Hot new bistro alert! Three ... , the restaurant that replaced Parkside at 2901 E. Baltimore St. near Patterson Park (410-327-3333), is open for business. One of the three owners, Michael Harmel, said that a grand opening is in the works, but you can get your fix of small plates and fancy cocktails now. In an earlier phone call before the place opened, Harmel said the food would be "contemporary American," but from what I hear now, think global.
If it's broke, fix it --The trendy tapas and mezze place Kyma (69 West St., 410-268-0003) in Annapolis has reinvented itself by dropping its Georgetown pretensions (and more important, its Georgetown prices) to be more in line with what its customers want and expect. Owner Tom Sfakiyanudis says Kyma has "parted ways" with its Georgetown connection, Mie n Yu.
"We're leaning more to the Greek side," he says.
By that he means the restaurant now has more Greek food on the menu, including dishes made from family recipes. There's a new head chef, Aaron Williams - not Greek.
Sfakiyanudis mentioned specifically that "it was the drink prices people had issues with" and they have come down. I can relate; the signature drink cost us $12 when I ate there.
Here's the beef --The Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chao is getting ready to open a branch in the Inner Harbor this August at 600 E. Pratt St. For a fixed price you get all you can eat, with servers wandering the dining room with large cuts of grilled meat. At your signal, they carve off what you want. There's also a buffet of salads, vegetables and Brazilian side dishes.
The restaurant's success seems like a no-brainer: All things Latino and steakhouses are very on trend. On the other hand, the Malibu Grill Brazilian steakhouse in Columbia didn't survive, so who knows?
Always on Sunday --Not a lot of restaurants open in the Ellicott City area that aren't chains, so I was glad to hear about the new Soto's Grill (8001 Hillsborough Road, 443-574-8989). Owner Pam Strumpis calls her new venture "casual and cozy," but not every casual and cozy place has Greek specialties like dolmas and spanakopita as well as pasta, pizza and burgers. Not to mention a beer and wine license.
Soto's is open daily for lunch and dinner.
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 21278.