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March 24, 2009

The easiest Top 10 list ever?



Faithful readers know that I'm meeting my daughter's plane when she returns from her trip to Uganda this Saturday. Unfortunately her plane lands at O'Hare. That would be in Chicago.

I'm not happy about the fact that I have a plane ticket to Chicago but no assigned seat. The nice man in India assured me that United hasn't overbooked the flight, but when I started questioning him more closely his English got worse, so I still don't know why I don't have a seat if the flight isn't overbooked.

Anyway, assuming all goes well, which is incredibly optimistic of me, I'll get to O'Hare about the same time Gailor does, and I'll be in Evanston for a few days. Naturally I'm scurrying around looking for easy posts so I can pretend to be on vacation. ...

One of those posts will be a Top 10 Tuesday.

I'm thinking of doing Top 10 Notable Restaurant Closings of the Past Year as the easiest post ever, but to make it a little more interesting I might rank them. Or not.

Anyway, so I won't forget the ones that mattered most, please remind me of any that seemed important to you. And if you're feeling like putting a little effort into it, tell us why you think the closing was significant. Or not.

This also gives me the opportunity to use up some photos in our archives that might otherwise wither on the vine, like the one posted above. Care to guess the restaurant?

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:37 PM | | Comments (28)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


I'm thinking Boccaccios?

We have a winner. EL

Martink's. Because, even though I only worked a few blocks away, I never made it there. So, I can never be a real Baltimorean. Ever.

I'm going to have to say Brasserie Tatin. I loved that place. Close to home, nice bar food, great environment, awesome third date place and 'Restaurant Week' pricing option all the time.

That's Bocaccio's, the passing of Giovanni and the closing were a sad loss for Baltimore.

I'll second renee on Brasserie Tatin. Only got there once, but it was an incredibly pleasant meal.

Ms Lissa

That decor could never be confused with that at Martick's. Sorry that you missed the experience.

While the other places mentioned above definitely had a bigger impact on the Baltimore dining scene, for me, it was Raffy's on Belair Road. Yes, the items on its menu are available at any number of places around town, we just liked the place for a casual meal.

Lissa, I've lived here all my life and never made it to Martick's. Guess I'll never be a real Baltimorean either.

Fl Rob, while I never wish "doom" on someone, after probably six months of trying book my partner's band with Raffy's owner only to be shot down finally after wasting all that time, I can't say that Raffy's is a place that I lose sleep over.

I know this is horribly off topic, but there are many Sandboxers who must see it:,0,2284866.story


Can we count the ones that "closed for renovations" -- usually the kiss of death -- then came back, better than ever? Sip and Bite, for example. And Dizzy Izzie's which returned as the Dizz with pretty much the same management and menu (though the chairs weren't as wobbly as before.)

A good point, but I think these have to be closed for good. EL

If you're looking for a Howard County location, Jesse Wong's Hong Kong. Never saw the place when it wasn't packed so it couldn't be due to slow business...

Thanks for the link! Bacon is always welcome here in the Sandbox.

I'd be ticked too, if that happened to me. If we're in that area now, we'd probably go to the Silver Spring Mining Company or the Original Steakhouse up on Joppa.

Does anyone else think that the waiter in the picture above looks like Chris Kattan from Saturday Night Live?

McCabe's. Though not as big as Boccaccio's or Tatin it was a good neighborhood place and will be missed.

Thanks so much. That's a good one, and I had forgotten it. EL

I'm going to go off topic too. Since we are coming up on Easter in a few weeks, and we haven't discussed Peeps in awhile, here is a link to the winners of last year's Chicago Tribune's Peeps Diorama contest.
People's creativity never ceases to amaze me.

EL, regarding no assigned seat, most airlines stop assigning seats when they reach some percentage of booked seats, say 70 - 75%. You might try going to the United Airlines web site and calling up your reservation to see if you can get a seat that way.

I did that first thing. Why stop at 75 percent? Anyway, that's better than 100 percent. Thanks. EL

After 61 years they finally drove a stake through Velleggias heart

Fl Rob, yes! he looks a lot like Chris Kattan. LQTM! Picturing the Mango outfit under the tux...

EL, you mean to tell us that The Sun won't upgrade you to First Class on the company dime?

Ha. Ha. EL

By the way, is the picture from Marconi's?

Nope, it's Boccaccio. EL

Definitely Bocaccio's....I had the pleasure of meeting Giovanni a few times and even touring the kitchen on a busy Saurday night. Giovanni and Bocaccio's both had class, something that a lot of other places in Little Italy lack.

Donny B, my first thought was Marconi's, too.

Who do you think EL works for, Donny B? Conde Nast?

Photo reminds me of the dining car from Zentropa. Anybody?

McCabe's closed down? Didn't EL just review them a year ago.

I kept on wanting to get over there and try their soup and burgers. It's only a few minutes from my place, but I guess I won't get the chance.

Cosmo Girls, thanks so much for the Peeps link. They're adorable! Now I gotta go get me some....

Yeah, thanks Cosmo Girls, that was definitely worth a peep.

Well I think that is the awesome picture of Sam. It was a different time in the Baltimore dinning scene back then. It was a scene that I grew up in, an old school type of place were the who’s who of Baltimore would dine out and to be seen. Bocaccio's is a place that is locally owned and operated with out corporate investors from out of town telling the management what to do and say. It was a Baltimore place with Tom Mate, Peter Angelos, and John Public eating side by side celebrating a night out with great wine and some fantastic food made from scratch. It was a scene from a movie, waiters dressed in tuxes, and the kitchen was a team of older Italian guys yelling at each other while wearing white tee shirts and pounding veal cutlets with a mallet. In today’s dinning scene that type of scene will never be recreated. Not the corporate scene of today and not Tony Foreman. It is just a different time and place in Baltimore, I am not saying that it’s good or bad I am just saying things are changing dramatically around Baltimore dinning. But the majority of the staff that worked at Bocaccio’s went to a restaurant called La Famila in mid town. So go check them out, a lot of the same staff and the same management.

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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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