting the basics down pat first. The square focus is on hamburgers and coal-fired pizzas. Earth Wood & Fire isn't trying to provide culinary adventures but to be a consistent and reliable everyday dining place.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun | June 23, 2012
Hardly anything at Pabu grabs you by the lapels. The last and latest restaurant to open at the new Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, Pabu calls itself an "izakaya," the Japanese name for a drinking establishment that serves food. The izakaya craze has landed big-time in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, along with the inevitable squabbling about what defines a true izakaya. Essentially, an izakaya offers diners a menu of small plates from which they can order over a long, merry evening, and there's traditionally an emphasis on savory grilled and marinated items.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | April 24, 2012
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is rolling out a "Small Plates, Big Pours" promotion. Available through the end of May, the dealio lets diners mix seven small plates with seven over-sized wine pours "in the bar area. Yes to over-sized pours -- sounds like a plan for the "Real Housewives of Harbor East. " The small plates include sliced filet Mignon, shrimp scampi skewers, petite lamb chops, seared ahi tuna, lobster tempura, and New Bedford scallops. The Fleming's wine experts have chosen specific wines -- culled from the Fleming's 100 -- to pair with each of the seven dishes, but diners are free to mix and match.  "Guests could pick a pairing with a blindfold on and still would not go wrong with the seven wine selections on our Small Plates, Big Pours menu,” said Russell Skall, Fleming's Executive Chef, in the promotion's press release.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2011
"Level, a small plates lounge" is the formal name of a terrific little restaurant in the heart of Annapolis. Open since October 2009, Level hasn't been exactly languishing in obscurity; multiple awards and commendations have come its way, and it's earned them. There are wonderful things to eat here: a Cuban pork spring roll that we ordered, ate like maniacs, and ordered again; handmade gnocchi in a plate-licking mustard-and-garlic sauce; a simple satay featuring grilled Gunpowder bison, served with an agave marinade.
NEWS
By Elizabeth Large and Elizabeth Large,Sun Restaurant Critic | September 3, 2006
Food: ** (2 stars) Service: *** (3 stars) Atmosphere: *** (3 stars) Kyma, the new tapas and mezze restaurant in Annapolis, has a signature drink called the Mediterranean. It's made with vodka, Alize liqueur and white cranberry juice and served in a martini glass with two Swedish fish (those colorful fish-shaped gummi candies). In some ways the drink is a metaphor for what's right and what's wrong with Kyma. It's a beautiful, pale blue creation, sweet but with a refreshing citrus accent.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | March 8, 2012
If you've been needing a reason to head down to the Wine Market, you got it. Every Monday through Thursday in March, The Wine Market in Locust Point is offering a list of delicious but lesser known wines by the glass at half price. Lucien Walsh, the Wine Market's wine director, spent all February sniffing out  some unusual verities for you to try. So, go. While we're talking about the Wine Market, we might as well remind you about happy hour, Monday through Thursday, 5 to 7 p.m., featuring $3 off a selection of cocktails, small plates and large plates.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | February 21, 2012
Devlyn Ray is the new executive chef at Vino Rosina, taking over from Sanjin Renae . Ray's first menu, which will be introduced at Wednesday's dinner service, will feature a new larger plates section along with an enlarged smaller plate side. Also on the menu are 10 new artisanal cheeses, says Vino Rosina's general manager Joshua Barbour. What's on Ray's menu? Small plates include a Wagyu carpaccio with pickled shallots and horseradish carpaccio, lobster lasagna and a cheddar-garlic grits cake with lemon-parsley pesto, crispy shallots and a sunny-side  quail egg. Entrees include seared scallops with truffled risotto, crispy beet chips and shaved Parmesan; a Maryland rockfish with grilled romaine, browned butter and baked potato croquettes and butternut squash gnocchi.
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