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August 4, 2008

An opening and a closing



I'm always happy to announce openings, especially one like Crush in Belvedere Square, in the location where Taste was. It's the creation of Daniel Chaustit, the Daniel of Christopher Daniel in Timonium. Crush is a scary name, but not so much if you realize that it refers to the time when grapes are crushed for wine. The restaurant will open its doors this Wednesday, if all goes well.

As for the closing, which I'm always sad to announce, I got an e-mail from Joy Martin, owner of Zodiac in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, saying that she was closing her restaurant after 12 years. Saturday will be the restaurant's last day. Apparently one reason was the construction in that block of N. Charles Street that cut the restaurant's gas line, damaged the water line, and discouraged customers.

(Photo taken at Zodiac by John Makely/Sun photographer) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:52 PM | | Comments (26)


Noooooooo!!! Not Zodiac!! That is by FAR my favorite restaurant. Please,Joy,we'll have a fundraiser or something to offset the damages. It's too good of a place to just stop...

EL, so ... you'd say the closing of Zodiac is a bad sign?

That's too bad about Zodiac. The few times I visited there I enjoyed it. I wonder if Joyce can get her lawyers involved. Surely the city must be held responsible for her loss.

What a shame about Zodiac.

JL is pretty funny!

EL, thanks for the heads up on the opening of the Crush. I'm certain to pay them a visit, Daniel and his lovely wife.

Sorry to hear about the closing of Zodiac I loved it for the vegetarian options, but the construction hasn't discouraged me to go to the Charles or Tapas Teatro and hasn't seemed to have a negative effect on the other restaurants there.

I've been more discouraged by the perpetual delays on Joy opening the diner at the corner. I've been waiting for more than a year hoping that place would open. Maybe with Zodiac closed she'll be able to focus on finishing the diner.

Is the city to blame for the loss? The city doesn't make it easy for small business owners, but why do so many restaurants close? EL, please ask everybody why do restaurants/bars close according to customers? That would be a great topic. Is it the city or the fickleness of the customer or the establishment?

just curious

I agree with jason that what causes restaurants to close would be a great topic. My husband has a theory about parties--you need to achieve a certain "critical mass," so that people feel festive. Too few bodies and it feels like a morgue. I think that is one factor is whether a restaurant is successful or not.

Also news that Northwoods in Annapolis is closing on August 16th after 23 years

Please remember not to hit post more than once. It will happen, just very slowly. :-) EL

This is probably not new, but I walked by Tiburzi's on S. Kenwood in Canton and saw that they have been closed since May 24. Seems strange, as I went there in March and they were packed.

So sad! I liked Zodiac :(

We need more things opening there, not closing!

I'm so sad to learn that Northwoods will be closing! I've only been there twice but both times were memorable for the wonderful food and excellent service!

The rumour around Patterson Park is that Three... (which is down to one) will be changing its menu to be a bit less pricy and small platesish and will be lowering drink prices very soon, possibly starting this week.

I lived in Annapolis for two years and never heard of Northwoods. Where is/was it?

609 Melvin Ave. EL

I believe I saw a dumpster on Zodiac's side of the street during the construction , though Tapas Teatro and the crepes place did not have to deal with that.

I am really sad about Zodiac....I love that place! It will be missed.

Damn construction!

I had dinner at Crush last night and thought it was great! I wrote about it on my blog, here.

Thanks, Minx! Crush sounds promising. You didn't have anything to say about the service, though--how was it?

Good Review Minx, sounds promising as pointed out by Dahlink I'd also like to hear about service and also dress. Is it a walk in off the street in shorts kind of place?

I just went to Crush tonight and liked it so much I searched for an appropriate place to write about it on this blog. The service was friendly and very efficient, and the food was delicious and not overpriced. It has the same decor as Taste, but I saw people in casual clothes there. The outdoor dining is a plus, even if there is a police helicopter overhead! I recommend checking it out, especially if you live in the area.

Stopped at Crush this evening. The service was GREAT!!! We were dressed very casual which certainly was not a problem for them (we offered to sit in a corner....)
The tomato soup with grilled cheese coutons was wonderful. Tom had the special soup which was a French Onion (made from a veal stock). Tom said it was one of the best he has had. Tom's entree another special was Monk Fish. YUM! We dine out about 3-4 times a week. Crush is definitely a place we would return to and recommend to friends!
PS If you have room, try the Pineapple Upside Down.... reminds me of my mom's,

I loved Zodiac! It was the perfect place to go before a movie at the Charles (especially if Tapas Teatro was mobbed) but it was even better for a group of eaters with varying dietary requirements. I can't count the number of times I burned my tongue on their artichoke dip with the best fried pita ever (I could never be patient for that dish). If the owner would like to raise cash she could start with selling that recipe to me! I hope Zodiac re-opens. The idea of it being haunted was always a selling point with out of town guests and first time diners.

Zodiac had the most awesome veggie crab cakes. So sad I can't enjoy one last meal there before they close.

Zodiac had the most awesome veggie crab cakes

Doesn't that kind of support my point that the "traditional" Baltimore crab cakes with the overwhelming Old Bay flavor aren't very special if you can simulate them by putting Old Bay on a tofu and steamed carrot cake?

Zodiac had the most awesome veggie crab cakes

That's almost as absurd as veggie foie gras.

Omg said Doesn't that kind of support my point that the "traditional" Baltimore crab cakes with the overwhelming Old Bay flavor aren't very special if you can simulate them by putting Old Bay on a tofu and steamed carrot cake?

Owl, a proper traditional Baltimore crab cake (or at least the ones I like) isn't overwhelmed by Old Bay.

On the other hand, a lot of these modern crabcakes that use beautifully white, super jumbo lump crab meat from Asia that doesn't actually have any real crab flavor (but is way, way, cheaper than North American crabmeat) probably have too much Old Bay to give them any flavor at all, since the ersatz crab meat doesn't have any.

My apologies for the horrible structure of that last sentence.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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