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November 5, 2008

Eat in Season Challenge: Tapas Teatro


Tapas Teatro in Station North will take Slow Food Baltimore’s Eat in Season Challenge Nov. 8-15. Chef Antonio Baines has created seasonal, locally sourced tapas dishes for the challenge, which is the seventh in the series.

Now that the series is drawing to a close (there's one more in December), I'm curious: Is anyone participating? I haven't heard word one from any of you on the subject. I don't mean are you going to Tapas Teatro when you would anyway, or ordering something from the special menu just because it happens to be there, but are you going to any of these restaurants specifically for the locavore menus? ...

Anyway, all the produce and herbs are from Fig Leaf Farm in Howard County, five acres leased by Tapas Teatro owner Qayum Karzai (also owner of 'b" in Bolton Hill and the Helmand in Mount Vernon).

The apples are from Black Rock Orchards in Carroll Country and poultry and eggs are from Evensong Farms in Sharpsburg.

Here's the menu:

* Fried green tomatoes with herb-scented yogurt and a sweet garlic-cornichon-piquillo vinaigrette ($6.95)

* Mixed roasted beets "au jus" finished with pinenuts, hazelnut oil, and sea salt ($5.95)

* Roasted beet and arugula salad with toasted hazelnuts, dried cherries, currants, golden raisins, and marinated red onion finished with a currant vinegar-elderberry vinaigrette ($8.95)

* Roasted turnips "au jus" finished with shaved garlic, farm fresh sage, cracked peppercorns, and housemade creme fraiche ($6.95)

* Brussels sprouts in a parmesan-truffle cream ($7.95)
* Pan-roasted halibut paired with wilted spinach finished in a Serrano horseradish cream ($14.95)

* Duck leg confit with cannellini beans ($17.95)

* Organic egg omelet with farm fresh broccoli, cremini mushrooms, Swiss, and truffle peelings ($8.95)

* Chicken and orzo soup with roasted garlic, fennel, and mint ($6.00)

* Dessert: winesap apples in puff pastry ($5.95)

(Photo of Fig Leaf Farms banana peppers by Kim Hairston/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 3:54 PM | | Comments (28)


Several of those dishes sound fantastic. Have to see if I can find someone to go with.

Where's Station North? Sure sign of a city dweller, I know! But I DO know where the Frying Pan is. I hope none of you do!

... sweet garlic-cornichon-piquillo vinaigrette ...

I know I can get piquillo peppers online, but I do prefer to shop in real stores. So does anyone know where I can get them in the Baltimore area??

Station North is the area on Charles Street between Penn Station and North Ave. Tapas Teatro is right next to the Charles Theater. I ate there about a month ago and everything was superb. They are very creative with their dishes. First time I ever had warm cooked radishes.

What frying pan? Is that like the giant tire in Detroit?

Thanks, Laura Lee. I really need to get to know the city neighborhoods better. :)

Lissa, the Frying Pan is the term used to describe an area in southside where all the drug dealers and prostitutes assemble after dark.

What's the giant tire?

Ah, I don't spend much time southside. Besides, why travel to find the dealers and the working girls when they walk down my street?

The giant tire is a Detroit landmark. You can see it on I94 on the way to town from the airport

Lissa, aside from some decent bars, I haven't seen much of southside to reccomend it. The only reason I even know about any of it is because my partner lived there years ago and we have some friends there.

The giant tire is indeed a giant tire!

In case you missed it, there's an article in today's Sun by Gorelick about that very area including a nice photo of that part of Charles Street.

Wow. That's ironic! Thanks, Laura Lee.

The menu sounds very tasty, but is there a local source for truffles or parmesan? I think calling this a "locavore" menu is stretching it.

There aren't any local sources for salt and pepper either, but I wouldn't encourage a chef to omit them just to be "local".

Oh, I dunno. Salt is actually pretty easy to do locally. Can't you just read the menu now?

...gently salted with authentic Chesapeake Bay sea salt, gathered in the storied salt pans of Smith Island by fishermen's wives while they wait for their husbands to come home from checking their crab pots."

Lissa, you've hit on exactly what cottage industry the fisherman can start to get the oyster and crab populations back up in the bay!

The fishermen aren't the problem, so they shouldn't be solving it.

Still, I'm surprised someone hasn't done artisinal Bay salt.

artisanal Bay salt. Let's give it a fancy name, let's see the bay is/was famous for crabs, toxic waste and industrial heavy metal pollution. We could give it a fancy name from Latin, say Cancer de Sal, you know after the Zodiac sign for crab. I love the taste of radioactive molybdenum -- so tangy.

Yeah, don't blame the fisherman, oystermen and crabmen who overfished the Bay for decade after decade even though it was clear that they were destroying their own livelihood and uh the ecosystem. No you should blame the fish for giving it up so easily. Slutty fish.

Notice the lack of interest in the original topic. I have found it interesting that not one Sandboxer has tried the "local challenge" and reported on back.

After years of working at industrial facilities and waste water treatment plants along the Mississippi I won't boat in it or eat anything caught there. My father in law who spent years as the environmental specialist for the Soil Conservation Service in the Mid-Atlantic area swears he won't eat anything out of the Bay. Interesting.

Wow, cupofjoe! I agree with the analysis, but I might have phrased it differently!

rockfish too. you might as well eat paint chips and put melted plastic in your coffee. by the way, you would hurl your lunch if you know how many plastic forks and things get "accidentally" dropped in the fryers. I used to like to do it with ice cubes and celery because they exploded, but i've seen more than a few disgruntled morons drop plastic straws, forks, you name it into the fryer. just so you know. i will never eat rock fish again. why do locals worship garbage eaters like crabs and rock fish? when I was a police officer that was the first thing you saw when you pulled a floater (dead human) out of the bay or harbor, crab feast. It was like some kind of bizarro world red lobster extravagnza. eating crabs is almost like canniballism around here.

cupofjoe--hey, it's all protein, right?

I'm nominating Mr cupofjoe as Fun Guy of the month.

thanks Robert. keeping citizens safe is my job.

I've been eating crabs and rockfish for more years then I care to admit. I don't think the dragging foot, 3 different ticks or the constant drooling has anything to do with crabs or rockfish. Okay, the glowing in the dark might have a connection.

I don't believe we're really eating anything that comes out of the bay. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I think all the seafood is coming from farm raised fish and from Louisiana and Texas. Well...maybe oysters but that's it!f

When you all are fertilizing your lawns, and eating eastern shore commercial chicken, yep, you can all feel innocent about the shape of the Cheasapeake Bay.

Lissa, I agree with you. Large commercial poultry plants and lawn fertilizers, weed killers, etc. all have played into the demise of the bay. But overfishing, I think is a problem, not just in the bay but world wide.

And don't forget the small family farmers and their poorly designed and overflowing manure pits.

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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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