Years ago Tauraso's (6 N. East St., Everedy Square, 301-663-6600) was about the only restaurant in Frederick that Baltimoreans considered worth the trip. That's changed, of course, with the opening of places like The Tasting Room and Acacia.
Now Tauraso's itself is changing. As of May 1 it will officially be Danielle's, named after the new owner's wife. The owner is Daniel Cruz, and he says the past owners "lost interest" in the restaurant in the last couple of years. Cruz is renovating the place, has hired back a former chef, Terry Mason (who had moved on to The Tasting Room), and has made substantive menu changes.
READER RECOMMENDATION OF THE WEEK ... --I'm always trying to avoid the Dreaded Crab-Cake Question, so I'm happy when other people come up with their vote for the best crab cake in Baltimore. Especially one as unlikely as this. Lynne Sears of Pikesville swears the crab cakes she gets at Beef Shakes (13022 Old Hanover Road, outside Reisterstown, 410-833-6650) are every bit as good as the ones she used to get at Angelina's. I'd be more skeptical if our former carryout columnist hadn't given Beef Shakes 3 1/2 stars for its food. No, I did not make that name up.
CLOSURE ON A CLOSING ... --A reader said she had heard that Szechuan Best in Randallstown closed because the landlord wanted the property "for more lucrative purposes." Not so, says Matthew Cooper, who represents the property for the landlord.
"Paul Chiang, the owner, had health problems and closed even before his lease was up," Cooper says. He's hoping another restaurant will move into the space.
For a couple of e-mails reminiscing about the popular Chinese restaurant, please see my blog, which starts today, at baltimoresun.com/diningatlarge.
GET WITH IT ... --Consider yourself a cutting-edge diner? You'll want to know 2007's top eating-out trends, according to Flavor & the Menu, a food service trade magazine.
Top Menu-Making Trend: Modular menus, a little of this and a little of that.
Top Cheese Trend: Iberian
Top Technique Trend: Toasting, i.e., dry heat
Top Buzzword Trend: Artisan
Top Sauce Trend: Chimichurri
Top Eco-Cuisine Trend: Local
Top Ethno-Cuisine Trend: Regional Mexico
Top Equipment Trend: Wood-fired
Top Dessert Trend: Downsizing
Top Beverage Trend: Seasonal sips
Send restaurant news, trends, questions of general interest or observations to me at email@example.com or fax me at 410-783-2519. Snail mail works, too: Elizabeth Large, The Sun, Box 1377, Baltimore, MD 21278.