A masterful stroke


A world-class golf course needs a world-class restaurant. That's why manager Mark Hasenei hired Doug Wilson, who worked at both the Milton Inn and Hamilton's, as the executive chef for the Restaurant at Bulle Rock. (Bulle Rock is the new Harford County course recently voted Golf Digest's best new upscale public golf course for 1998.)

Here you can start with grilled spicy Thai shrimp and follow it with venison medallions in a cranberry essence. The wine list is excellent. Strange, isn't it? To get haute regional American cuisine with a French twist in Harford County, you go to a public golf course.

Tidewater's consultant

Wait, there's more. Harford County really is becoming a fine-dining mecca. Robert Taylor, who left Hamilton's in Fells Point to spend more time with his family and eventually to open his own restaurant, is now a consultant at the Tidewater Grille in Havre de Grace. (He lives in Harford County, and his mother has worked in the restaurant as a line chef for years.)

"The menu hasn't changed in six or seven years," says Taylor. "I'm trying to figure out if it's what the clientele wants." So far Taylor has added only a few of his own New American specialties to the regular menu, which is Continental with a heavy emphasis on seafood.

New Year's Eve at Atlantic

Baltimoreans will be able to celebrate New Year's Eve at Spike and Charlie Gjerde's new restaurant, Atlantic, in the American Can Co. complex in Canton. (The first night it will be open to the public is Dec. 29.)

The New Year's menu will be a la carte, specializing in seafood. Call 410-675-4565 for reservations, which begin at 6 p.m.

The Gjerde brothers also own Spike & Charlie's in Mount Vernon and jr. in Bolton Hill.

Charcoal Pit is open

Chris's Charcoal Pit at 1946 West St. in Annapolis is a longtime favorite spot for inexpensive Greek food. It's also most definitely still open, not closed as I reported in this column two weeks ago. The mistake resulted from a mix-up when we were checking our restaurant listings. My apologies - and don't think of getting your gyros and taramasalata anywhere else.

Job's not always a joy

Wonder what it's like to be a restaurant critic? A fascinating new book, "Dining Out: Secrets From America's Leading Critics, Chefs and Restaurateurs" (John Wiley & Sons, $29.95) tells all. While most agree it's a lark of a job, consider this quote from Jonathan Gold of L.A. Weekly: "I probably get food poisoning more than anybody in Los Angeles. Every month they have a list in the paper of all the restaurants that have been closed by the health department. Typically, I've eaten at two-thirds of them."

Christmas dining

Two more restaurants have written to say they will be open Christmas Day: Empire Cafe at 5857 York Road will be open tomorrow from noon to 6 p.m. with some holiday food as well as its regular menu. Eastern House at 3706-8 Eastern Ave. will be serving breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon and a holiday menu from noon to 8 p.m.

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; fax to 410-752-6049; or e-mail to elizabeth.largaltsun.com.

Pub Date: 12/24/98

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