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October 31, 2009

Visionary Art Museum cafe reopens tomorrow



I talked to Perez Klebahn late yesterday afternoon. He's one of three partners in the new restaurant at the American Visionary Art Museum.

He called to tell me that Mr. Rain's Fun House will have a soft opening tomorrow, Nov. 1.

I asked if it was only for friends and family, and he said no. It's open to the public for brunch 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The cafe's normal day to be closed is Monday, then it will reopen for business Tuesday.

If you go, please post below and tell us something about it.

[Edith Valentine Tenbrink Untitled (From Dawn of a New Day) Oil on canvas board. Photo: Dan Meyers]

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 6:23 AM | | Comments (14)


Opening to the public for the first time for a Sunday brunch may not be the most brilliant idea, given that the Ravens have a home game at 1:00 p.m. which will tie up downtown traffic for hours in advance and make it difficulty to find parking near AVAM.

Opening for the first time for Sunday brunch isn't a bad idea, if it's a soft opening. The idea of a soft opening is word of mouth builds clientele - what ISN'T the most brilliant idea is announcing it on the city's most read restaurant blog........

Joe Smith, if you are expected to shell out good money for your food, it matters little to you if the staff thinks it's just a soft opening where they can work out the kinks. I suspect that's why many places prefer to limit their first day soft openings to friends and family, who may be more willing to overlook the opening day jitters.

I've heard that Mr. Rain's Fun House is run by the same folks who had run the now closed Sputnik in Crownsville. If so, lucky Baltimore.

I just noticed that the headline of this post misspelled "Visionary" as "Visonary".

Someone must have fixed it for me. EL

I also just noticed that as of this writing, the Mr. Rain's website consists of a blurb describing it as A Sophisticated and Playful Dining Experience featuring Iconoclastic Americana Cuisine, Classic Cocktails and Farm to Table Philosophies. No specific menu items are listed (let alone full menus); however, the website does have a link by which one may purchase gift cards. I wonder whether anybody would take the risk of buying a gift card at this time without any specifics on the menu items, especially given the fact that Sputnik (the place referred to by nchantd1) shut down.

Can't wait to try it. Don't like the name ... sounds like someplace you tell your children to stay away from.

My wife and I had dinner there tonight and were delighted with it. Gracious service, non-exorbitant prices, generous portions (this applies more to the entrees than to the appetizers), and everything tasted great: the preparations were savory and interesting while also being nicely understated.

Pardon my vagueness. I had two cocktails and I wrote no tasting notes. :)

(Also, pardon the double post. Browser/server miscommunication.)

I have a soft spot for AVAM, having gotten married there. I liked Sputnik a lot the one time I ate there, with the only downside being it was a bit pricey. I wouldn't assume it shut down because it wasn't good. It was in an out-of-the-way location in Crownsville.

Yes, it was lovely--elegant yet homey. I recommend the purple yam soup--thick, creamy, with a very subtle hint of sweetness--and the prawns and (Portuguese?) sausage, a fresh take on the ever-more-ubiqitous shrimp and grits. Cocktail and wine selection was limited since it was their first night but nonetheless interesting. Recommended.

Had a late brunch yesterday- shared the Chef's Salad (w/ lump crab, prawns, avocado, blue cheese, maple bacon, tomato) with a horseradish viniagrette and the burger with manchego and carmelized onions. Everything was great, I never would have guessed it was a soft opening. Imaginative drinks were fantastic too. Excited to go back.

Neighbor ~ Thanks for the comments, both items sound really great (i love manchego and avocado paired with bacon and tomato in anything). Was invited to a Halloween event at AVAM on Friday night, but got there too late, was going to try to to sneak a peek at the restaurant.
Anyone know daily schedule there?

Whoops! Skimmed article too quickly, saw i missed the Hours, Days of Operation.

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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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