New Spots in the Neighborhood
by Gabby Crabcakes
As in all facets of life, change is perpetual. We learn to take the good with the bad.
In the restaurant world, reality dictates that restaurants come and go. It is sad to bid farewell to those we have grown attached to but exciting to discover what's new on the block.
To keep you hungry readers in the loop, following are a few recent/pending additions to our culinary neighborhood.
In Annapolis two excitingly different eateries are planning openings in July.
Phillips Seafood Restaurants has purchased the prime property at 4 City Dock from Vespucci's (which should be closing its doors on June 23). Phillips Annapolis Harbor is expected to open July 1, after a brief and minor facelift. Honey Konicoff, corporate director of marketing for Phillips, says the restaurant will share a similar Eastern Shore motif and many of the same menu items and recipes as the seven other Phillips restaurants, with some new creations to reflect the local flavor. Crab will play a large role, with steamed crabs available on the large waterfront patio.
The fit seems a natural for our crabby town. Phillips, known for their energetic staff, is in the process of forming a winning team (interviews are being conducted at the restaurant through June 18th). Average check per person: $18-$22.
Inner West Street, on the other hand, is growing into quite the eclectic feeding front. Opening towards the end of July, Tsunami is currently under renovations at 51 West Street, formerly Ciao. Described by co-owner Jody Danek as an Asian Grill, Sushi Bar and Lounge, the plan is to create a "fun, cool, and sleek restaurant that everyone can enjoy."
Mr. Danek has over six years experience at Ram's Head, while his other partners also bring a wide range of food service experience to the table. Kristin Lewis is formerly of Ram's Head, and husband-and-wife team Gavin Buckley and Julie Williams owned a Japanese restaurant of the same name in Perth, Australia. Mr. Buckley, a Pacific Rim chef, will be running the show in the back kitchen. The hunt is still on for a sushi chef to work in the front. Plans include quick and accessible dine-in and carry-out lunch service, with a more formal sit-down atmosphere in the evening. With a 2am liquor license, the Lounge will serve the late night crowd.
Farther down the road in Galesville, brothers Andy and Jeff Wagner from Crofton have opened Wagners' Steamboat Landing. This large waterfront restaurant with 26 boat slips was picked up through bankruptcy auction. While neither brother has a background in food service (they were both successful in the computer industry), they have signed on the services of Jerry's Seafood out of Seabrook, Maryland. With this consulting agreement, the Wagners have the use of Jerry's trademarked menus and recipes, as well as assistance with day-to-day operations.
According to Andy Wagner, opening day, June 6, brought a brisk crowd to the large deck, with rave reviews. The menu focuses on seafood, with a few chicken dishes (no beef). An entree known as the "Crab Bomb" consists of 10 oz. of jumbo lump crab with no filler, just mayo and secret ingredients ($29.95). Mr. Wagner says their crab comes from Venezuela.
Lunch platters run $12.95-$15.95, while dinners run $18.95-$29.95. Closed Monday and Tuesday, dinner only Wednesday and Thursday (5-9:30pm), and lunch and dinner Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. (11:30am-9:30pm).
In Shady Side, what used to be upscale French Restaurant Peninsule is about to open as a more "casual eating place" known as Brick House. Owners Pete Litchfield and Paul Day, with over 30 years combined restaurant experience, plan on presenting a "cozy ambiance, a tavern and dining room for the community." The menu will offer everything from burgers and pizza to steaks and seafood. The bar area is to be expanded with televisions added to attract the sports enthusiasts. Be sure and check out their open house this weekend.
While these new businesses represent exciting opportunities for the community and their owners, some existing restaurants have made some changes you should also know about.
The ever popular Mexican Cafe on Bay Ridge has built a nice-sized deck with new picnic tables and plant boxes to accommodate its steady business. Overheard on a recent visit: "this is becoming the replacement for Marmadukes" - the now-defunct haunt for the sailing community.
Just a short jaunt across the Bay by boat, The Tilghman Island Inn has been diligently working on a dining room addition that will add room for 45. The room should be open by late July. Co-owner Jack Redmon invites boaters to park in one of their 21 boat slips for lunch and dinner. The deck also offers umbrellaed tables for true Bayside dining.
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| Issue 24 |
Volume VII Number 24
June 17-23, 1999
New Bay Times
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