Mai Thai the cocktail is the signature drink of My Thai the restaurant (800 N. Charles St., Mount Vernon, 410-528-8737). No surprise there, although the fact that there are a dozen or more Mai Thai varieties offered may be.
The food -- no surprise here, either -- is Thai, "traditional and trendy," said co-owner Lance Kaspen, who was involved in the Phillips seafood empire before this. He swears he never liked Thai cooking before he tasted the food at his new place. (Don't ask why he invested in a Thai restaurant.) His partners are Brad Wales and his wife, Pui, a native of Thailand.
After some remodeling, My Thai opened last week in the basement location where Minato used to be. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner every day except Sunday, but that might change. Entree prices run from $7 to $10 for lunch and $10 to $17 for dinner.
Kid-Friendly in Fells Point --"I think I'm done with fine dining for awhile," Charlie Gjerde told me over the phone last week. That may startle some people, who know him as the restaurateur who brought us Spike & Charlie's and the Atlantic.
Instead, he's opening a casual place in Fells Point called Alexander's Tavern at 710 S. Broadway, where Gemini used to be. It's named after the son of his partner, Carrie Podles. Gemini had been recently renovated, so the new owners are making mostly cosmetic changes. It will be a "fun setting," Gjerde said. There will be foosball, a pool table and shuffleboard.
"It's going to be a place for families," he added. "I always wanted to do a modern-day tavern."
Look for Alexander's to open next month. The menu is still being developed, but Gjerde promises it's "not buffalo wings."
Now Open --Consider Annapolis the new Margaritaville with the opening of Lime (1803 West St.). The owner, Brandon Smith, also has a Lime in Baltimore on Fort Avenue. The Annapolis version is bigger, with more tequilas, more signature drinks and an expanded menu of Tex-Mex food. It's open for lunch, and there's outside seating. Lime is located where B.F. Biggins and, before it, the Crabcake Factory were. ... And opening Aug. 6 is the new Bonefish Grill in the Harford Mall in Bel Air.
Send restaurant news, trends, questions of general interest or observations to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax me at 410-783-2519. Snail mail works, too: Elizabeth Large, The Sun, Box 1377, Baltimore, MD 21278.