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Fourth of July packages abound

Baltimore restaurants at or near the Inner Harbor have put together all-inclusive Fourth of July packages, including picnic-inspired menus and front-row seats for the fireworks. They're not cheap, but at least you'll have something to tell people at work on Friday.

Wit & Wisdom and Pabu, the restaurants at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, are promoting the panoramic views from their waterside location. The Fourth of July Celebration at Wit & Wisdom (200 International Drive, 410-576-5800, witandwisdombaltimore.com), 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., will feature musical entertainment, a kids' zone, a Heavy Seas beer garden and a menu of all-American picnic fare. The cost is $70 ($35 for children).

Pabu (725 Aliceanna St., 410-223-1460, pabuizakaya.com) is taking reservations for a Foodie Fourth of July Festival, a four-course family-style meal prepared by executive chef Jonah Kim and a trio of guest chefs from the Alexandria, Va.-based Neighborhood Restaurant Group. The cost is $65. The July Fourth dinner service will be followed by an "Industry After Hours" party from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Chefs from the Bagby Restaurant Group are roasting pigs in the courtyard space between Fleet Street Kitchen and Ten Ten American Bistro. The Bagby Fourth of July Barbecue Block Party (1010 Fleet St., 410-244-1311, bagbys1010.com) also includes raw Chesapeake oysters, beer from Union Craft Brewing and bluegrass music. The cost is $55.

But the biggest shindig looks to be at on the Topside Lounge and upper deck areas at the Rusty Scupper (402 Key Highway, 410-727-3678, rusty-scupper.com). The annual Independence Day Crab Feast, 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., includes all-you-can-eat crab, music and a picnic-inspired menu. The cost is $89.95 ($35 for children).

Changes at the Prime Rib Don't anybody panic. No one's touching a thread on the leopard-print carpeting.

The Prime Rib is closed until July 15 for some renovations, but most of them are in the kitchen. The changes "out front" will be mostly cosmetic, according to the restaurant's co-manager Brad Black, using the industry phrase for a restaurant's public areas.

The biggest change out front for the Mount Vernon-area restaurant will be to the ladies' room, which is getting a "long-overdue" makeover from Rita St. Clair Associates, and to the smaller dining room off to the side of the main dining room.

Some of the changes to this room are structural — it's getting a new ceiling — and others are cosmetic: There will be new sconces on the wall when the Prime Rib opens.

Another change to the small dining room is practical. The restaurant is installing pocket doors that will let it create a private dining space that will hold up to 30 people. Its primary use will be for business groups, and Black said it will primarily be used early in the week. It will be equipped for standard audio-visual needs.

There will be a few minor cosmetic changes to the main dining room. Some black drapery will be replaced with gold, which said is the color they were before they were black.

"It's not like we're having a complete overhaul," Black said, "Nothing that you love will really change."

The Prime Rib closed for renovations Monday and will reopen July 15.

Make room for appetapas A new restaurant named Stone's Cove KitBar has opened at the Boulevard College Center in Owings Mills.

This is the second Stone's Cove KitBar; the first one opened last year in Herndon, Va.

The KitBar concept is credited to its founder and CEO, B.J. Stone, whose idea of a combination kitchen and bar, or KitBar, sprung from his observation that guests at a party love to congregate in the kitchen while the host is preparing dinner.

Stone's brainchild puts guests around one of the restaurant's open-kitchen stations, where they are served by a "ChefTender," a combination waiter, bartender, chef and entertainer.

The menu's highlights are Appetapas, shared plates that are not quite appetizers and not quite tapas, and Edibations, a foursome of little nibbles on porcelain Appetapa spoons.

Stone's Cove KitBar is at 10997 Owings Mills Boulevard. For more information call 410-205-7258 or go http://www.stonescove.com.

richard.gorelick@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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