Probably the most interesting restaurant on the Eastern Shore to open recently is Thai Ki (216 E. Dover St., Suite 201, Easton, 410-690-3641, thai-ki.com). This is the upstart Thai place that highly regarded chef Andrew Evans decided to open when he closed his high-end Inn at Easton dining room. (The inn itself is still open.)
The place is tiny, just 26 seats, with an open kitchen so you can watch Evans at work if you sit at the bar. He describes it as something like a "night market stall in Thailand."
It's also a small menu, he says, "so you don't get lost in a sea of dishes."
What's impressive is that Evans is applying fine-dining techniques to the preparation. He strives to make the food as authentic as possible, buying his ingredients (organic and chemical-free whenever possible) from Asian markets in Washington.
Easton has embraced the restaurant, Evans says. "We do crazy numbers for a town this size."
Interestingly, his customers want the food to be fiery.
"I toned it down when I started," he says, "but they asked for it spicier." Upscaling --In its heyday, Angelina's (7135 Harford Road, 410-444-5545) was the place to go for crab cakes in a homey, "Baltimore, hon" setting. Which makes it all the more surprising that its latest owners have turned it into a restaurant that general manager Roslyn Hagley describes as, "something Baltimore needed: fine dining. Something Harford Road needed."
The vaunted crab cakes are still available, of course, but the interior has been spruced up, with fresh paint, champagne and green table linens, and what Hagley calls "fresh Asiatic hybrid flowers." Entrees run from $25 to $30.
She recommends reservations.
New ownership --Sanders' Corner (2260 Cromwell Bridge Road, Loch Raven, 410-825-5187), a place best known for its second-story porch overlooking the Loch Raven Reservoir and its weekend breakfasts, is also making changes under new ownership.
John Naudain, who took over at the end of March, says he's "keeping the same venue, but bringing up the quality of the food." Cindy Lee, who was head chef of Josef's Country Inn in Fallston, and Dave Hudson, who worked at River Watch in Essex among other places, are now in the kitchen.
Naudain promises "traditional American food in a stress-free environment." The place now has curbside service, delivery, valet parking and a lounge.
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, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.