Vol 4 • #2 april-may 2009
The Local Take on Good Food, Fine Wine & more…
on the farm
Marvesta Shrimp Farms
in the kitchen at Jack’s Bistro
our common table
Days of Taste
a reason for the season Hydroponically Speaking
An Ancient Grape Comes of Age
Two Boston Street Bars complimentary
OPENING APRIL 09â€™ A Nuevo Latino Tapas Restaurant with a South Beach Attitude
Visi t Ta l a ra this April in Harbor East
RAW WITH A TWIST
For a sneak preview, visit www.talarabaltimore.com. Sign up for our newsletter to receive opening details and promotions. 615 President Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, www.talarabaltimore.com
april - may • 2009 principal • celeste corsaro •contributing writers stan bliden celeste corsaro kerry dunnington scooter holt bonnie north randi rom john shields •layout & design jaime leiner •photography marty katz dave kone •founder bonnie north
departments Celeste’s corner - 4
the Charm City Scoop
On THE FARM - 6
at Marvesta Shrimp Farms
in the kitchen - 10
with Ted Stelzenmuller at Jack’s Bistro
OUR COMMON TABLE - 14
Days of Taste with Our Kids
•sales & marketing celeste corsaro email@example.com 443.465.6076
A Reason for the Season - 20
baltimore eats magazine is published by local eats, llc a baltimore-based, independent publisher p.o. box 8630 elkridge, md 21075
An Ancient Grape Comes of Age
baltimore eats magazine is printed by Cavanaugh Press •linda j. dragonuk, 443.690.4241
WINE TALK - 24
AFTER DINNER - 28
Two Boston Street Bars that Set the Bar Higher
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Reproduction without expressed permission is prohibited. Certified by the international Forest Stewardship Council. FSC’s standards are the highest social and environmental requirements in the forestry sector.
cover: Guinness Cake (Jack’s Bistro) Bailey’s creme anglaise, Jameson snap filled with strawberry cream and chocolate truffle with a fresh strawberry garnish. photo: marty katz/foodshoot.com
his year , we are entering our 4th year in business! In April of 2006, our very first issue was printed and published. In just 3 short years, the farm to table movement has grown rapidly. Consumers are becoming more aware of what they eat and where it comes from. A number of our greatest local chefs, are making huge efforts to source from local farms, when possible, to provide fresh and seasonal menu items.
It has been our pleasure to highlight some of the most talented chefs and farmers in our region. We will continue to promote these participants, by focusing on the metropolitan Baltimore region as a center of culinary excellence and sophistication. In an effort to grow with you, our readers, supporters and advertisers, we will be launching a new and improved website, late this spring. BaltimoreEats.com will be comprised of a restaurant guide, articles, recipes and much more. Stay tuned. Additionally, we are pleased to announce a few new team members. In The Kitchen will be written by Randi Rom, of RJ Rom & Associates. With Randi, photographer and Zagat editor, Marty Katz will be providing us with beautiful food shots and chef portraits. Jaime Leiner will direct design and layout. And last, but certainly not least, Scooter Holt, will be entertaining us with his experiences around town in After Dinner. A warm welcome to all of them!
Here’s to many more years to come! 4 • april-may 09
Happy Hour tuesday – friday 5:00 – 6:30 pm Buy one martini, get your second one for $1. 1/2 price glass of wine and beer Small plate appetizers
Weekly Specials tuesday $15 Fish and Seafood wednesday $10 Pasta Entrée thursday 1/2 price Bottle of Wine Outdoor seating available Pazza Luna 1401 E. Clement St. Baltimore, md 21230
410.962.1212 www.PazzaLuna.us www.pazzaluna.blogspot.com
Live by the Sun ~ Love by the Moon
Monday-Sunday 8am to 9pm
Monday-Saturday 8am-10pm Sunday 8am-9pm
*Free parking at both locations!
*Cafe Open at 7am
ON THE FARM here’s no sign, no
identifying markers of any sort. We turned off the highway just beyond Easton, crunching onto a gravelly drive threading between two clusters of huge greenhouses. One would never suppose that this was the home of one of the brightest and fastest rising stars in the local culinary arena—Maryland’s own farm-raised, antibiotic-free, nonpolluting, sustainably produced, Marvesta Shrimp. If you’ve dined in one of the better restaurants in the Baltimore/ Annapolis/Washington area within the past few months, you’ve probably seen the words “Marvesta Shrimp” on a menu somewhere. Astute chefs realize that many customers will be recognizing the name Marvesta, and appreciate that they are locally sourcing and serving the very best. Yes, Marvesta has done an extraordinary job of “branding” their product, of wrestling open a unique niche in the regional seafood marketplace and solidifying their position within it. That’s just one aspect of the success that three energetic young men have achieved over on the eastern shore, in the little town of Hurlock. They’ve also worked hard at perfecting their production methods and their business model, all the while scaling up to meet the increasing demand for their product. But 6 • april-may 09
most importantly, they started with an innovative approach to modern aquaculture and they stuck with it— succeeding in raising superior shrimp that are good to eat and good for the environment. Only a few years ago Marvesta Shrimp was just an idea being tossed around during summer breaks between three smart college guys, Scott Fritze, Guy Furman and Andy Hanzlik. Scott and Guy had been friends since their boyhood days attending the Friends School in Baltimore’s Roland Park neighborhood. Guy was enrolled in science and biological engineering studies at Cornell and working on a thesis on shrimp farming. Scott introduced him to Andy Hanzlik, his classmate at Bucknell University where they were both on their way to degrees in business management. Guy’s training in the bio-sciences and engineering melded perfectly with the business smarts and marketing savvy that Andy and Scott could bring to the effort. Youthful,
Guy Furman, Andy Hanzlik & Scott Fritze Marvesta Shrimp Farms founders
photography by: dave kone
Marvesta Shrimp Farms daring and idealistic, the three put their heads together and developed a business plan. They rounded up operating capital from “family and friends,” bought land in an open field and broke ground in 2003. “It’s all based upon clean and sustainable production. That’s always been our focus,” Scott proclaims with evident pride, and deservedly so…
OK—Now, for the layman…this “aerobic heterotrophic system” can be described as a biologically complex, and very delicately balanced, method of intensive aquaculture. Known in the industry as ZEAH, the methodology makes it possible to operate a high capacity farm with very little, or even zero water exchange—thus no pollution.
They started with five large hoopstyle greenhouses covering gigantic saltwater tanks about 140 feet long, 30 feet wide and almost five feet deep. Water from the Atlantic is tanked in and filtered down to below 50 microns and run through a UV filter to remove unwanted bacteria, algae, and viruses. Beyond this, they do nothing to the water; they add no hormones or antibiotics, allowing the shrimp to thrive in an environment similar to the wild. Although the exact methodology they have perfected at Marvesta is a closely kept secret, Guy, the scientist, explains the essential approach: “We use a zero-exchange aerobic heterotrophic system which maximizes usable grow-out space.”
Indeed, unlike most of the shrimp farms in existence today, which are usually situated upon (and polluting with their effluvia) mangrove swamps and shallow bays, Marvesta is entirely land-locked. The ocean water they use is occasionally replenished and constantly recirculated, completely eliminating one of the major complaints of environmentalists against intensive aquaculture: the discharge of a high organic load into the natural ecosystem. At Marvesta, the process of farming shrimp begins with the “postlarveals” ordered from a hatchery in Florida. According to Guy: “They’re
april-may 09 • 7
considered the best hatchery in the world because they provide an SPF—that’s a ‘Specific Pathogen Free’—strain of shrimp that we can raise here naturally without antibiotics. They are shipped to us live, when they are between 10 and 17 days old, by American Airlines cargo or FedEx special handling. When the baby shrimp are first brought into the tanks they are about the size of a spec of pepper.” These tiny baby shrimp are raised in juvenile tanks for 40–60 days on a high protein-based feed. When big enough, the juvenile shrimp are transferred to larger grow-out tanks. “Each tank is stocked with shrimp in different stages of development. They’re all staggered depending upon size. We produce fresh shrimp of all sizes, 365 days a year. Every 10 days or so each tank is harvested and re-stocked. It’s like a complete wheel…everything moves in a circle, ” Scott adds.
“These little guys are definitely quite healthy and full of spunk.”
At one difficult point a couple years ago, demand for their shrimp threatened to outstrip their capacity for production and they were forced to step back, do a little re-thinking and expand…leading the way to the newest cluster of greenhouses. Scott points out the additions and improvements they’ve been able to make within the past year. “We’re constantly refining our methods. We built this last summer and it produces almost five times what our first set of greenhouses could produce. We’ve installed a wood 8 • april-may 09
and refuse burner and new solar panels for heat. We’re making the operation more ‘green,’ reducing dependencies on non-renewables and fossil fuels. It’s all geared to developing greater efficiencies, conserving energy, reducing inputs…” Scott explains. Inside, the light is bright, yet softly diffused by the translucent roofing. The air is thickly humid and all around is the swishing sound of water in the tanks. “We have to maintain at least an 80 degree temperature all year-round. This house is heated by the wood and refuse burning unit we saw just outside. It’s winter and it feels nice right now, but it gets a little hot here in the summertime,” Scott laughs. The tanks themselves are each covered in a thick plastic, which Andy and Guy peel back to reveal the shrimp thriving inside. These little guys are definitely quite healthy and full of spunk. They scoop some out and I try to hold one in my hands but it springs right out of my palm and shoots five feet into the air! “That tail is all muscle,” Andy warns me—a little too late. Marvesta has built its fastgrowing reputation not only on the environmentally conscious methods they use, but also on
the simply superior shrimp they produce, and the speed with which they can get it to their buyers. “We can receive an order at 6am and have it delivered by mid-day,” Scott tells me, “You can’t get shrimp any fresher than that!” Our area’s most sophisticated chefs are understandably excited about this entirely healthy, and bona-fide “Locavore” product. A new cookbook is even being planned, featuring Marvesta shrimp in signature dishes developed by several local celebrity chefs. Summertime grilling season is just around the corner so it’s time now to bookmark www.marvesta.com. And look for Marvesta Shrimp on the menu—all year round. For reservations or info on upcoming events,
Bonnie North is the founder of The Learning call 410-752-3810 or visit: Through Growing Project, which is engaged in www.corksrestaurant.com planting gardens in Baltimore schools.
Corks is conveniently located in historic Federal Hill near the Inner Harbor’s sports stadiums, hotels and attractions. Monday—Saturday 11:30 am–2am
Sunday 10 am–12 am
Sunday Brunch 10 am–4 pm
Join Us For A Cooking ClAss! Chef Pellegrino holds intimate classes of 12 guests. He invites you to join him as he explores the world of food and wine from the simple to the extravagant!
1026 South Charles Street Baltimore, Maryland 410.752.3810 | www.corksrestaurant.com
april-may 09 • 9
IN THE K I TCHEN
Jack’s Bistro alk in as a customer—
leave as a friend. Jack’s Bistro is as warm and inviting as the food is innovative and flavorful. It’s located at 3123 Elliott Street in Canton in the spot previously occupied by Doobies. The City Paper named Chef Ted Stelzenmuller the chef with the best sense of humor. And everything about Jack’s—the name, décor, ambience and unique menu, reflects his quirky and amusing personality—which sets the tone for the entire dining experience.
characterizes as retro Jetson lamps and the walls showcase original shag art. The antique and retro themes come together to create a cozy, friendly and inviting atmosphere.
Chef Ted’s menu as well as the cooking preparation is inventive. He is the only chef in the area to practice the sous-vide (French for “under vacuum”), method of cooking. To maintain integrity, the ingredients are heated for an extended period of time, sometimes well over 24 hours, at relatively low temperatures. Jack’s got its name Unlike cooking in a from the late 1970’s slow cooker, sous-vide television comedy cooking uses airtight Three’s Company, a plastic bags placed in risqué (at the time) hot water well below show about an boiling point (usually irreverent, young, around 60°C or 140°F). handsome chef named The crispy pork belly Jack Tripper living with with grilled tomato two single women. and mache could be The bistro lends itself an advertisement to an air of casual for this technique. sophistication infused Another popular item with a touch of retro “Big Brother’s in named, “Big Brother’s chic. Upon entering Trouble Again” in Trouble Again,” Jack’s, there are two offers sashimi tuna focal points. One is the Sashimi grade tuna, perched atop a fish 1902 carved walnut basil & roasted garlic bowl with live fish. back bar (the property mayo, jalapeno & The crab cakes, a has been a bar since sundried tomato, lemon air. A live fish customer favorite, were 1932) surrounded by swims below. served with Japanese Turkish marble floors purple potatoes and and dark wood booths. asparagus. The second is the open kitchen serving area, which is framed Stelzenmuller supports local by Peruvian tile, and wainscoting. farmers and businesses. “I’d rather The tables feature what Ted continued
10 • april-may 09
photography by: marty katz/foodshoot.com
pictured: Manager Christie Smertycha & Chef Ted Stelzenmuller of Jackâ€™s Bistro
few blocks from Ted’s home. Chef Ted was a past coPresident of the BIC Alumni Association with Chef Daniel J. Hill, of the Main Ingredient in Annapolis and Assistant Director of the Fraternite Gastronomique—an organization of local chefs. Considered a chef’s chef by his peers, Ted has received numerous accolades. The City Paper named his signature pink peppercorn Crab cakes—a customer favorite and lavender ice cream as crab cake served with Japanese purple best new dessert. Baltimore potatoes and asparagus Magazine featured him in their Top 50 restaurants edition. The Baltimore buy local and independent—any Sun called him the most wildly good chef does that,” said Ted. To inventive chef in Baltimore, while that end, Jack’s has a rooftop garden Style Magazine said he was obsessed (in a swimming pool) that yields with pushing boundaries. He is herbs and micro greens. Chef Ted also featured in The Great Chefs of characterizes his food as polarizing– Baltimore cookbook. you either love it or hate it. His vision was to be different Stelzenmuller grew up in Rochester, from other restaurants. “Our menu New York but moved to Baltimore changes with the weather. We offer after his graduation from the a myriad of four-course meals every Baltimore International College (BIC) month featuring cuisines from to be close to his mother, who had around the world. Our staff knows moved to Towson. our regulars by name as well as what their favorite dishes and drinks are.” “I was drawn to the culinary field Chef Ted Stelzenmuller is attracting because I’m artistic and this was a new friends every night at Jack’s creative outlet that allowed me to Bistro. support myself,” said Stelzenmuller. During his time at BIC, he traveled to Ireland to study under two members of Ireland’s Olympic Culinary team, Joseph Clinton and Patrick McGee. At the age of 25, he accepted the position of Executive Chef at Gibby’s Seafood, one of Maryland’s largest privately owned seafood restaurants. At 28, he became Executive Chef at the original Red Fish Restaurant, which was at the height of its popularity. In 2007, he and his mother, Michele Jackson, became partners and opened Jack’s, just a 12 • april-may 09
Jack’s Bistro 3123 E lliott Street Baltimore , MD 21224 www.Jacks B istro. net
410.878.6542 Randi Rom is President of RJ Rom & Associates, specializing in events, promotions and branding.
Afternoon cake and espresso. An early evening nosh with cocktails. A soup to nuts dinner for two or four or more. For good food and fun à la mode in historic Fells Point.
1636 THAMES STREET HISTORIC FELLS POINT BALTIMORE, MD 21231 410-534-MELI (6354) www.baltimoreeats.com
april-may 09 • 13
OUR COMMON TABLE
hen i conjure a
mental image of Our Common Table, I see friends and family, a whole gamut of ages and faces and backgrounds, gathered around a long beautiful table. Here we sit, forks in hand, glasses raised— stories are shared and the talk always comes back, again and again, to the food we enjoy together. It is not mindless chatter, but rather a mindful appreciation for the food of the season.
run, or in front of the television or computer. A lot of children have no taste recognition of a fresh piece of asparagus or a just-picked ear of sweet corn. Too often there is no connection made at all between the take-out, or pre-packaged fare, and the real source of our food.
Luckily, Days of Taste, is addressing this deteriorating state of the family meal and the resulting lack of understanding of what is real food. Days of Taste is a community outreach program of The American When I was a kid, the food talk Institute of Wine & Food (a national at the table always intrigued me. not-for-profit founded by Julia My grandmother and aunts and Child, Robert Mondavi and Richard uncles might talk about where the Graff). The AIWF’s Days of Taste pork for the evening came from— was launched in New York City in usually from Uncle Charlie’s farm in 1995, and modeled upon a program Baltimore County. Another evening developed by a group of French chefs they might be excited about the who were horrified by the junk food succulent fried oysters—brought back children were eating. Last year, Days from the eastern shore that very day. of Taste was presented in about 12 Sadly, for many children now cities across the country by AIWF growing up, such stories and the chapters participating in San Diego, enjoyment of the flavors of seasonal San Francisco, Miami, Dallas, NYC, local food are missing at their family DC, Baltimore, Dayton, Milwaukee table. In fact, often there are no andPM others. Chefs Ad small space horizontal:Layout 1 3/18/09 5:07 Page 1 family tables—just eating on the
Roasted and butterflied lobster with a cucumber citrus floral mélange
fashionable catered events chefsexpressions.com 410-561-CHEF 14 • april-may 09
The first Days of Taste was held here in 1998, when Riva Kahn, Cynthia Glover, and Ned Atwater kicked off the project at St. James Academy. Riva is now the National Chair of Days of Taste and she continues as coordinator of the Days of Taste program in Maryland, keeping it running and on track. Riva recounts that when they first approached local public schools, “They did not want us since they feared anything from a group with “wine” in their name. Betty Legenhausen, the head mistress of St. James, was on the Baltimore AIWF board, so she said we could do a pilot program at her school.” Once they’d proven how positive the program really was, Joan Cohen, of the Baltimore City school system, embraced the project. Eleven years later, two dozen chefs, countless volunteers and thousands of children later, they embark on yet another season of introducing kids to the wonderful world of fresh, healthy food. In 2008, Days of Taste was taken to 15 elementary schools in Baltimore City and County, reaching about 1000 kids total. This year 16-18 schools are scheduled to participate,
including expanding to at least one school in Howard County. Last fall, I was able to experience Days of Taste first hand. A typical Days of Taste class experience occurs over a three-week period where we volunteer one morning each week and work with the students. The morning I arrived at Mt. Washington Elementary, for day one, I was feeling a bit timid and unsure of where to go—sort of like my very first day in school…I walked the halls past rows of lockers a little lost but eventually I found my classroom. Riva and her band of volunteers were already there, busy preparing little tasting cups containing all sorts of food, encompassing tastes from bitter to sweet to sour and salty. After Riva introduced us all and explained the program, we handed out the tasting cups. Riva gave an overview of different tastes while making a drawing on the chalkboard of a tongue. Then the kids were told to try a taste from each cup and shout out what they tasted. The idea is for the kids to articulate the tastes they were experiencing and locate exactly where on the tongue
april-may 09 • 15
that taste was experienced. It was a riot! The bitter tastes had them all screaming and making dreadful faces. When they encountered a pleasantly refreshing or sweet sensation, smiles lit up the room. Day two involves a field trip (literally), to One Straw Farm in Baltimore County, the largest organic farm in Maryland. Here farmer Joan Norman, enthusiastically guides the kids (children, not goats that is…) around the farm. It’s a day of discovery and awe for these children; most have never visited a farm, or seen where food comes from. Joan gets the kids to pick and sample fresh lettuces and greens and shows how crops are planted and how they will be harvested. Joan insists, “You need to try a food at least TWO times before you decide you don’t like it.”
The smiles and laughter from the kids are amazing. Tastes and ingredients that many of us take totally for granted open a whole new world to some of these students. I could see that understanding the wide variations in tastes and texture, and learning how and where food is grown and harvested, are tremendously important lessons for our children. Days of Taste is a marvelous endeavor carried out by a like-minded group of folks dedicated to sharing the wonders of food conviviality enjoyed when we sit—or jump—around Our Common Table. John Shields is the owner of Gertrude’s at the BMA and the author of Chesapeake Bay Cooking and Coastal Cooking. Coastal Cooking with John Shields, airs on PBS nationwide.
On day three we get to the final classroom lesson, preparing a salad from some of the food the kids have seen growing at Joan’s farm. Bowls, utensils, plates and forks are handed out. The magic then begins. It takes some stern looks from the teachers to keep the kids restrained from diving right into preparation. We need to do it one step at a time. No bottled dressing here! A tasty, yet simple, vinaigrette is made from olive oil, a little honey and the juice of fresh lemons. Stirring and mixing is an energetic affair, everyone wanting to get in on the action. Lettuce and sliced veggies are placed into larger mixing bowls. Dressing is poured in and wildly tossed. Voila! A real, totally from scratch, salad is made. Some absolutely love it, while others are not so sure. I do a little investigation as to exactly what it is in the salad that makes it appealing, or not so appealing. We find that by adding or subtracting salad ingredients they can make a salad that works for them. 16 • april-may 09
eats: [eets] noun — 1. food exchange: [iks-cheynj] noun — 1. to trade or deal
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april-may 09 • 17
april-may 09 â€˘ 19
A REASON FOR THE SEASON n mid -february, Martha Lucius, (owner Bohème Café) and I catered a luncheon for a local buyer-grower meeting. The proviso was in keeping with my food philosophy, to source organic local farmers, using seasonal food. Sourcing organic local farmers was easy, compared to sourcing seasonal food, because Maryland farms aren’t producing fruits and vegetables in February.
With the science of hydroponic farming, fruits and vegetables can be grown in areas where climate and/ or soil are unsuitable. Perfect tomatoes can be grown in the desert or in the middle of winter! Hydroponic farming is one of this year’s most popular food trends. Other than sprouts, hydroponic lettuce is the only fresh, locally sourced food available this time of year in Maryland. For the buyer-grower luncheon, I sourced Andrew Maniscalo of Chesapeake Greenhouse who produces a variety of hydroponic lettuce including Boston, red and green oak, romaine, lola rosa, arugula and mizuna. Andrew explained hydroponics [hi-druh-PON-iks] is the science of growing plants in a liquid nutrient solution rather than in soil. The plants are supported in a sterile, inert medium, called rockwool, and are regularly flooded with a waterbased, nutrient-rich solution. The solution is drained off and reused until it is no longer beneficial. The air and light in a hydroponic enclosure is strictly controlled to 20 • april-may 09
insure optimal production. Increased yields are further insured because hydroponically grown vegetables can be planted much closer together than those in the field. Another bonus, hydroponic farmers are not beset by weeds and pests; their crops are pesticide free. As we enter into spring and the months of April and May, not much more is in season in Maryland than was in February. Arugula, asparagus, (April) and baby spinach have nudged their way through winter’s soil. Another of this year’s biggest food trends is to top anything with an egg. For this issue’s recipe, I’ve coated assorted hydroponic lettuce leaves with a zesty vinaigrette dressing and a “froached” egg. My first experience eating a “froached” egg was in a B&B in Scotland. Our hostess explained a “froached” egg is by way of method. Instead of poaching, (the water based method) eggs are fried in oil. Here’s where they turn from being fried to poached to “froached,” a “wee bit” of water is added after the eggs have begun frying, eggs are covered with a tight fitting lid which creates the steaming method used to poach eggs. In my recipe for froached eggs over seasoned fresh greens, warm soft cooked eggs pair beautifully with the delicate and perfectly seasoned hydroponic grown lettuce leaves. Roasted sunflower seeds and sprouts give this dynamic combination wonderful texture.
Pre pa r
at i o n
roo m o m e to rv e s to c in g. s e g k g o e co a llow b efo r e fi r s t e r a u s t a a er, tem per . r d in n entrée n ch o f o r lu h t m a in g li r e o s r u o c
F roac h e d eg g s ov e r s e a s on e d f re sh g re e n s D ijon V i n a igre t t e • 1 teaspoon salt • Several grindings fresh ground pepper • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar • ¾ cup olive oil
S a l ad • Four generous handfuls lettuce leaves, torn into bite size pieces • Canola oil, about 1-2 tablespoons • 4 eggs • ½ cup water • Salt and pepper to taste • Roasted and salted sunflower seeds, about a scant tablespoon per person • Sprouts
In a two-cup capacity jar with a tight fitting lid, combine salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Cover and shake until ingredients are combined. Keep dressing at room temperature until ready to use. In a large bowl, toss salad greens with dressing, just enough to coat the leaves. Divide salad greens among four shallow serving bowls. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat canola oil, add eggs one at a time, season with salt and pepper, add water, (should be just enough to cover bottom of pan) cover, cook for about one minute or until white is firm and yellow is soft. Top salad greens with froached egg and desired amount of sunflower seeds and sprouts. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
The additions to the salad are many and varied; asparagus, tomatoes, crispy bacon, cucumber, crumbled blue cheese, avocado, roasted fennel, shredded carrots, sautéed mushrooms or roasted peppers can be tossed with the greens with great results. Croutons add an elegant touch and crunch. Kerry Dunnington is the author of This Book Cooks and is a member of the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance & Slow Food International. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerry Dunnington Catering seasonal, local, organic
410-243-3508 email@example.com www.baltimoreeats.com
april-may 09 • 21
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An American bistro with an urban eclectic atmosphere. Call 410-962-1220 for more details.
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W INE TALK An Ancient Grape Comes of Age he moment i stepped
into Salvatore Molettieri’s Cinque Querce Vineyard high in the Campanian Hills, about 60 miles east of Naples, Italy, I knew I was in a special place. The slope is steep with a southeast exposure and the elevation is 550-600 meters. The soil is calcareous and clay with a core of volcanic rock that literally changes color from one part of the vineyard to another. It is mid-September and as I devour the ripe figs off a wild fig tree I admire the deeply hued purple grapes on the trellised vines. My first question is when will the harvest begin? The shocking answer from Salvatore’s enologist son Giovanni, is mid to late November. “We have harvested in the midst of a snow storm,” exclaims Giovanni. The vineyard is home to an ancient variety, Aglianico [Ahl-ya-ni-co], an early budding, late ripening, darkskinned Italian grape. Its origin is Greece and was brought over in the 7th century BC to Puglia on Italy’s southeast coast. The Greeks, who controlled southern Italy at the time, quickly noticed the variety thrived
24 • april-may 09
at high altitudes in soil that drained well. The volcanic soils in the hills of Bascilicata, Campania and northern Puglia were perfect. The Romans called it Vitis Hellenica and made their most celebrated wine from it, Falernum. Today, the grape is responsible for making one of Italy’s best wines, which is called Taurasi. Italy has a set of rules and regulations governing how a wine can be named called Denominazione di Origine Controllata or DOC. The best wines of Italy have a designation of DOCG (garantita), Taurasi is the only DOCG of southern Italy. The Cinque Querce vineyard lies in the middle of the DOCG and many critics believe it is the quintessential Taurasi. In 2006, the 2001 Molettieri Taurasi Riserva was awarded the Gambero Rosso red wine of the year, the greatest accolade an Italian wine can receive. The amazing thing about this whole story is that this holy place of vineyards was abandoned until the early 1990’s. Salvatore Molettieri and his father were poor grape farmers selling their product to the likes of Antonio Mastroberadino
(whom many consider the godfather of the great wines of Campania), for very low prices. As luck would have it, Salvatore met Marco de Grazia, Italy’s top exporter of high quality wines. I’m guessing that Salvatore walked Marco through the magical Cinque Querce vineyard and the angels pulled the wallet out of Marco’s back pocket. The rest is history. Much like Cabernet, Aglianico yields a wine of deep ruby color, rich aromas and intense flavors. It has a black fruit core and an affinity to new oak, which adds a spicy vanilla quality, and also has a lovely floral quality not found in Cabernet. Back in the early 1980’s I was lucky enough to meet Mastroberadino. We tasted his 1977 Taurasi Riserva and I was mesmerized. I still have a 3-liter of that wine begging to be drunk in my cellar. The tannins and acid can be quite high in Taurasi, which means it requires extensive aging, but other areas of Campania, Bascilicata and even Sicily are producing wines that are much more approachable at a young age. Molettieri even produces a second wine from the great vineyard called Irpinia Aglianico for early consumption. I salute Molettieri and Mastroberadino for saving this wonderful and ancient grape variety and am encouraged by the many small producers who have added new plantings.
Remember, In Vino Veritas... Stan Bliden, the second-generation owner of Midway Liquors on Pulaski Highway in Joppa, grew up in the wine business. firstname.lastname@example.org
Campagna Gello Carraia Aglianico Sicily 2007 • $9.99 An amazing value that displays a nose of dark red berries and cloves. The palate has juicy berry flavors and soft tannins.
Marianna Moro di Pietra Aglianico Campania 2007 • $11.99 Medium garnet color with a floral nose accented by nutmeg and red berries. Medium bodied with consistent flavors.
Cantina del Taburno Fidelis Aglianico del Taburno 2005 • $15.99 A bit more sophisticated and lush style that is deeply colored, round and soft on the palate ending with a long spicy finish.
De Angelis Lacrima Christi del Vesuvio 2007 • $17.99 Only 50% Aglianico with the balance Piedirosso.
Ercolino Vinosia Irpinia Aglianico 2005 • $17.99 Here’s the one for you big Cab drinkers. A deep dark purple extracted wine with a nose of black fruits and spice.
Salvatore Molettieri Irpinia Aglianico Cinque Querce 2005 • $22.99 This mini Taurasi delivers in a very sophisticated old-world style. The nose of violets, black pepper, earth and cocoa is followed by similar flavors on a medium bodied palate with integrated tannins and long finish.
Salvatore Molettieri Taurasi Cinque Querce 2004 • $59.99 Dense and dark ruby red color with an intense and complex nose of violets, black pepper, liquorice and coffee. The palate is full and rich with ripe tannins and black fruit. Lay this baby away for about 5 years.
Southwestern Cuisine in a cool casual atmosphere
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Noon-6:00pm Margarita Matinee
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Juliet Bodinetz-Rich Executive Director
2318 Fleet Street 410-732-1961
Available for private parties, meetings, luncheons 26 • april-may 09
phone: 443-838-7561 email: Juliet@bilingualhospitality.com web: www.bilingualhospitality.com Approved by all required Maryland Health Departments. Recommended by: Baltimore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, MICROS Mid-Atlantic, Coastal Sunbelt Produce, First Data Services, LLC Referral Partner, Foodservice Monthly, RAMW and Total Image Graphics.
AF TER DINNER irst, let me dispel any
misconception that I take my job seriously.
I would be loathe to think that anyone was under the impression that I had an ounce of journalistic integrity. Was I assigned to cover two bars in Canton, review their beverage program and submit an informative and insightful article in a timely fashion? Absolutely. Did I comply with those guidelines? Absolutely not. I’d been itching to cover Bartender’s and the Gin Mill for quite some time, but “review day” also happened to be St. Patrick’s Day so, being the devout Jew that I am, I decided to shirk my responsibilities and tip on into Mick O’Shea’s and dump pints of beer down my gullet like it was my job. After having redefined the term “Parade Formation,” I rolled my sorry sack down to Little Havana where my lack of work ethic was quickly rewarded. Surrounded by a gaggle of inebriated friends, it was easy to put off my assignment with a few well-placed vodkatonics. All was going according to plan until Celeste Corsaro, marketing director and contributing editor for the very magazine I write for, came strolling in. The jig was up, or so I thought. 28 • april-may 09
After a wag of her finger, I was convinced that I needed to follow through. With Celeste in tow, we made our way to Bartender’s, located at 2218 Boston Street in Canton. Why is Bartender’s an ideal stop for an after-dinner cocktail? Very simple. It’s completely unassuming. With its lacquered bar, trademark ceiling fans and quirky cast of regulars, at first it feels a bit like “Cheers” on acid. But that’s where the similarities stop. Danny Coker, one of the proprietors, happens to be the brother of Chris Coker, sommelier of Corks in Federal Hill. This unassuming bar with its formidable wall of liquor suddenly morphs into a savvy little wine bar. The wine list has Chris Coker’s fingerprints all over it. ‘07 Xarmant Txakoli (an effervescent Spanish crowd-pleaser) tops the “whites” column, a brave move for any wine list. As you dig deeper, you find gems such as ‘05 Neyers Carneros Chardonnay ($40) and ‘04 Talisman “Thorn Ridge Vineyard” Pinot Noir ($70). Should one expect little treasures like this at any other corner bar in Canton? No way. I was quite ready to wrap this project up, but my boss, Miss Corsaro, had other plans. She dragged me to my next assignment, the Gin Mill, located at 2300 Boston Street, which managed to be a great juxtaposition. Where Bartender’s hidden talent was wine, Gin Mill was fluent in cocktails. The joint has definitely been beefed up since the previous owners—boasting a more modern,
Scoote r H olt
lounge feel. As with Bartender’s, a user-friendly food menu is available, but I’ve always preferred a liquid diet. What sets this joint apart is an “historically correct” cocktail menu. Not only are the recipes printed, but the history of the drink is meticulously tracked, and served to you with the facts in mind. Dave Nanovich, our bartender, not only took surgical care in making our cocktails, but told the tale of the drink as he was making it. Who would’ve thought that getting twisted could be so educational? As he relayed the history of my whiskey sour, he cracked an eggwhite into the mixing cup and I almost forgot just how long it was taking to get my drink. But who cares? A REAL cocktail is worth waiting for, and that’s what this place is all about. Think you know what a Cosmo is supposed to taste like? WRONG! The Gin Mill will set you straight. The beauty of this concept is that drunks like me will order things that I would never order in other bars. Celeste’s Vanilla Lavender
Martini went down so easily I found myself distracting her in order to steal another swig. So I got home pretty blood-shot and swervy but, as usual, I took copious notes on random scraps of paper. Fortunately, in my calamitous state, I wrote down that smashing whiskey sour recipe on a slip of crumpled paper that, upon closer inspection, turned out to be the back of a credit card receipt of Miss Celeste Corsaro. A bleary inspection revealed that she spent $4.78 at “The Dizz” which, after a quick Google session, turned out to be the latest incarnation of Dizzy Issie’s. Seriously, who doesn’t carry five dollars in their pocket? Scooter Holt has been in the restaurant industry for over 15 years. He is currently at Corks Restaurant in Federal Hill and can most times be seen in Baltimore’s favorite watering holes, from the glitz and glam, to the down and out, sharing his experiences along the way.
april-may 09 • 29
13 Allegheny Ave . Towson . 410.296.0799
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