Preston's 500 (500 W. University Parkway), one of the most intriguing restaurants to open in Baltimore this year, has a new head chef, Tim Pritchett. Pritchett's resume includes stints at Hampton's under Michael Rork, at Birds of a Feather and at Corks. Owner Lynn Patrick says that Preston's clever menu will stay much the same, but with even more emphasis on seasonal specials.
Meanwhile, former Preston's chef Brian Martin has moved on to Kali's Court (1606 Thames St.), a seafood restaurant in Fells Point. In the next few weeks he plans to introduce a menu with "more variety, fresher vegetables and more Mediterranean than Greek" dishes.
Last week's issue of Crain's New York Business reported that upscale restaurateurs in the city are serving up smaller dinner portions in response to rising costs. Interestingly, the shrinking plate isn't to save money but to encourage diners to order those expensive extras and dessert. And needless to say, the restaurants deny resorting to portion control.
Of course, that would never happen in Baltimore . . . Although I have been bringing home fewer doggie bags lately.
More On the Rocks news: Local restaurants, one reader pointed out, are now charging different amounts for ice depending on the drink you order. He sent me a photocopy of his check from the Purple Orchid (200 President St.) with these charges: "Smirnoff $4, rocks $1; Dewars White Label $4.50, rocks 50 cents." (He also reported that "Dinner was excellent.")
If you buy the restaurants' argument that serving liquor on ice instead of diluting it with water means the customer is getting more liquor, wouldn't you think the ice with the more expensive drink would cost more, not less? Or is my logic faulty?
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