When oZ. Chophouse in the Maple Lawn development near Fulton closed last August, it looked for a while as if nothing was going to take its place. Then there was talk of a new steakhouse moving in, a joint venture of the owners of nearby Ranazul and Jordan's Steakhouse in Ellicott City.

A new steakhouse did open Nov. 20 in the space at 8191 Maple Lawn Blvd. But Jordan Naftal, whose Ellicott City restaurant had meanwhile closed, is no longer involved. Ranazul's owner, Carlos Venegas, has taken over. The new place, once tentatively called Carlos and Jordan's Steakhouse, is now Venegas Prime Filet. (Accent on the second syllable, if you're wondering how to pronounce it.)


All the beef, as you can probably guess, is USDA Prime - not only the filet but the Delmonico, the bone-in rib-eye, the New York strip and the flat iron steak. There's even a 30-ounce Waygu steak for two for $80 for those feeling extravagant. Naturally, all steaks and sides are a la carte.

Prices range from $22 to $46 (excluding the Waygu beef, obviously), but that includes the nonsteak entrees such as Crispy Pomegranate Duck, seafood from monkfish to lobster, and even a vegetarian pasta.


As for the look of the place, nothing structural has been changed; but the interior has been completely redecorated, creating rooms that are "modern but with Old World romance," said Kaitlyn Bridle, Venegas' administrative assistant.

Business has been good in the steakhouse's first month of operation, she added, with plenty of holiday parties being booked.

The bar/lounge opens at 4 p.m. daily, and the dining rooms open at 5 p.m. The last reservations are taken at 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; at 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Call 301-490-2290 for reservations.

Eating out : I'm still hoping to have more restaurants open Christmas Day to tell you about beyond the expected Chinese places and hotel dining rooms.

Last week I mentioned Sotto Sopra. Now I hear that the Ambassador Dining Room, the upscale Indian restaurant near the Johns Hopkins University campus, will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., serving its regular menu. Its sister restaurant, the nearby Carlyle Club, which has been as beautifully decorated for the holidays as the Ambassador, will be open Christmas Eve but not Christmas Day.

Those stalwarts, the Eastern House, a Greek-American restaurant, and Eichenkranz, offering German-American food, will be open as usual on Christmas Day.

A new wine bar : After a decade of offering delicious sandwiches in Canton, and after three years in the downtown location, Rosina Gourmet is going into the wine bar business. Vino Rosina should open in Harbor East at 705 Exeter St. by the last week of February or the first week of March.

Owner Jim Lancaster sounds excited about the new 2,200-foot space, which is being designed by the same firm, SMG Architects, that did Woodberry Kitchen.


"We'll have great wines by the glass, good cheese, small plates, charcuterie and Tuscan flatbreads," said Lancaster. "We'll keep a lot of the gourmet sandwiches [offered at the Rosina Gourmets], but we're reaching for some more exotic ingredients."

The emphasis will be on local producers and organic and green products.

Vino Rosina's hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and the place will probably stay open until midnight on the weekend.

Back in business : No Closing of the Week this week - hey, maybe the economy is getting better - but I do have a reopening to report. Dogwood Restaurant in Hampden is planning to reopen tomorrow. The socially conscious fine-dining restaurant has been closed since last August because of financial difficulties.

Deal of the Week

Where: Crossroads Bar/Lounge, Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys


The Deal: Wine Wednesdays, free wine-tasting and hors d'oeuvres

When: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Call: 410-532-6900