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Barbecue fare at new eatery

The Baltimore Sun

The name Night of the Cookers (885 N. Howard St., 410-383-2094) is a little odd. But this new restaurant serving Low Country, Cajun and creole food has a successful sibling in New York with the same name. It comes from a jazz album popular in the '60s.

The executive chef is the well-traveled Joshau Hill, who says he's not leaving this gig anytime soon. "I've been opening restaurants since I came to Baltimore. Hello. I will be your executive chef, and I will stay."

As for the food, apart from the barbecue and three sides, it's pretty haute, with prices to match, ranging from wild mushroom ravioli ($20) to a grilled filet of beef over stone-ground grits ($29). Martinis are a specialty, and Hill promises a wine list with plenty of decent bottles for less than $40.

The restaurant has a gourmet carryout open weekdays, and a lounge, Sweetwaters, upstairs. Dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday, with brunch on Sunday. Night of the Cookers is open late for coffee and dessert, until 1 a.m. on weeknights, 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Pizza and more --Speaking of names, the name of the Quarry Lake development's newest restaurant, Ciao Pizza Bistro Italiano (2620 Quarry Lake Drive, 410-486-1840), may be a little misleading. The place is an independently owned restaurant with a full menu and liquor license - not a pizzeria.

Yes, there are pizzas, and it's pretty casual; but last week the kitchen started lobster, steak and fresh-fish specials as well as the regular pastas, risottos and reasonably priced entrees. Check out the menu at ciaopizzabistro.com. The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner.

Fries with that? --Towson's newest burger place, Burger Bros. (14 Allegheny Ave., 410-321-1880), has a lot going for it - freshly ground, handcrafted patties, brioche rolls, fresh-cut fries and onion rings, marinated chicken-breast sandwiches, a Gourmet-magazine-endorsed brand of hot dog (Vienna) and, surprisingly, decent salads. Still, you know where its heart is: The Web site is eatmoreburgers.com.

The place is owned by brothers Mike and Tim Murphy, and it's not part of a chain. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Send restaurant news, trends, questions of general interest or observations to me at elizabeth.large@baltsun.com or fax me at 410-783-2519. Snail mail works, too: Elizabeth Large, The Sun, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.

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