Fare fit for firefighters


In last week's column, we mentioned some great celebrity-spotting at New York City restaurants. Today, we get to say that Baltimore is having plenty of sightings of its own. That's thanks to the new Disney flick Ladder 49, which is being filmed in town right now.

We have word that actors Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Patrick and Balthazar Getty like to drop by Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 720 Aliceanna St., after a hard day's shooting. Our source says Phoenix mainly hangs out at the bar. Patrick often orders Pellegrino sparkling water, filet mignon and a side of veggies. And Getty likes the filet and lobster-tail combo.

Little Italy's Germano's Trattoria, 300 S. High St., is a favorite hangout of the movie's director, Jay Russell, as well as various other behind-the-camera folks and some of the actors. In fact, Russell and the film's producers threw a "Welcome to Baltimore" dinner at Germano's for star John Travolta and several other actors on March 2.

Owner Germano Fabiani says the group of 12 enjoyed a classic Tuscan eight-course meal that included a seafood salad, crespelle (Italian savory crepes), fried calamari, carpaccio, beef tongue, linguine allo scoglio (linguine with seafood), rack of lamb and grilled swordfish.

"They were all very nice," Fabiani says. "And John Travolta was very accommodating."

Cibo in Owings Mills

Speaking of Germano's, it's been three years since owner Germano Fabiani closed his Tosca Grill in Owings Mills. But as of this week, the space is open for business again, courtesy of the owners of another Little Italy eatery.

The Vitale family - parents Aldo and Regina and sons Sergio and Alessandro - owns Aldo's Ristorante Italiano at 306 S. High St. Sergio Vitale says they spent months extensively renovating the Owings Mills space (100 Painters Mill Road) before opening Cibo Bar and Grille on Monday.

He says that while the Little Italy restaurant is "fine Italian dining," Cibo's is more a "casual global cuisine." A sample menu highlights appetizers such as a satay trio of chicken with spicy peanut sauce, grilled beef and tequila-lime marinated shrimp; entrees such as grilled Mediterranean-style whole sea bass, Amish turkey and vegetable pot pie and classic meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes; and specialty pizzas.

Vitale says the average lunch check should be around $12, while the average dinner - one appetizer and one entree - should run around $30 per person.

Atmosphere-wise, Vitale says, they were going for "South Beach meets Aldo's." He describes the space as both suave and energetic.

Cibo's current hours are 5 p.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday. Beginning March 31, the restaurant will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tapas in Federal Hill

Federal Hill's Sky Lounge now has a restaurant side - Tango Tapas. Chef Jeremy Dean, who trained in France and has worked at Charleston and Hampton's locally, says he's offering both classic Spanish "little dishes" as well as his own "new-style tapas."

Some examples: truffled salmon and oyster tartare seasoned with lemon, chive and fleur de se; miso-cured black sea bass in sweet miso sauce; and jumbo lump crab stuffed mushrooms with bechamel sauce. You can order the dishes separately, or go for a tasting menu - five courses for $35, seven for $50.

Sky Lounge/Tango Tapas is at 1041 Marshall St. Dining hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. At 10 p.m., the DJ cranks up the music and the nightclub side takes over.

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions by fax to Sloane Brown at 410-675-3451, or by e-mail to sloane@livetabletalk.com.

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