It's not often that I can get my husband to don a tuxedo and go out on a Monday night, but I couldn't turn down an invitation to dine at Citronelle with the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, a group known for discriminating taste buds.
How does shrimp wrapped in kataifi, quail eggs brioche, crab cole slaw, whitefish in Provencal crust with pissaladire sauce, squab with fig sauce, a raspberry tart and five wines sound for a Monday supper?
It was superb, thanks to dinner chairmen Duke Goldberg and Dr. Larry Coleman and Citronelle maitre d' John Komosa, chef Anthony Pels Jr. and his staff.
Before the meal was served, Buzzy Levin, president of the Baltimore Chaine chapter, filled us in on a few rules -- no salt, pepper, water or cigarettes. I sat with Duke and Marlene Goldberg, who were feeling weary because they were still on Rome time after spending several weeks in Italy; Larry Shupnick, a California Chaine member and member of the group's world council, who comes to Baltimore every few weeks in his capacity as a vice president of CapStar Hotels; Colleen and Eric Cowan, a husband-wife lawyer team with Patton, Boggs & Blow.
Others enjoying the fantastic meal were Mary Ann and Mimmo Cricchio, owners of Da Mimmo restaurant in Little Italy, who told me they now have a parking lot for customers; and Rick and Diana Pannoni, he's vice president of Continental Foods Inc. and a member of the Washington Chaine chapter.
Sitting at the most jovial table were Jay Block, Steve and Elaine Noble, and Dick and Jill Potter, he's with USF&G; and she's busy writing her first book, "Red Skies at Night."
In the book, she plans to share her experiences during a 30-day sail across the Atlantic on the Russian tall ship Kruzenshtern, which left Baltimore with 192, mostly Russian, cadets on board. She traveled alone, spoke no Russian and said she slept on the deck every night.
Baltimore's first Inner Harbor Collector Car Event takes place next weekend at the Baltimore Convention Center and Festival Hall. According to Jay Silverman, show director, more than 500 antique and classic cars will be displayed, auctioned or sold.
Highlights of the two-day auction include a rare 1929 Chrysler pickup truck, the only one known to exist; a 1952 Nash-Healy roadster; a 1937 supercharged Cord Phaeton; a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing that was used in the movie "Mr. Destiny."
Local people who have agreed to show some of their prize cars include Gary Rosencrans, Mort Bullock and Charles Gillet. Call (800) CAR-EVENT.
St. Paul's School for Girls selected Anne Mattson van den Berg, class of '79, as the winner of its first Sally Michel Community Service Award. Mrs. van den Berg, an Angier Biddle Duke scholar at Duke University and a William Neal Reynolds scholar at Duke's law school, lives with her husband and three children in Florida, where she is a lawyer and dedicated volunteer.
The annual award was established by the school to honor Sally Michel for her years of volunteer service and chairmanship of several boards.
* Robert Brennan, senior vice president at Bank of Baltimore, and Diana DeHoff, vice president of Desktop Designers. They emerged from a pack of 14 business people to raise the most money for the Leukemia Society and the title of Man and Woman of the Year.
* Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who has been selected by the National Council of Jewish Women to receive the Hannah G. Solomon Award for exceptional leadership at the Suburban Club tonight.
* Frank J. Barranco, WJZ-TV photographer for 27 years, who recently attended the White House Press Photographers awards dinner in Washington. For the third year, Barranco was one of three people chosen nationally to judge the White House Press Photographers contest.
* Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes and humanitarian Bea Gaddy, who will receive honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees at Towson State's 129th commencement ceremonies today.
* Eddie Applefeld, Debbie Corbi and Paul Adler, hosts of cable television's "Dining Out, Baltimore Style," for winning a second-place Telly Award.