Valentine's Day is just two days away, and there is no more romantic place to spend it than in the historic district.
Since it falls on a Saturday, you don't need to limit your celebration to dinner out, although a lovely four-course chef's menu is offered at Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant that night. For $80, plus beverages and gratuity, you get scallops, filet mignon, salad and chocolate three ways. Sounds amazing.
But equally romantic would be a late breakfast at Bean Hollow, with warm coffee and perhaps a decadent pastry. Or, you could visit the courtyard behind Tonge Row between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and score one of Nathan's freshly made pizzas. Pick up a bottle of wine at The Wine Bin and you've got yourself a feast.
If you are feeling like an adventurous foodie, how about warming up with some exotic tea at the Matcha Time Café on Hamilton Street (the little street between Tersiguel's and Su Casa.) They also have a gift shop with interesting items from Japan. Both La Palapa and Portalli's have recently finished some interior improvements, so it's a good time to check them out as well.
Of course food is only part of the day, so maybe you want to wander down Main Street and look in shop windows. Visit Wessel's Florist for a nosegay. Stop in Shoemaker Country and see if Tom Shoemaker has one of his hand-painted wooden signs that would be meaningful to you and your sweetie. If you can't find one, he'll be glad to make one to order.
Stop at Green Row Books and see if you can find one that speaks to you. If you want to soak up a little history, the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, is featuring its Civil War 150th anniversary exhibit "The War Came by Train." It's open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. As an added incentive, members of the Maryland Zoo will be admitted free throughout the month of February. You just need to show your membership card and photo ID.
Oh My Word
Jim Roberts passed away on Jan. 23 at the age of 81. Everyone loved Jim, and his calligraphy shop Oh My Word was a very popular shop on Main Street for many years. Jim had a long career with the Rouse Company.
After retirement, his lovely wife Colette suggested he open a calligraphy shop to showcase the work she and her friends were accomplishing. Thus, the store was filled with beautiful examples of handmade calligraphy items. It was also possible to have material custom made.
I worked as Jim's publicist for a while, and it was an easy job as there was always something new to talk about in the store. Jim was committed to the historic district in general, and sat on the board of the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation for many years.
I can still picture him walking purposefully down Main Street, wearing one of his trademark vests with a dozen pockets. He was a very nice man and he will be missed.
The Still Life Gallery at 8173 Main St. is hosting a party with the Howard County Bloggers on Friday, Feb. 20, from 8 until 11:30 p.m. This meet-and-greet will feature wine, dessert and conversation, and you are encouraged to dress up for the occasion.
This is a nice chance to get to know the people who are continuing to make the historic district such a great place. For more information, call 410-461-1616.