Chef Melanie Molinaro is looking to add a little green to the city's dining scene.
Most recently the executive chef at Encantada, Molinaro is partnering with local hydroponic farm Urban Pastoral to open Stall 11, a vegetarian and vegan eatery at R. House. The food hall, housed in a former Anderson Automotive showroom, is opening in Remington later this year.
Molinaro will join Cafe Cito owner Dave Sherman and other yet-to-be-named restaurateurs in the $12 million development.
Stall 11 will serve vegetarian and vegan "street food," with some dishes, like trays of build-your-own lettuce wraps, meant to share. Most menu items will range from $6 to $11, with others as high as $17.
The stall will serve lunch and dinner, with a juice bar and smoothies catering to yogis who attend classes at Movement Lab, the fitness studio opening in R. House.
Other dishes on the seasonal menu will include Korean cauliflower, sweet corn polenta with smoked ragu, and baby kale and black garlic Caesar salad. Molinaro expects Stall 11 to open in September.
Molinaro and Urban Pastoral "both thought, 'How cool it would be to pretty much open a stall that would pretty much source from its own farm?'” Molinaro said.
The produce that doesn't come from Urban Pastoral will be sourced from other local farms.
Originally, Molinaro was thinking of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant — a goal she and her partners at Urban Pastoral still aspire to accomplish after getting Stall 11 off the ground. R. House developers approached them separately about opening concepts in the food hall, and she said the venue will serve as a stepping stone to their next venture.
Molinaro saw a need to fill a dining niche for non-meat-eaters in the city.
"Baltimore doesn’t really have the option out there — there’s very, very few [vegetarian] places," she said, adding that she wants to remove the stigma around vegan foods.
In addition to Encantada at the American Visionary Art Museum, another vegetable-centric restaurant, Molinaro previously worked at Birroteca.