« Top 10 Things You'll Find in the Restaurants in Hell | Main | Celebrating the Day of the Dead »

October 27, 2009

Why I like restaurants with one-word names



If you knew how many rude e-mails I get every day, you would understand why I sometimes get cranky on this blog.

It's like people who create computer viruses, as the Zen Master pointed out this morning when I told him about Phil's e-mail complaining about my Volt review. Some folks just like adding a minor bit of unhappiness to the world's general pool.

I particularly enjoyed this comment of Phil's: ...

A friend of mine said some time ago that you're a sucker for restaurants with trendy one-syllable names, no matter the quality of the food or service. Have you perhaps lost your perspective---or your good judgment?

If he meant I like restaurants where the owners and chefs are familiar with restaurants and cooking trends in LA and New York (including the trend of naming restaurants with one word), he's right.

If he meant I like restaurants where they are willing to take chances -- and fail sometimes -- to produce imaginative food using good, fresh ingredients, then, yes, I'm a sucker for that.

Do I allow them some leeway for what they're attempting to do, and am I sorry when we lose them (like Ixia, Bicycle and Dogwood) and think Baltimore is a poorer place for their loss? Then yes.

Do I like the trend of one-word restaurant names?

As I said in a post more than a year ago, "This oh-so-cutting-edge trend of interesting-sounding but only vaguely relevant one-word names for new restaurants could get old fast." 

(Algerina Perna/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:31 AM | | Comments (32)


To hell with one-word names... there's not enough punctuation in restaurant names, I say! "b..." seems to have lost its ellipses... but at least "13.5%" has picked up a couple of punctuation marks for us.

When I create a restaurant, it's ONLY going to have punctuation letters. I'm thinking of naming it "." or "?" just to make it impossible to find with a web search!

Unfortunately, youve been beaten to the punch.

Alinea and schwa are two restaurants (great, if not overly avant garde for many) in Chicago, which are name after single characters.


Sigh, guess my great idea is already taken. I gotta start copyrighting them early in the game!

Thanks for the idea, jl, I'll make sure to name a special after you when ! opens...

This is the perfect time to announce my newest venture: A restaurant that brings together dishes you know and love in an awesome new way.

For example: A grilled cheese sandwich served on artisan bread. Each crater on the top slice of bread will be filled with a tiny bit of tomato soup. Delish!

The name of this awesome new concept?




And Sam, we'll all be able to tell when the place is slipping after the menu is revamped, a new chef is hired, and the focus is now on... Combos - the Meal That's Not a Meal.


Where Fine Dining meets the...

I remember wandering around New York with my sister when I was 17 and noticing all these one-word named restaurants, and I told her, one day I'm going to open my own restaurant and it's going to be called "Boobs." Cause everyone likes boobs!

The dream is still alive.

Corey - Aren't you worried people might confuse you with Hooters?

Oops, doesn't like my response.........

Trixie, no. Boobs will not be gimmicky. There will be no boob-shaped panna cottas. The food, the service, and the interior design will have nothing to do with breasticles.

If your food is good enough, over time people view your faults as lovable quirks. That is what's going to happen here.

Plus the word boobs is funnier than the word hooters, and it's not some lame, PC, indirect attempt to point to what it's trying to say. Boobs is boobs.

I forgot to mention that Boobs will be a high class dining establishment, the kind of place where they ask you what kind of water you want.

Alrighty then. As long as you invite us all to your soft opening!

"Alrighty then. As long as you invite us all to your soft opening!" Trixie

Yes please do..keep us abreast of what is happening!

I bet Corey's restaurant will be a perky place...

I find it difficult to believe that a place named "Boobs" would have a *soft* opening.

Of course, I could be a titwit.

Well, it is agreed, boobs are funny.

It is one of those words that you can't help but smile when you say it, and I normally follow it up with a round of Homer Simpson's "tee-hees".

Oh for Pete's sake. Given that e-mail, I think that we will all understand a little crankiness now and again.

Thanks for the mammaries.

I'm thinking that by tomorrow morning, this entire post will need to be deleted.

I'm actually thinking of making it the Comment of the Week. EL

Bonus points (two of them) to jl.

Aw, come on, Laura Lee! You know the doctors are always telling us we have to pay more attention to boobs.

Raise your arm and circles, now, girls.

At Boobs, the servers all wear these cute little head scarves known as Boobuschkas, along with baby blue Boobs bibs.

Nice idea. My restaurant is going to be called "Weiners" and all the servers are going to be young men in tight shorts with hot dogs printed on the front.

Corey is finally going to get a Comment of the Week?

It must be a cold day in Hell.

Lets not get ahead of ourselves here Bob. I've put my heart out there and been burned in the recent past. I'm not counting my chickens before they're breaded and deep fried.

I don't think EL would tease you like that, Corey. I think you are a lock.

Where was this photo taken? The space looks perfect for a party.

K -- Mousing over the pic says it is the Volt Conservatory.

Post a comment

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

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.

Top Ten Tuesdays
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Restaurant news and reviews Recently reviewed
Browse photos and information of restaurants recently reviewed by The Baltimore Sun

Sign up for FREE text alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for dining text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Food & Drink newsletter
Need ideas for dinner tonight? A recommendation for the perfect red wine?'s Food & Drink newsletter is there to help.
See a sample | Sign up

Stay connected