March 17, 2010

Vivica Fox spotted at Milan

vivica fox, whose last name suits her just fine.After helping save Earth from the apocalyptic alien invasion several years ago, Vivica Fox has plenty of free time to dine at fancy restaurants like Milan, where she was spotted Monday.

Fox is in Washington acting in the play "Cheaper to Keep Her," which is playing at the Warner Theatre.

According to Midnight Sun spies, Fox and a guest feasted on small plates, as part of the upscale restaurant/lounge's Milan Mondays special.

Fox and friend consumed Aragpsta Frittelle (fried lobster fritters), Spinaci Intingolo (creamy spinach dip), Polenta di Pisa (crispy polenta cakes, roma sausage, red pepper ricotta pesto, basil oil) and also Aragosta Pasta e Caci (lobster mac 'n' cheese).


Fox washed all that down with a dirty martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives.

Who said Milan couldn't bring D.C. to Baltimore? Heck, it brought Hollywood to Baltimore.

(Photo by Getty Images)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:47 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

March 1, 2010

Recap: Snooki and the Pickle Palooza at Power Plant Live

can you spot the guidette? snooki, center, has her photo taken  with a few upstanding young ladies in Baltimore last week.Pint-sized powerhouse Snooki brought her guidette glamor to Baltimore last Thursday for Pickle Palooza at Power Plant Live.

The "Jersey Shore" star jump-started her night with dinner at RA Sushi (an odd choice, considering RA Sushi doesn't serve Snooki's favorite food: pickles).

Sources say the Snookster slurped on some sake bombs and tried to fist pump with chopsticks in her hand. Now that's hard core "Jersey Shore" style.

At 10:30 p.m., Snickas hit up Power Plant Live, and spent the rest of the night bouncing back and forth between Luckie's Tavern and Mex.

According to Power Plant marketing director Chris Furst, it was quite the night ...

Continue reading "Recap: Snooki and the Pickle Palooza at Power Plant Live" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:29 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings

December 16, 2009

Happy holidays from an all-star cast of local celebrities

I've always liked the poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas," but I love this reading of it. The Baltimore Sun multimedia team corralled dozens of local celebrity types and got them to each read a stanza from the poem.

Marin Alsop, Robert Ehrlich, Joe Flacco, Michael Oher, Hugh Sisson, Martin O'Malley, Susan Reimer, Cindy Wolf, Kimmie Meissner, Marc Steiner, Ed Norris, Sam Sessa and Vic Carter are just a few of the folks who make appearances. Dig it ...

Continue reading "Happy holidays from an all-star cast of local celebrities" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:30 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

October 6, 2009

Mark Clayton and Joe Flacco will be at ESPN Zone tonight

flaccoMark Clayton and Joe Flacco (I mean, do they really need introductions?) will be at ESPN Zone starting at 7 p.m. tonight.

They'll be taping an episode of FOX45 Playbook, but Ravens fans are more than welcome to join the studio audience.

I hear Flacco and Clayton will even be fielding questions from the crowd.

So head down there, check it out, and report back to me tomorrow.

(Photo by Getty Images)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:02 PM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

September 19, 2009

Dan Aykroyd drops by Cockeysville to sign bottles of Crystal Head vodka

dan aykroydYears ago, Dan Aykroyd parodied a salesman on TV. Now, he has become one himself.

In the past few years, Aykroyd started his own line of wines and helped introduce Patron tequila to Canada.

His latest venture? His own brand of vodka, Crystal Head vodka. It's based on the legend of the crystal skulls.

As you see in the photo, Crystal Head Vodka comes in a skull-shaped glass bottle. It's made in Newfoundland and filtered through diamonds. The main Web site has more details about the process.

If you watch the videos on the site, you can't help but wait for the punchline, which never comes. Turns out, there isn't a punchline. Aykroyd is dead serious.

The vodka itself is surprisingly smooth, with a hint of a creamy finish. It actually tastes better neat than chilled, believe it or not. I could actually see myself sitting down and sipping on a glass of the stuff. I've never said that about vodka before. It retails for about $50.

Last week, Aykroyd himself dropped by Cranbrook Liquors in Cockeysville to sign bottles of his vodka and whatever else the dozens of eager "Ghostbusters" fans brought for him. The line of folks waiting for autographs stretched out the store and down the sidewalk.

Around 4 p.m., a large white truck/trailer hybrid rolled up outside the liquor store. After a few minutes, out popped an expansive Aykroyd, sporting an informal black outfit. ...

Continue reading "Dan Aykroyd drops by Cockeysville to sign bottles of Crystal Head vodka" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

September 2, 2009

New York Yankees hold fantasy football draft in ESPN Zone

a-rodPro athletes play fantasy football, too.

Sunday evening, a ton of New York Yankees dropped by ESPN Zone in the Inner Harbor to conduct their fantasy football draft in a private room.

"The whole team was there -- Jeter, A-Rod, Teixeira, Joba, etc.," ESPN Zone publicist Kat Kirsch wrote in an e-mail.

I wonder who got Ray Lewis?

(AP photo)


Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:05 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings

August 24, 2009

Governor Martin O'Malley drops by J. Patrick's

martin o'malley at j. patrick'sGovernor Martin O'Malley hit up J. Patrick's (1371 Andre St.) for a pint late last week, my spies report.

From the glass, it appears he quaffed Guinness. Heh. Quaffed.

According to my spy:

He was there for a while. It was a pretty decent crowd there last night for the advanced irish jam session, much better than the previous weeks.

Believe it or not, their Irish jams are pretty cool -- especially the advanced ones.

I've heard through the grapevine that J. Patrick's has hit on some hard financial times lately. So if you're in the area, be sure to drop by and have a pint or two. 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:01 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings

Shaq drops by Bourbon Street, Red Star

shaq bourbon street baltimoreBasketball star Shaquille O'Neal hit up Red Star Tavern for dinner and Bourbon Street for "drinks" Friday night.

Shaq was in town to race Michael Phelps for an episode of his TV show "Shaq Vs."

On Friday, Former Roommate Patchen called me and said he spotted Shaq going into Red Star. He said he saw a towering monster of a man chilling outside Red Star. When he looked closer, he realized it was Shaq.

Then, Bourbon Street manager Sam Chaney sent me an e-mail about Shaq's appearance at Bourbon Street's Rooftop Terrace ...

Continue reading "Shaq drops by Bourbon Street, Red Star" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:22 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings

May 7, 2009

Dan Marino drops by Morton's in Annapolis

dan marinoFootball star Dan Marino stopped into Morton's in Annapolis Tuesday evening, I'm told.

Marino and four guests feasted on filet mignon, asparagus and mushrooms, among other things.

As you see in the photo, Marino is beginning to look a bit like David Hasselhoff.

Hopefully, Marino is not beginning to act like Hasselhoff. 

Hee hee.

(Photo of Marino with assistant manager John Pacewicz)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

April 9, 2009

Michael Phelps spotted at Sullivan's Steakhouse on opening day

michael phelpsWorld champion swimmer and local hero Michael Phelps dropped by Sullivan's Steakhouse (1 E. Pratt St.) Monday, according to Andrea Kunicky, the restaurant's publicist.

Phelps chowed down on the seafood sampler and the New York strip, Kunicky said.

He was accompanied by about a dozen of his friends.

Phelps, it seems, rolls deep.

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

February 4, 2009

Clay Aiken visit submerged in shellfish controversy

clay aikenDid American Idol star Clay Aiken really drop by a South Baltimore restaurant and bar last Sunday?

Or was it ... Clay Faiken?

When reports first emerged that Aiken had eaten crabcakes at Regi's American Bistro, Aiken's fans (commonly known as Claymates) cried foul. 

"I don't believe the story sence he was seen somewhere else plus he's allergic to shellfish," wrote one anonymous commenter.

This murky little mystery begs the question: What exactly is a shellfish?

According to the Food Lover's Companion, "shellfish" is a "broad term for all aquatic animals that have a shell of some kind. Shellfish are separated into two basic categories -- crustaceans and mollusks."

Shrimp, lobster, crabs and crayfish are all crustaceans. Snails, squid, oysters and octopuses are mollusks.

Is Aiken allergic to one subcategory? Or both?

Aiken's management has not returned a phone call or e-mail, and Alan Morstein, the restaurant's owner, stands by the sighting.

(Photo courtesy of the Hodges Partnership)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:50 PM | | Comments (50)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings

Clay Aiken spotted at Regi's Bistro

clay aikenAmerican Idol star Clay Aiken stopped by Regi's American Bistro (1002 Light St.) this past Sunday to watch the Superbowl.

Apparently, he was "Aiken" for some seafood: He had Maryland crab soup and crab cakes, according to Regi's owner Alan Morstein.

No word on how well Aiken tipped. And as we all know, the size of your gratuity is the Measure of a Man.

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:18 PM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings

November 12, 2008

Justin Timberlake spotted at Power Plant Live

Justin TimberlakeJustin Timberlake was in town Monday for a tour of Power Plant Live, sources tell me.

Not much is open at Power Plant Live on Mondays, which makes me wonder why he dropped by.

Maybe he's thinking about making an investment in the entertainment district, or doing a free show there. Maybe he will bring sexy back to Power Plant Live. I'm not sure.

I'm also not sure how long he stayed or what time of day he was there. I just know he was there.

"He liked what he saw," one source told me.

Sorry to be so vague. But celebrity sightings -- especially pop royalty like Timberlake -- are a rare thing in Baltimore.

If anybody knows anything else about this, please dish.

(AP photo) 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:14 PM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

October 20, 2008

Lindsay Lohan spotted at Mosaic

lindsay lohan, samantha ronsonMovie star Lindsay Lohan (pictured, on right) dropped by Mosaic in Power Plant Live Friday night to see her girlfriend, DJ Samantha Ronson, spin.

Lohan and Ronson arrived around 11:30 p.m. Lohan hunkered down in a booth during Ronson's set, event promoter Heidi Klotzman said. Klotzman's, HeidnSeek Entertainment, partnered with Mosaic for the show. 

"It was like a stampede," Klotzman said. "All the girls were going crazy and taking pictures." 

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:28 PM | | Comments (85)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

October 6, 2008

Michael Phelps drops by Morton's

michael phelpsLocal aquatic rock star (and pro-fist pumper) Michael Phelps took a break from his day of celebrations to dine at Morton's The Steakhouse, according to Midnight Sun's tippity top secret source there.

After the Fort McHenry fireworks ended (around 8:30ish), Phelps, his momma and the rest of the crew (about 20 people) rolled into a private boardroom at Morton's and chowed down.

Phelps had an iceberg salad, double filet, green beans, mashed potatoes creamed spinach and shared a dessert trio.


(AP photo) 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:36 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

October 1, 2008

The verdict on Joel Madden & Angels Rock Bar

judge sam's gavelAll right. We've heard from all sides of this strange little story. Now Judge Sam is going to reach a verdict on the issue.

In his email, Joel Madden sounds grounded and sincere, and I believe him when he writes that he would never "just cancel on anyone for no reason."

I think it's great he would agree to DJ at Angels Rock Bar's one-year anniversary party at a fraction of his usual fee.

And as Jake Miller of Power Plant Live states, Madden signed a contract that let him back out of the gig up to 14 days beforehand. Madden abided by the rules of said contract.

Mr. Miller and his associates acted in poor taste when they printed those T-shirts. And as for this being an example of celebrities getting away "every day with awful things the common man would not," Mr. Miller, you signed a contract with a cancellation clause. End of story.

Henceforth, I am imposing a six-month moratorium on the editorial mentioning of Angels Rock Bar on this blog. 

Case dismissed.

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 5:17 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings, Local music

Jill Snyder to compete on Bravo's 'Top Chef: New York'

jill snyder's handy workThe rumors are true: Red Maple executive chef Jill Snyder is one of 17 contestants on Bravo's Top Chef: New York.

Now in its fifth season, the show pits chefs in cook-offs and various other culinary competitions. The winner gets a grand prize of $100,000 to help open a restaurant.

Snyder, a 28-year-old native of Latrobe, Penn., went to Baltimore International College and studied under Spike Gjerde (of Woodberry Kitchen renown). According to a bio Bravo provided, Snyder eventually wants to run a small resort and give people rides on her hot air balloon. Yes, a hot air balloon.

I spoke with Snyder a couple years ago for an article about pairing cocktails with swanky snacks. Snyder told me how the tapas at Red Maple perfectly fit the bill.

"You don't want something that you have to cut with a fork and a knife," Snyder said. "Generally, we serve everything with chopsticks so you can just kind of take a bite, maybe leave it for a second and take another bite, and it's done."

(Photo by Monica Lopossay/Sun photographer) 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:47 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings

Angels Rock Bar weighs in on Joel Madden drama

angels rock bar baltimore

Well, we already read Joel Madden's account of the Angels Rock Bar drama.

Here is Angels Rock Bar's side of the story, as told by Jake Miller, a vice president at Power Plant Live:


You sent Reed Cordish an email about tee shirts and Angels Rock Bar. Sorry he didn’t get back to you quickly enough.  

Joel didn't just cancel; he did it on the club’s 1 year anniversary with less than 15 days notice, after the club had committed thousands in advertising and resources. His contract had an “out” up to 14 days before the show. He literally cancelled 3 hours before that period. We were not even given a reason. At that point, we had already promoted his appearance for 5 weeks prior. He did damage that could not be “repaired” in 14 days ...

Continue reading "Angels Rock Bar weighs in on Joel Madden drama" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:02 PM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings, Local music

Joel Madden responds

joel maddenGood Charlotte lead singer Joel Madden wants to shed some light on all the drama surrounding his canceled appearance at Angels Rock Bar.

Here is an e-mail he sent me late last night:


Very interesting article. I usually take these things with a grain of salt, and would never even get into something like this. Being from Maryland though, I really do care what my hometown thinks of me. No one can dispute my love for this state, and this town. I have an oriole tattooed behind my ear.

Anyways, I had no idea any of this was going on until I read your article, and I was pretty surprised. I booked the gig at Rock bar as a favor for a friend of mine. I agreed to do it at whatever price they could afford, which was only about a fourth of what I get paid for gigs, and I was actually excited to come hang out with all my friends at home, have a home cooked meal at my moms house, and relax. 

As the gig got closer, some unexpected things came up, and some things that I just felt were more important than going home. ...

Continue reading "Joel Madden responds" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:04 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings, Local music

September 16, 2008

Rider Strong drops by Max's

rider strongOr maybe I should have titled this blog "Boy Meets Max's." Hee hee.

Actor Rider Strong (of Boy Meets World fame) visited Max's Taphouse (737 S. Broadway) for three hours last Friday during the bar's first German Beer Fest.

Strong (pictured, as a child, to right) started with German beer and switched to Belgians, according to general manager Gail Furman.

"I was adamant about [people] leaving him alone," she said. "No one bothered him."

The festival was a hit, and will be back for a second round next year, Furman said. 

(Stock photo) 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:03 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

August 13, 2008

Trent Reznor chills with the plebes

trent reznorPardon me for getting my Perez on, but I wanted to point out a semi-famous figure in this photograph.

Not only is Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor a fan of Iggy Pop and the Stooges, he's not afraid of wading out into the great unwashed to watch Pop play.

I dig that.

Props to Rezzy.

And I'm not sure who took this photo, but whoever you are, good spot.



Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:06 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

July 17, 2008

Did John Mayer fake the joke?

john mayerA couple days ago, Amie and I were talking about the perverted joke John Mayer made at his Merriweather show Sunday night.

Looking back on it, we got the feeling there was no girl holding that sign -- that he planned the joke ahead of time and just acted like the girl was there.

Mayer has a history of cracking bad jokes at his shows (and occasionally at comedy clubs, which I'm sure his publicist looooves).

But it's bugging me.

So John, on the off chance you Google yourself and spot this blog entry, can you tell me:

1) If that girl was really in the audience or if you faked it


2) Why are you flirting with comedy in the first place? 

(AP photo) 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:55 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

July 11, 2008

Bo Bice of 'American Idol' at Seacrets

bo biceCeleb alert: American Idol star Bo "Look at my tattoo" Bice is coming to Seacrets this Sunday.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think he's performing.

Fact: With such long brown locks and a semi-unbuttoned shirt like this one, the ladies will be swooning.

Rumor: Bice was thrown out of a New York City bar after picking a fight with a member of the New York Giants in 2006, according to Page Six.

Now, that's American! 

If anyone goes, be sure to report back with details.

Even if you don't, I'll still find out. There's no keeping Seacrets (pun!) from Sam Sessa. 

(AP photo) 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:46 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings

July 2, 2008

Jenna Bush sighting(s)

MS reader Bill came through with the first Jenna Bush sighting.

Check it out ... 

Continue reading "Jenna Bush sighting(s)" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:20 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

March 18, 2008

Hard times for Chris Sligh?

Chris Sligh (pictured), a finalist in last year’s American Idol competition, performed at the Open Door Cafe in Bel Air this past Saturday.

About 75 people paid $5 each to see Sligh sing and play guitar for about an hour, along with a backup percussionist.

Sligh got a cut of the money made at the door.

Afterward, he signed autographs, said cafe manager Rich Corbin.

“They loved him,” he said. “Everybody had fun.”

You could say one of two things about this ...

Continue reading "Hard times for Chris Sligh?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:53 AM | | Comments (82)
Categories: Celebrity sightings, Local music, Random stuff

March 6, 2008

How surreal is this?

I never thought I'd ever see a video clip of Isaac Hanson (from the band of the same name) giving away his shoes to a homeless man in Baltimore.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:21 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

December 11, 2007

Chris Brown sighting

Visiting celebrities love to go to ESPN Zone.

Got this note yesterday:

R&B artist Chris Brown came into ESPN Zone in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon with a group of about 30 friends and family to celebrate the birthday of his young backup dancer, Lil Scooter. 

Two bodyguards stood watch outside the Bristol Suite (the private room where the party took place) while the group ate and watched football. 

They brought two birthday cakes including one cake in the shape of an actual miniature scooter. 

They stayed for about two and half hours and left when the football games wrapped up.

(AP Photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:06 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

November 19, 2007

Fallon, Johansson and more

If you need another celebrity fix, read my short piece in today's paper about more movie star sightings around town this weekend.
Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:04 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Celebrity sightings

November 16, 2007

Jimmy Fallon at Ale Mary's

Actor Jimmy Fallon (pictured) and his fiance, producer Nancy Juvonen, dropped by two Fells Point restaurants for appetizers and dinner last night.

(Juvonen is in town working on He's Just Not That Into You.) 

First, the couple noshed on crab dip and pigs in a blanket at Ale Mary's on Fleet Street around 5:30 p.m.

Their drinks? A Tanqueray and tonic and a seven and seven.

Then the pair headed to Peter's Inn for dinner.

"A very laid-back couple -- very cool," said Mary Rivers, the namesake of Ale Mary's. "They left a good impression."

Rivers had her picture taken with them. I'll see if I can post it later. 

(AP photo) 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:46 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings

Scarlett Johansson watch

If you're out and about tonight and tomorrow night, keep your eyes peeled for Scarlett Johansson (pictured).

She's in town the next couple days shooting the movie He's Just Not That Into You.

If you see her or Jennifer Connelly, let me know asap.

(AP photo) 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:06 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Celebrity sightings

May 4, 2007

Method Man sighting

Rapper and former Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man showed up at ESPN Zone last night to munch on cheese fries and watch NBA playoff games with three special lady friends.

I don't think he had a concert in town. He just strolled in around 7 p.m. and stayed for a couple hours, said ESPN Zone's regional marketing manager Leigh Friedman.

“That caused a bit of a stir,” she said.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:12 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Celebrity sightings
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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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