Cheeses, fruit, grilled chicken sustained the pope
As far as we know, Pope John Paul didn't get to sample any of our Chesapeake Bay specialties while he was here; but he didn't go away hungry either. When he retired to Cardinal Keeler's residence Sunday afternoon, Chef Randy Stahl of the Brass Elephant had waiting for him a tray of three cheeses and five fresh fruits, farfalle pasta with walnut sherry vinaigrette, grilled breast of chicken, grilled vegetables and a bottle of chardonnay.
For dessert the pope feasted on krusciki (Polish fried dough) and a blackberry jam doughnut. (Mr. Stahl had read that the pope loves jelly doughnuts, so his staff baked them Sunday morning.) After a nap, the pope sent down for warm milk and sugar and added a chocolate truffle to make his own hot chocolate.
Outback is out front
I've never seen people line up for a restaurant the way they do for the Outback Steakhouse. Maryland has four of them: in Annapolis, Bethesda, Frederick and now, as of a few days ago, in Bowie at 6868 Race Track Road.
The Australian-themed chain seems to have struck a chord with Americans, just as the movie "Crocodile Dundee" did. Or maybe we crave large cuts of beef more than we like to admit in this health-conscious era.
Pikesville after hours
Pikesville doesn't have a lot of places to get late-night food, so keep the new Oscar's Bar in mind. The no-smoking bar offers a health-conscious light-fare menu specializing in gourmet pizzas -- and it has a pool table. Located in Puffins at 1000 Reisterstown Road, Oscar's serves food as late as 1 a.m. on weekends.
Jim Opasik recycles kitchen utensils to create his whimsical sculpture, on display at Regi's American Bistro in Federal Hill through Oct. 28. Look for paintings by Thea Osato as well.
Tea time again
The Old Waverly History Exchange & Tea Room will start serving afternoon tea again this week. "People still think of tea as a cold weather thing," says owner Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, so she closes up the tea room and spends the summer testing new recipes. Tea is by reservation only; call (410) 889-7112.
Live from New York
Baltimore's newest chef is Tim Mullen, who's taken over the kitchen at Windows in the Stouffer Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. He comes from New York, where he was executive chef for Westchester's Woodland Restaurant.
Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.