Baltimore Sun’s BEST party in 2 weeks

When will the Pavilion open at night? The answer is now


Ever since the Pavilion opened last May serving just lunch in the beautiful Hackerman House at the Walters Art Gallery, everyone has been asking, "When's dinner?" -- or words to that effect.

"The lunch crowd kept saying, 'When are you going to open at night? When are you going to open at night?' " says Eddie Dopkin, president of the Classic Catering People, the company that operates the restaurant.

The answer is now. The elegant and airy 130-seat restaurant, located in what was once the back garden of Hackerman House, has just started serving dinner on Thursday and Friday nights.

The menu, created by chef Mark Hofmann, includes roasted duck with poached pear, grilled veal steak in a Madeira wine sauce, charred rare tuna on zucchini noodles, glazed Atlantic salmon with pesto beurre blanc, and marinated salmon and grilled shrimp in a cracked peppercorn vinaigrette with corn blinis.

Desserts, which are all made at the restaurant, include lemon poppy pound cake with warm fresh fruit compote ("the favorite," Mr. Dopkin says), white and dark chocolate mousse cake with raspberry puree, dense chocolate terrine, creme caramel with sweet cream and fresh berries and chocolate bourbon pecan pie.

The hours are 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for lunch on Saturdays and 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for brunch on Sundays. Dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. The restaurant is still available for private parties in the evening.

The Pavilion is at 600 N. Charles St. Call (410) 727-2233.

Great Chef's Dinner

On March 11, Georges Perrier, the award-winning chef of Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia, will be preparing a lavish spread at the first annual Great Chef's Dinner to benefit the Child Abuse Prevention Center of Maryland.

Mr. Perrier is the winner of the highly coveted Silver Toque award of the Maitres Cuisiniers de France, and his restaurant has been called "one of the most beautiful in the world" by food writer Craig Claiborne.

The four-course dinner, to be held at the Brass Elephant at 942 N. Charles St. at 7:30 p.m., will be preceded by cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 a person, and reservations will be limited to 130 guests. For more information, call (410) 576-2414.

Olympian eating

The Olympics have taken us all to the Savoie in the French Alps. And if your culinary curiosity has been piqued by the vicarious trip, there's a cookbook that will satisfy both it and your appetite. It's called "Madeline Kamman's Savoie" (Atheneum, hardcover, $24.95).

Ms. Kamman -- the author of five other cookbooks and host of "Madeline Cooks," produced in the Owings Mills studios of Maryland Public Television -- spent several summers during her childhood at a camp in the Savoie, a time which began her lifelong love affair with the region.

In her book, which was published at the end of 1989, she gives us lessons in history, culture and geography -- there are even diagrams showing how the Alps were formed. And these are not short lessons.You'll read through 135 pages before coming to the first of her 240 recipes.

The dishes are rustic, the foods of the Savoie farmers: flat breawith butter skimmings and cheese, goat cheese pudding, herb and pumpkin soup, potato gratin, polenta with artichokes, roasted smoked chickens with caramelized turnips, warm mousse of trout with lettuce and scallion sauce, sour cherry jam and old-fashioned walnut tart.

More than half the recipes are complex, best tackled brelatively adventurous and experienced home cooks. But for those who have been watching the Olympics on television with their children, reading this book together would be a wonderful way to deepen the experience.

Desserts delivered

Imagine dessert that's good for you and that comes delivered to your door. That's what Walnut Acres, one of the country's first sources of organic foods by mail, is offering with its new Very Cherry Cake and Garden Patch Carrot Cake.

OC Both cakes -- each weighs 2 pounds -- are certified organic and

made primarily with organic ingredients: whole wheat flour, fruits and nuts. Neither is sweetened with refined sugar.

Walnut Acres has been the leading mail-order retailer of whole and organic foods since 1946. To obtain a free copy of its catalog, call (800) 433-3998, Ext. 123, or write to Walnut Acres, Dept. C123, Penns Creek, Pa. 17862.

Tidbits welcomes interesting nuggets of food news -- new products, food-related news events, local cookbooks, great mail order finds, openings and closings of restaurants and food shops. Send notices to Tidbits, Attn: Karol V. Menzie, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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