Several of the restaurants in the new Park Place in Annapolis are national chains, but not the recently opened Carpaccio Tuscan Kitchen and Wine Bar (1 Park Place, 410-268-6569), which features northern Italian food and 40 Italian wines by the glass, as well as some 150 bottles.
Carpaccio is part of a local restaurant group, which used to include Cafe Mezzenotte in Severna Park and now consists of a number of casual Italian-themed restaurants like Sazzio, Squisito's and Pomo Grille and the Four Seasons Grille in Gambrills.
Carpaccio's menu includes six different kinds of carpaccio and personal pizzas from the wood-burning oven. Dinner entrees run from $15.99 for pasta Bolognese to $32.99 for black linguine with calamari, lobster tail and prawns. The executive chef and partner is Gennaro di Benedetto.
Carpaccio, which seats about 150 inside and another 50 outside, has a Mediterranean decor, with stone walls, wood and yellows, browns and pinks as the color scheme. It's open from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily.
ON THE MOVE : One solution when your landlord raises the rent is to buy the building across the street and build a new restaurant from the ground up. At least that's what Cafe Troia in Towson is doing. The target date is sometime in August for the new place to open at 31 W. Allegheny Ave., says Lisa Troia Martin, who with her mother, Carol, owns Cafe Troia.
The space will be 25 percent bigger, with three dining rooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen, French doors opening out to sidewalk seating and a deck in back.
LESS SOUP : Not everyone can afford to buy the building across the street. When the landlord of the original Soup's On location in Perry Hall doubled the rent, the place had to close. The only Soup's On location is now at 11 E. Preston St. in the city.
NEW AL FRESCO : Every summer I forget about lunch in the garden cafe at the 4 E. Madison Inn until I happen to walk by and remember how nice it is to have a salad or sandwich under the B&B;'s big old trees. But this year for the first time, you can get dinner in the garden as well. (It's also served in the 19th-century mansion's back parlor.)
Feast @ 4 East (4 E. Madison St., 410-605-2020), as the new full-fledged restaurant is called, is open for from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The emphasis is on local, sustainable ingredients prepared with a French/Mediterranean accent. The menu includes house-made sausage and pates, organic chicken and lamb, and seafood from the Chesapeake.
The executive chef is Sandra Lawler.
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