Voltaggio acknowledged to The Washington's Post Tom Sietsma that the direct inspiration for North Market Kitchen is Eataly New York, the sexy Fifth Avenue food emporium whose motto is "We Sell What We Cook & We Cook What We Sell."
Certainly, as at Eataly, retail will be threaded throughout North Market Kitchen, but not in a way, Voltaggio said, that's "in your face." Instead, diners gathered around the exhibition-style kitchens in the pasta area will be able to walk away with the ingredients they see chefs using to prepare their meal.
"There are things that chefs use that aren't out in the marketplace. I want people to really feel like they have access to the ingredients that we're using," Voltaggio said.
But there will be a few other significant departures at North Market Kitchen from the Eataly model, Voltaggio explained. An Eataly diner can order only from the the menu of whatever sub-restaurant he's seated in, but the entire North Market menu will be available to everyone.
And whereas Eataly, which originated in Italy, curates for its customers the finest imported Italian meats, cheeses and wines, Voltaggio, with his commitment to local, sustainable and organic foods, will make North Market Kitchen into a showcase for the Chesapeake region in particular and American food in general.
If Eataly has a burnished cosmopolitan look, North Market Kitchen will have a rustic atmosphere, with reclaimed material from nearby.
"There are these three posts at Wickes Lumber … where the trains used to come," Voltaggio said, "which over time have been stripped bare so that they look like three trees. That's the look I want."
No opening date is attached to the project, which will occupy the first floor of the long-abandoned Carmack-Jays grocery store, but the spring of 2012 is the company line so far. "I'd love to have it open before the winter holidays," Voltaggio said. "We're going into a space that's ready to go."
Meanwhile, Voltaggio confirmed what he told The Washington Post: that he'll be opening a 200-seat restaurant at the Chevy Chase Pavilion in 2012.
Indigma rises In just a few weeks, Indigma will take up temporary residence in the old Tony Cheng's space at the corner of Charles and Madison.
Tony Chemmanoor's posh Indian restaurant was one of the casualties of the December fire that in Mount Vernon's Park Plaza building. Chemmanoor plans to move back to the Park Plaza building when it reopens, which won't happen for another nine months. I'll keep you posted about the opening date for Indigma's temporary home. The Tony Cheng's space, by the way, won't be slapdash. Chemmanoor has brought in Ted Pearson of Rita St. Clair to work on the temporary space. Pearson designed Indigma's luxe digs in the Park Plaza Buidling.
Summer Restaurant Week The dates for the sixth (by my count) summer edition of Baltimore Restaurant Week have been announced: Aug. 5-14.
The website for the promotion is up and running, and it looks as though its planners are keeping it classic. Participating restaurants will offer fixed-price dinner menus for $35.11 and lunch menus for $20.11 — the most recent dining-week promotions for Baltimore County and Howard County allowed participating restaurants more leeway in fixing their menu's price.
Also, again, participating restaurants have pledged support for the Journey Home, Baltimore's "10-Year Plan to End Homelessness."
Angelo's returns Angelo's, the Hampden pizzeria that closed without warning May 15, has reopened. The same owners, brothers Angelo and Tommy Pizza, are back.
According to an article in the Baltimore Business Journal, the Pizzas were able to reopen Angelo's last Friday with a loan from a longtime customer. Good to hear.
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