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Baltimore Diner: Oregon Grille turns 15

By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun

2:19 PM EDT, October 2, 2012

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The Oregon Grille is turning 15 this fall, and the Hunt Valley restaurant is celebrating with a dining promotion.

A bastion of conservative dining, the Oregon Grille is not normally a restaurant given to coupons or gimmicks. But through Nov. 9, diners who spend $50 at the Oregon Grille can receive a complimentary bottle of cabernet or chardonnay. Or they can spend $50 and get their next $15 free. Coupons for the offer are on the restaurant's website and Facebook page. One coupon per table, of course.

The Oregon Grille opened its doors in a renovated 19th-century stone farmhouse in 1997. Known for its prime dry-aged steaks, large lobster and seafood, and award-winning wine, the restaurant features five fixed-price menus, including lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, bar/light fare, party and wine menus.

In the news release announcing the dining promotion, owner Ted Bauer said, "We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone with our friends and new diners who are invited to visit and enjoy all that the Oregon Grille has to offer."

Although fans of the Oregon Grille are curious about what, if anything, Bauer plans to do with the Valley Inn, the Brooklandville dining landmark that has been in his hands since last fall, he has declined numerous requests to discuss them or any of the Oregon Grille's operations or policies.

And in case you were wondering, the Oregon Grille's website advises, "In the tradition of fine dining, we require gentlemen to wear jackets after 5 p.m. in the dining room. Lunch is casual."

The Oregon Grill is at 1201 Shawan Road. For information, call 410-771-0505 or go to theoregongrille.com.

It's all here What's good to eat at the fifth annual St. Matthew's Multicultural Festival? From Greece there's pastitsio, moussaka and spanakopita; from Lebanon, there's lamb kebab, hummus and tabbouleh; and from Romania, there's mititei, grilled spice meat rolls, and Dracula's Napkins, savory cheese patties.

Throw in pirogi, kielbasi, halupki, mix in beef empanadas and cheese and onion enchiladas, and then some Ethiopian key wat, and you've got a menu.

The mix of cuisines reflects the diverse makeup of St. Matthew's congregation, and much of the food is made from the parishioners' family recipes.

Preparations for this weekend's festival begin on Saturday mornings in July with empanadas and enchiladas, then segue into Romanian poppy seeds, nut rolls, Greek paximadia and Russian tortes in August and September. The sessions, held in the church, conclude with Lebanese food, including grape leaves, hummus and lamb kebabs. (The dishes are then frozen.)

The Orthodox Church of St. Matthew Multicultural Festival starts at 11 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday at 7271 Eden Brook Drive, Columbia. Call 410-381-284 or go to stmatthewfestival.org.

A growing greenhouse The Living Classrooms student-gardening program has outgrown its Caroline Street greenhouse. On Oct. 11, the Waterfront Kitchen is throwing a party to raise funds for a new greenhouse for Baltimore Urban Gardening for Students.

"We'll be replacing the existing BUGS greenhouse on Caroline Street with a larger, state-of-the-art facility," said Waterfront Kitchen co-owner Michael Klein.

The Waterfront Kitchen, located a few blocks from Living Classrooms' Weinberg Education Center, has been working with the BUGS students since before its opened last fall. The restaurant's consulting chef, Jerry Pellegrino, works with the students in the greenhouse and brings them into the restaurant's kitchen to cook and share meals with the vegetables they grow.

"We're building on the commitment we made when we opened Waterfront Kitchen," Klein said. "It's clear that greenhouse and garden activities are enriching kids' lives and teaching them invaluable skills."

The event includes a cocktail reception followed by a four-course dinner with wine, live music for dancing and a live auction.

The greenhouse fundraiser starts at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park, 1417 Thames St. Tickets are $125. Call 443-681-5310 or go to shop.waterfrontkitchen.com

Along the Jones Falls Birroteca is scheduled to open Wednesday night on Clipper Road in a space that was formerly the home of Kolper's Tavern. The name is a beer-ful play on "enoteca," which refers generally to a place that serves wine.

The chef is Cyrus Keefer, formerly of 1542 Gastropub, Saute and Brasserie 10 South, and the menu includes pizzas, pastas and family-style daily specials like chicken cacciatore on Tuesday and whole roasted fresh fish on Friday.

Birroteca is at 1520 Clipper Road. For information, call 443-708-1934

richard.gorelick@baltsun.com


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