Firenze adds a beer garden, while the Wine Market Bistro rebrands into Ludlow Market, Bar & Bottle Shop.
Cornhole, anyone? Reisterstown’s Ristorante Firenze recently added the Peroni Beer Garden to the Main Street bistro, where guests can dine from Firenze’s regular menu or the new beer garden’s lite-fare menu.
It’s a laid-back, casual atmosphere featuring Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, live music on the weekends and lots of games — bocce, horseshoes and, yes, cornhole. The beer garden menu includes sandwiches, burgers, pizza pretzels, wine, cocktails and imported drafts featuring – yes, you got it — Peroni beer.
The Wine Market Bistro, located in the Foundry on Fort Avenue in Locust Point, has closed but is rebranding itself as Ludlow Market, Bar & Bottle Shop. Owner Christopher Spann has hired Chef Christopher Audia, formerly of Tail Up Goat in D.C. and No. 9 Park in Boston.
After 15 years in business, Regi’s American Bistro in Federal Hill has closed its doors. But owner Alan Morstein plans to open a stall at Mount Vernon Marketplace this summer called AJ’s Deli. Menu options will include corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, omelets and some of Regi’s faves like crab soup and tater tots.
LB Skybar, the fabulous rooftop bar located on the 19th floor of the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel, is now open for the season. New this year, LB Skybar offers an expanded menu and an indoor area with additional seating and a permanent bar. Look for grilled items — wagyu beef sliders, grilled chicken, corn and crab fritters — along with local spirits and craft beers.
And enjoy a fantastic view of the city. The hotel also has a beautiful lobby piano bar, plus valet parking.
A new Pigtown hangout, Old Major (formerly the Cockeyed Cow Saloon), named after the oinker in George Orwell’s classic “Animal Farm,” offers pub food, local beers and liquors. Oh yeah, they make specialty cocktails made with bacon simple syrup as an homage to the neighborhood. And they have skee-ball, pinball and cornhole on the back patio.
MOD Pizza recently opened in The Rotunda in Hampden. This fast-casual concept offers
Artisan-style pizzas and salads.
Local pastry chef Jason Hisley, winner of Food Network’s “Cake Wars,” has opened Cake by Jason on Padonia Road in Timonium. Look for fabulous custom cakes, cupcakes and donuts. Jason is the former owner of La Cakerie, and his stuff is really good.
Well, goin’ downy oshun, Hon? The award-winning Marlin Moon Grille, voted “Maryland’s Favorite Restaurant” by the Restaurant Association of Maryland in 2009, is slated to reopen this month in the new DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront. A fan favorite since 1999, owner/executive chef Gary Beach moved the restaurant to Florida. But they’ve moved back now to an oceanfront location on 33d Street offering a menu featuring seafood and steak dishes, pasta and a raw bar. Welcome home, Marlin Moon.
Grano Emporio, the traditional Italian restaurant located on Chestnut Avenue in a Hampden rowhouse, will close its doors at the end of the month. But fear not. Owner Gino Troia will continue running Grano Pasta Bar, their smaller restaurant on “The Avenue” (36th Street). FYI, they offer gluten-free pasta, and their sauces are seriously tasty.
Sotto Sopra, an award-winning local northern Italian-style restaurant, will host another of its wildly popular Broadway nights on June 3. Enjoy a five-course dinner and memorable Broadway tunes from Irving Berlin’s “Annie Get Your Gun” to Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods,” and other hit shows from the Great White Way. Sotto Sopra is located in a beautiful 19th century building at 405 N. Charles St. The dining room boasts tall ceilings, tile floors, gilded mirrors and a bold, contemporary mural that depicts restaurant life.
Randi Rom is president of RJ Rom & Associates. She is a freelance columnist and writer who represents some of the region’s top restaurants and food-related events. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.