Top 10 Restaurants I'm Looking Forward to Reviewing
Last week someone commented that I always use the same restaurants in my Top 10 lists. I was incensed because I try so hard for variety. But there's no getting around the fact that one reason good restaurants are good is that they do a lot of things well.
So this week I decided to do a Top 10 list that is made up of first-timers. None of these places has been on a Top 10 list before. I thought it would be useful to those of you who like to try new restaurants -- a list of the most promising restaurants that have opened up recently or are soon to open, and why they may be worth a visit.
Of course, I'm not saying when I'll get around to reviewing them.
Here's my list in alphabetical order: ...
* Alizee in Homewood. The boutique bistro and wine bar opened recently where the Spice Company used to be in the Inn at the Colonnade. Specialties include fushi, fusion sushi.
* Cuadrado on North Avenue.The owner of Joe Squared Pizza is planning to open a barbacoa (Mexican barbecue) with meats slow-cooked in banana and agave leaves. It will be across the street from his first place. With major renovations underway, Joe Edwardsen is looking at a fall opening.
* La Famiglia in Homewood. The northern Italian restaurant opened where Brasserie Tatin was. The owner and many of the staff came from the now-closed Boccaccio in Little Italy. Expect the same sort of food at slightly lower prices.
* Hell Point Seafood in Annapolis. Well-known D.C. restaurateur Robert Kinkead is opening a neighborhood seafood place where Phillips' was on the dock. Scheduled to open next month, Hell Point will be more casual than his Washington restaurant, Kinkead's.
* South American Grill in Cockeysville. Fans of Brazilian food will find authentic dishes here. (The owner's wife is Brazilian, and the two own another restaurant in Brazil.) The South American Grill is small, casual, BYOB and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
* Sullivan's Steakhouse in the Inner Harbor. The latest entry in the steakhouse sweepstakes. Sometimes you just need a big hunk o' beef.
* Talara in Harbor East. This Nuevo Latin tapas bar will specialize in ceviche and have a lively bar scene. It's part of a regional group of restaurants. The opening date is set for late April or early May.
* Taverna Corvino in Federal Hill. What goes around, comes around. The Juniors space is an Italian restaurant again (when it first opened, it was Vespa) with Christopher Paternotte, formerly of Vin in Towson, as the chef. The place never really closed after it was sold; the new owners kept it open as a "test kitchen."
* Ullswater in Riverside. The owner of the Bicycle is planning to open an Italian restaurant in the spot where Soigne and the Sly Fox Pub were. There will be some New American dishes as well. No firm date yet, but when I ate at the Bicycle plans seemed to still be coming along nicely.
* Volt in Frederick. I've been meaning to get to this relative newcomer, but it's such a hike I've put it off till better weather. The food is high-end Modern American. It's back on my radar now that the James Beard Foundation has named it a semifinalist for this year's Best New Restaurant award.
(Photo of Brian Voltaggio, Volt chef, by Andre F. Chung/Sun photographer)