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Entertainment Food & Dining

Salt owner to open bar in Locust Point

Jason Ambrose, the co-owner and founding chef of Salt, has agreed to purchase a tavern on Haubert Street in Locust Point.

"It won't be anything restaurant-y like Salt," Ambrose said. "It will be a 'bar with food.' " There isn't enough room inside the small establishment for tables, he said

After seven years running the kitchen at Salt, Ambrose turned over day-to-day kitchen operations to Brian Lavin.

Ambrose won't close on the property until early November, he said, and the liquor board must approve the transfer of the liquor license to Ambrose from the property's current owners, Inga and Adam Gardner, who operate a bar at the location named The House.

Ambrose said he hopes to have the Locust Point bar open in early 2014.

Modern Mexican for Fells The team behind Bond Street Social and Mad River has secured a liquor license for the Fells Point location where Shuckers closed this summer.

Michael Mastellone, one of the partners in the project, said his team is creating a modern Mexican restaurant concept for the space in the Bond Street Wharf complex, where tenants have struggled over the years in spite of a waterfront location.

"We think it's a good fit for the neighborhood," said Mastellone, who presented plans for the yet-to-be-named restaurant to Fells Point associations prior to last Thursday's hearing at the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City.

Mastellone said that his team, which includes his Bond Street Social partner John Durkin, will be working with SMG Architects to modernize the restaurant facility and make improvements to the outdoor seating area. Bond Street Social chef Neill Howell will also be part of the new venture, Mastellone said.

Bronx on stage The last time Chazz Palminteri performed "A Bronx Tale" in Baltimore, he came away with a restaurant.

It was during the 2009 national tour of his autobiographical, one-man show that Palminteri met the Vitale family, the Little Italy restaurateurs who would become his partners in Chazz: A Bronx Original, the Harbor East Italian restaurant that opened in June 2011.

Now, the Academy Award-nominated actor is bringing his Baltimore adventure full circle. Palminteri will perform in "A Bronx Tale" at the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric on Nov. 16.

The original off-Broadway stage production of "A Bronx Tale" was adapted into a movie starring Palminteri and directed by Robert De Niro. Palminteri's Baltimore restaurant was the setting for a reunion of the movie's cast in July 2012.

"A Bronx Tale" with Chazz Palminteri is 8 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Lyric. Tickets, which are $40 to $150, are on sale at the Lyric box office and Ticketmaster (410-547-7328 and ticketmaster.com).

Off to Beverly Hills Chris Ford, whose inventive desserts have earned an avid following and widespread praise at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, will be leaving his position as the hotel's pastry chef in October. Ford has accepted a job with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group.

Sometime after Oct. 11, his last day at the Four Seasons, Ford will be packing up his pastry bags and driving with his French bulldogs, Mac and Josephine, clear across the country to Beverly Hills, Calif., where he will be taking the position of pastry chef at Keller's Bouchon Bakery.

"For me, in this industry, it's the top," Ford said about going to work for Keller, the chef/proprietor behind the renowned restaurants French Laundry in Yountville, Calif. and Per Se in New York City.

Ford said he was thankful for his time at the Four Seasons, where he created the desserts and pastries for Wit & Wisdom, Pabu and Lamill. "Leaving Baltimore is bittersweet," the pastry chef said.

richard.gorelick@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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