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April 26, 2010

A tattoo-friendly wine bar

Jesse SandlinFormer "Top Chef" contestant Jesse Sandlin and Rosina Gourmet owner Jim Lancaster are teaming up with a new restaurant on the edge of Harbor East and Little Italy.

Vino Rosina will be upscale sandwich place by day, wine bar by night. Lancaster will be owner. Sandlin, executive chef.

The restaurant will seat 70. It is expected to open in mid-May in the Bagby Furniture Building at Fleet and South Exeter streets, across from Whole Foods. 

At lunchtime, the restaurant will offer Rosina Gourmet sandwiches as well as flatbreads, salads and a small bar menu, Sandlin told me. The flatbreads and bar menu also will be available in the evening, along with a selection of raw plates -- carpaccio, ceviche, that sort of thing. There will be a lot of small plates designed to be paired with a glass of wine, like olives or charcuterie, plus a "killer cheese selection."

Sandlin hopes to source much of her food locally. She has already hooked up with Gunpowder Bison, is looking into buying beef from a farm near Monkton, and plans to use Maryland-farmed Marvesta Shrimp. She'll be shopping at the Baltimore Farmers' Market.

But Sandlin said the food will not be strictly local. That cheese selection, for instance, will come from American, Italian, French and Spanish cheese makers.

"We're definitely not Woodberry Kitchen," she said.

Sandlin also said the restaurant will not be a coat-and-tie kind of place.

"A person like myself, who has all these ridiculous tattoos, I should be able to come eat at the restaurant where I work at and not feel uncomfortable," she said. "It will be focused on the quality of food, quality of wine, quality of service, but in a fun, casual atmosphere."

Before this venture, Sandlin had worked most recently as a line cook at Cinghiale. Her last day there was Saturday. Joining her at the new restaurant are two other former Charleston Restaurant Group employees. Olivia Boru, a former sommelier at Charleston, will be beverage manager. Tiffany Haleamau, an assistant manager at Cinghiale, will be general manager.

Bravo photo
Posted by Laura Vozzella at 5:10 PM | | Comments (17)


Good food plus a laid-back atmosphere sounds like a winner to me!

Ditto. I'm always looking for places like that.

Not me, I'm looking for staid places with dress codes. Oh if only the Baltimore Country Club and the Maryland Club would have me.

Pop a collar, preppie. I will destroy you in the mosh pit!

Possibly the reason RoCK is not in the Maryland Club is because the few times we have been guests there, I brought plastic lined bags to make off with their FRESH hearts of palm!

Sounds like a great place. I wonder what Jill Snyder's doing these days?

Abercrombie (sp?) was unreal when she was there - I can't wait for this to open.

I hope that they have some quality beer, too.

Food? Meh. Wine? Rock!

RoCK: You must not be conservative enough. Might I suggest boat shoes, a striped tie and some sort of sailing hat?

renfield: Jill is at Woodberry, or at least was as of early March when I was there.

Good luck to Jesse. Getting anything off the ground right now is harder than hell.

RoCK has all those accessories and more.

Hey Jess a blast from your past(the d zone). Much luck and congrats. Kyle and I will be out to see the news place!!!

Jesse....F A N T A S T I C....
sounds like your kind of place and mine too. Wine, cheese, olives and topas like goodies.

Am I in Paris or Baltimore ? As lon as Jesse is the Chef, I'm there.

Jesse....F A N T A S T I C....
sounds like your kind of place and mine too. Wine, cheese, olives and topas like goodies.

Am I in Paris or Baltimore ? As lon as Jesse is the Chef, I'm there.

Jesse, I am soooo proud of you.

Definitely also shows how times have changed and people are more accepting of people with tats compared to even 15 years ago.

Except for an older relative of ours who once stopped a young lady on the boardwalk to say, "Dear, it isn't pretty."

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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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