Mostly Main Street: When it's too hot to cook, savor restaurant weeks

Mostly Main Street, news from Ellicott City business district: Restaurant Week, First Friday and Second Sunday and ghost Tours

Sometimes it's just too hot to cook, right? That's when an event like Howard County Restaurant weeks comes in really handy. We're in the middle of them right now, and they will continue through Aug. 6. The theme is farm to table, featuring local flavors. Two restaurants in the historic district are participating — Portalli's and Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant. I looked at their menus and they are different enough — and tempting enough — to make you want to do both. Portalli's offers a three course dinner for $30.12. I like the sound of a caprese salad to start, with fresh tomatoes and house made mozzarella. Then on to a soft crab entrée, followed up by a chocolate chip cannoli with cinnamon for dessert. I know that at this time of year Tersiguel's is showcasing produce from Fernand Tersiguel's small farm. I have visited the farm and am amazed by the variety of fruit and vegetables they grow. They raise chickens, too, and the eggs are awesome. A sample menu from them for this event — which is $38.95 at dinner — -includes a cream of fresh tomato soup (and I bet they are heirlooms from the farm) chicken, mushrooms and vegetables in a crepe and coffee crème caramel for dessert. Beat the heat and treat yourself to dinner out.

Tomorrow night, Aug. 3, is First Friday in the historic district. Many shops and restaurants stay open late, and offer special deals and entertainment. This monthly event is sponsored by the Ellicott City Business Association. For more information, call 410-465-6400. The next Second Sunday Market will be held on Aug. 12 on Tonge Row. This is a great opportunity to purchase fresh product, and maybe enjoy a cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream. They even have a stand there that sells pickles out of barrels. Check it out.

Howard County Tourism continues their Ghost Tours — the next ones are on Aug. 3 and 4. Call 410-313-1900 to reserve a space. Tourism has also introduced a new tour called Dare to Taste the Spirits of Ellicott City. This tour costs $20 and visits local pubs to hear the stories of the ghosts that inhabit them. This event will next be on Aug. 9. Participants must be over 21. They promise new locations and new stories. Call 800-288-8747 for reservations. Also, the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation offers a Literary Pub Crawl, next on August 2. Rather than looking for ghosts, this tour offers stories of people in history who have visited our town, such as Davy Crockett and Robert E. Lee. This tour originates at the Diamondback Tavern. You must be over 21 to participate. The cost is $10 and does not include the cost of beverages. Reservations can be made by calling 410-303-2959.

This is the 67th year for the Howard County Fair. It's a wonderful reminder of our county's farming heritage, and a great way to entertain the family for a few hours. Be sure to visit the exhibit put on by the Howard County Historical Society. You can linger because the building is now air conditioned.

The Wine Bin continues its outdoor summer movie series with 'Jumanji' on Aug. 4 and'Up' on Aug.11. The movie starts at 9 p.m. and the parking lot closes an hour earlier. Both of these are great choices with kids, so make it a family night.

The B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, is marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a special exhibit, "The War Came by Train." The Museum is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

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