Back to Outback
Get your steak knives out, boys and girls. The newest Outback Steakhouse opened last week in Bel Air at 615 Bel Air Road. Probably the most successful beef chain in the history of the world, Outbacks -- in case you're one of the few people who haven't eaten at one -- have an Australian theme, with specialties (other than steak, of course) like the "Bloomin' Onion" and "Chocolate Thunder from Down Under."
Timothy's lineage is impeccable. Timothy Euler graduated from Baltimore's Culinary Institute in 1989 and has worked as a chef in five states since then. Co-owner Melinda Euler is the daughter of the owners of Oscar's Cafe on the Green in Rehoboth, where she worked much of her life. Now the couple have opened Timothy's, their own restaurant at 695 Hanover Pike in Hampstead. The food is family style with reasonable prices, with a few gourmet touches like pork chops grilled with rosemary and garlic, then glazed with a raspberry puree. Call (410) 374-5838 for reservations and directions.
Christmas at Akbar
For an untraditional holiday dinner, try one of the three Akbar restaurants that will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Besides excellent Indian cuisine, Akbar will have specials like marinated lamb chops cooked in the tandoor oven. For reservations call the Akbar nearest you: downtown, (410) 539-0944; Randallstown, (410) 655-1600; and Columbia, (410) 381-3600.
Liver and onions
What's the most popular organ meat on the menu of mid-priced and high-end restaurants these days? No surprise: It's foie gras, according to the trade publication "Nation's Restaurant News."
If that's a bit chi-chi for your taste but you love your liver, you'll be glad to know that old-fashioned calf's liver and onions is making a comeback. All part of the return to comfort food, I suppose.
The award for the strangest liver dish goes to the Wild Boar restaurant in Nashville, Tenn. There you can get bitter-chocolate-dusted lamb liver on an onion biscuit for a first course.
Nates & Leons reborn
The Classic Catering People takes nostalgia to new heights with the reopening of Nates & Leons at the corner of Pratt and Howard streets, scheduled for next March. From 1935 to 1967 Nates Herr and Leon Shavitz ran the city's best-known all-night deli at 850 W. North Ave. A second Nates & Leons opened in the Pimlico Hotel in 1950 and eventually became the Pimlico Restaurant. (Leon Shavitz's daughter, Gail Kaplan, is vice president of marketing for the Classic Catering People.)
Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or fax to (410) 783-2519.