The Hippodrome Theatre has announced the first group of restaurants and caterers that have committed to the post-show event of its Foodie Experience event featuring Alton Brown. Most of them are veterans from last year's inaugural edition, which featured Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert.
This year's edition, to be held on March 19, will allow all ticketholders to attend the post-show tasting, a showcase for local restaurants and caterers; last year, only some patrons had access to the post-show event.
Among the participants: Aldo's Ristorante Italiano, Ale Mary's, Alewife, Antrim 1844, B&O Brasserie, City Cafe, Kirchmayr Chocolatier, La Scala, Mari Luna Latin Grill, Max's Empanadas, Portalli's, RA Sushi, Restaurant Sabor, Rumor Mill, Sascha's 527, Sweet Sin Bakery and the Wine Market. That's some impressive geographic diversity, and restaurants from the D.C. area apparently want in; Againn Tavern of Rockville will be a presence at both the post-show event as well as the VIP welcome area.
Also new this year: The chefs from at least four of the attending participating restaurants will give cooking demonstrations at the post-show event. These demonstrations will take place in the same area of the Hippodrome, the M&T Pavilion, where Brown will be giving a pre-show cooking demo for VIP ticket-holders. Lined up so far for this high-wattage gig are the chefs from two Harbor East restaurants: Opie Crooks of Roy's and Sajin Ranae, who recently took over the executive chef position at Vino Rosina from the departed Jesse Sandlin.
More restaurants will be announced as the Hippodrome lines them up.
Tickets for the March 19 event are on sale now at the Hippodrome box office and Ticketmaster (410-547-7328 and ticketmaster.com).
Openings and (sudden) closings A sharp-eyed reader from Randallstown phoned in to say that a Hibachi Grill is readying itself to open in the Liberty Court Shopping Center, near the Randallstown library branch. This Hibachi Grill is related to another restaurant by the same name in Parkville. No word yet on a firm opening date.
Sanders' Corner, the restaurant on the corner of Cromwell Bridge Road and Loch Raven Drive best known for its covered porch overlooking the reservoir, closed last month. The restaurant was bought from the Sanders family in 2008 by John Naudain, who made some improvements to the property.
The restaurant closed in mid-January without any notification or explanation to customers, other than a handwritten "Closed for Winter" sign posted in the window. It's possible that Sanders' Corner is taking a winter vacation, but the staff has reportedly been dismissed, and no one answers the phone.
The Bamboo House in Cockeysville was recently similarly shuttered without any explanation other than a handwritten "kitchen on vacation" sign. The phone has been disconnected.
Speaking of Anthony Bourdain Word leaked out last week that the "No Reservations" host has been asked by David Simon to contribute restaurant scenes to his current HBO series "Treme."
At last year's Foodie Experience event, Bourdain proclaimed "The Wire" to be "the greatest show in the history of television," and the "No Reservations" show featuring Baltimore dealt explicitly with Bourdain's intense admiration for the HBO series.
There are no details on how extensive Bourdain's involvement with "Treme" might be. But a bit of "Treme" stunt casting has been reported; critic Alan Richman, a frequent tormentor of Bourdain's, will be making a cameo on one of the episodes for which Bourdain is contributing dialogue.