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May 1, 2010

Silo Point, sustainability and Michael Costa

Silo Pint

Something interesting could be in the works for Silo Point and chef Michael Costa.

Jerry Edwards, owner of the catering company Chef's Expressions, said he's been talking to the owners of Silo Point, the luxury condo development built around a former grain elevator in Locust Point, about taking over two spaces there.

One would become a wine bar restaurant. The other, a gourmet market. Costa, late of Pazo, would be executive chef.

It is not a done deal, however.

"We have a management team in place investigating right now," Edwards said. "We're in the last stages of writing a business plan."

But here's the idea.

The restaurant would offer small plates and an "ever-changing entree menu, almost daily, very seasonal," Edwards said. "it will really focus on wines, though. Lots of sustainably grown, biodynamic, organic and really world-class wines that are very unusual for people to find in this town. ... Every item will have a wine match paired with it. The wines will lead. We'll pick a wine and develop a dish around the wine."

Price-wise, he said it would be "mid-range, very reasonable. it's not going to be fine dining, but it will be fine food, a lot of it being prepared right in front of you."

The place would seat 40 to 60 people, plus another 40 under cover outside in season. Live music is a possibility.

The gourmet market would be in another building, a parking lot away, in the Silo Point complex. The focus would be on prepared entrees. "You might get a stuffed tenderloin or roasted free-range chicken, potato-crusted halibut," Edwards said.

The market would sell some local cheeses and maybe a few essentials like eggs and dairy, all from local farms. It might even become a CSA drop point, where people could pick up weekly produce deliveries from local farms. But it would not aim to become a mini-Whole Foods, Edwards said.

Both restaurant and market -- neither has a name yet -- would tap into the "farm-to-table concept," Edwards said. But he said his priority would be sustainable ingredients, not strictly local ones.

"Kind of like Woodberry Kitchen meets Silo Point -- not as strict as my buddy Spike is, not having limes in your bar," Edwards said. "We're not going to be pushing the local part in the wine bar as much as sustainability. if we bring in a fish from Alaska, it's because it's sustainable."

Sun photo by Amy Davis
Posted by Laura Vozzella at 8:13 AM | | Comments (23)


Oh boy another small-plates-and-also-wine-and-also-its-cashing-in-on-farm-to-table-with-a-prepared-food-market concept.

What's this about no limes in the bar?

Jerry Edwards was suggesting that Woodberry Kitchen's chef is such a local-foods purist that he does not allow limes in the bar. I've just checked with Woodberry's PR guy, however, and he said that they do, indeed have limes. Lemons, too. LV

You have got to be joking me? Jerry Edwards????? He has no concept, just locations. It won't work. I hope that the owners of the property have really considered the catering end of this guy and have built into the agreement that he pay a percentage of all large partys booked go to house.

Jerry please tell me how a fish from Alaska flown to Baltimore be sustainable?

Jerry please tell me how a fish from Alaska flown to Baltimore can be sustainable?

Jerry please tell me how a fish from Alaska flown to Baltimore can be sustainable?

Doesn't sustainable means it's not overfished, regardless of where it's from?

Marjorie, sustainable is not necessarily the same as local.

Dahlink, sustainability is also about reducing the negative impact foods have on the environment. Flying fish from Alaska to Baltimore is not sustainable.

So I guess that means no citrus fruit, pineapples, bananas or kangaroo in Maryland ever again. I'm really looking forward the new Dark Ages. Yabba dabba scurvy!

Marjorie, what Owl said, although I'll skip the kangaroo. And I would add that I'm not about to give up wines from around the world!

The 'roo was a joke. Anyway, if we have to subsist on what we can grow in the Shire, I'm out. You can eat local and still wipe out the animal populations. Maryland used to have an abundant terrapin population until somebody decided that turtle soup was good.

A lot of this green and sustainable stuff is starting to feel like a gimmick. Plus you'll have to pry me Jameson's from me cold dead hand before I start drinking anything made in Maryland except some beers, but I doubt that the hops are local.

What I find interesting about this article is that the Sun is reporting on something that hasn't happened yet or has a very small chance of becoming a reality.

"Plus you'll have to pry me Jameson's from me cold dead hand before I start drinking anything made in Maryland except some beers, but I doubt that the hops are local."

You'd be surprised. There's a lot more local hop farms nowadays than you'd think. The link below has "donated" more than a few to Clipper City and other locals.

I think clicking the "post" button three times is unsustainable. Killer on the bandwidth.

I personally, am psyched for this, should the deal materialize. Sobo peninsula doesn't have any places to get good produce or really good prepared foods on the weekends, as the Cross St. market has the most ridiculous hours possible.

I also don't buy Silo Point condo-dwellers bragging about Harris Teeter being a 'selling point' of Silo. Its a good mile away, outside the 'walkable grocery' range IMHO.

I thought Silo's leasing people were originally talking to Dean & Deluca? I guess those conversations probably ceased when they furnished their condo sales statements.

Agreed with Stagger as well btw...Pikesville Rye needs a higher-end product. Rye is back baby!

The site of the proposed, future Harris Teeter is no more than a third of a mile away from Silo Point. Still having doubts whether that Harris Teeter will ever materialize though...

Hey Costanza

Maybe you should actually set foot in Locust Point as the whole peninisula from Foundry on Fort to the entrance of Ft Mchenry is only a mile long.


The length of fort ave from The intersection of Laurence to Ft McHenry is only a mile long so yea, Silo Point is at most 1/3 mile away from the Harris teeter site at woodall and fort.

Every time I pass that Harris Teeter coming soon sign the date changes! Wasn't it supposed to open in 2009? How is a project that delayed?

@Clint, once post could have done it. Let's stay sustainable.

It also seems you forget that Silo is not on Fort Avenue. Maybe you should set foot on Google Maps and check it for yourself...

3800ish feet, just about 3/4 of a mile. I don't know how many people who paid $400+k for a condo are going to be schlepping a shopping cart 3/4 of a only point is its out of walking distance for Silo residents and an uber-local smaller grocery specializing in prepared foods would likely have real solid sales to residents of Silo. NVA apartment/condo filing cabinets do stacked/small footprint grocery tenants all the time and they do very well in most cases.

If you want to get into a leasability or sales per sqft argument, I'm absolutely game, but I set foot on the peninsula everyday, and I know its not a third of a mile. Nuge.

BTW @Babs the developer of McHenry Row, Mark Sapperstein had serious financing issues that got every one of his financiers nervous and they stopped allowing construction draws, hence stopping construction and delaying delivery. I'm very eager for it to open too and put Shopper's and their brown bananas out of business, but imagine the patience required if you had $5-10MM of your own dough invested in the project. Tough business to buy and build these days.

Actually multiple identical posts are not green but they are sustainable. I can't believe that people will ever run out of comments.

A lot of this green and sustainable stuff is starting to feel like a gimmick. Plus you'll have to pry me Jameson's from me cold dead hand before I start drinking anything made in Maryland except some beers, but I doubt that the hops are local.

Undoubtedly, it is. But I'd rather that be the gimmick, than touting the finest beluga caviar, from the most endangered sturgeons of the most fragile parts of the Black Sea.

It's hardly a dichotomy between spartan gruel, and the conspicuous consumption of the Reagan era or the Naughty Aughties. And I'm sure many of the iBankers and Plastic Surgery Frequent Fliers That Love Them would be eating baby seal carpaccio, if that was the current food fashion. That they're going to farmers' markets and eating at Woodberry, I hope is more of a good thing than not.

Eating green, like so many other things these days, is balance of compromises. Remember that all that local eating also puts agricultural waste into the watershed, which is no small contributor to the collapse of the Chesapeake fishery -- which is why we're importing so much seafood to begin with.

There's no single, perfect, green answer. It's about weighing competing, and conflicting needs and priorities.

Maybe they could set up a tent in the produce section. Of course then they'd have to schlep halfway across the store to the deli counter.

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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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