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Petit Louis Bistro hosting pre-opening dining events at Columbia location

Dining and DrinkingRestaurantsBars and ClubsArtCindy Wolf

The restaurateurs Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf have released new information about Petit Louis Bistro in Columbia, the first Howard County venture for their Baltimore-based Foreman Wolf restaurant group.

The restaurant's public opening in early February will be preceded by a series of dining events to benefit Howard County charities. The events include two luncheons, on Wednesday and Friday , and four dinners, scheduled for Tuesday through Friday evening.

The restaurant is accepting reservations to all of the events, each of which will feature a fixed-price menu, including a choice of appetizer, main course and dessert. The cost of the luncheon is $30; the dinner is $50.

Proceeds from the pre-opening events will be donated directly to one of four charities, as designated by each diner: Bridges to Housing Stability, Columbia Festival of the Arts, the Howard County Conservancy and Domestic Violence Center of Howard County.

Columbia's Petit Louis Bistro will serve a menu of classic French cuisine similar to that offered by its namesake restaurant in Baltimore's Roland Park.

The Columbia location will also include a "comptoir," a casual walk-up space serving coffee, pastries and made-on-premises sandwiches, pastries, soups, quiches and salads.

Last June, Foreman Wolf announced that it had signed a 10-year lease with the Howard Hughes Corp. for the 6,943-square-foot location, on the ground floor of the Exhibit Building on Columbia's Lakefront, that previously held the Red Pearl restaurant, which closed in the fall of 2012.

Reservations for the pre-opening events are being accepted at 410-964-9999.

From Parkville, with crab cakes Pappas, the family-owned Parkville restaurant whose crab cakes have an ardent area following, will take over the Cockeysville location on Cranbrook Road where Patrick's closed last year.

"It's going to happen," said Steve Pappas, the restaurant's owner and general manager. Pappas, whose father, Mark Pappas, opened the Parkville restaurant in the early 1970s, said the opening date depends on the acquisition of a liquor license for the Cranbrook property.

The opening could be late spring or late summer depending on how quickly the license is acquired, Pappas said.

In 2010, the Pappas family opened a second restaurant in Glen Burnie.

Patrick's, which has been closed since early July of last year, never posted an official closing notice.  Earlier this month, a message on the restaurant's website, which first appeared last summer, still said, "We are closed for remodeling."

By last week, the website had been updated with this message: "Patrick's has closed. Thank you for years of your loyal patronage — we wish you and your family the best."

The left bank of Hampden Sarah Acconcia, the former executive chef at 13.5% Wine Bar, will be the chef at Le Garage Beer Bar & Frites, a French restaurant opening this spring in the former Dogwood space on 36th Street.

Inspired by the success of new French restaurants in major food markets like New York and San Francisco, Le Garage will serve "working-class" versions of French classics and reinvented peasant dishes, according to an announcement for the new restaurant.

"We wanted to create a place with approachable French food that our friends would crave and could afford," Acconcia said. "If you're going to serve working-class food, you should do it in a neighborhood that has its roots in the working class. We couldn't think of a better place than Hampden."

Charles Patterson of SMG Architects has been engaged to remake the old Dogwood space, which occupies the below-ground level at 911 W. 36th St., into a comfortable neighborhood destination.

"What we're trying to do with the space is to make it warm, approachable and cozy," Acconcia said.

Current plans call for a 60-seat dining area and an 18-seat bar. The street-level storefront space where Dogwood operated a carryout operation will be converted into a frites shop, which will serve Belgian-style fries with Acconcia's homemade dipping sauces, in flavors such as sweet-pea and ginger, smoked paprika aioli, rosemary garlic and Old Bay.

Acconcia has left her sous chef position at Maggie's Farm to help open the new restaurant, which she will be running with Brendan Kirlin, who is also a part-owner of Le Garage.

richard.gorelick@baltsun.com

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