Food & Drink
Open & Shut: Pie in the Sky; The Life of Reilly; Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.
Pie in the Sky: Fells Point diners were saddened when Turkish outpost Mare Nostrum closed its doors on Broadway Square last summer. But now, former Mare Nostrum co-owner Murat Mercan has breathed new life into the building by turning it into a BYOB pizza and pasta joint. Pie in the Sky opened quietly earlier this month, offering overstuffed sandwiches, massive calzones, chicken wings, salads, and scratched-made pizzas. Toppings include everything classic pepperoni to vegan and vegetarian varieties (think spinach, artichokes, and Portobello mushrooms) on gluten-free crust. 716 S. Broadway, 410-522-3222
Hotel Revival: Earlier this week, Mt. Vernon’s yet-to-open boutique hotel revealed details about its dining offerings. In addition to its 107 guest suites and fun karaoke rooms, the property from renowned Joie de Vivre Hotels will highlight two original dining concepts with a bar program helmed by local industry veteran Chelsea Gregoire. The first restaurant—a lobby-level cafe and market called Square Meal—will feature breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes and local Ceremony Coffee. The hotel will also boast a rooftop restaurant and bar called Topside, highlighting a menu of seafood-centric dishes and killer views of the Washington Monument. Both eateries will be led by local chef Wilbur Cox. Stay tuned for more details about the hotel, which is expected to make its debut this spring. 101 W. Monument St.
Fork & Wrench: After six years in business, this Canton hangout from co-owners Andy Gruver and Jason Sanchez is up for sale. The partners say that they are grateful for all of the community’s support throughout the restaurant’s run, and have decided to focus their efforts on their second spot Modern Cook Shop in Fells Point. “As all journeys lead to a final destination, we are committed to continuing ours, both personal and public,” the co-owners said in a statement. “In an ever-morphing world, it takes change and effort to stay inspired, as well as inspire, and to that end, we move forward.” The sophisticated dive bar, best known for its New American fare and collection of vintage fixtures and tools, will remain open for dinner, drinks, and Sunday brunch throughout the turnover process. 2322 Boston St., 443-759-7360.
Regi’s Bistro: Across the harbor, this Federal Hill mainstay has also gone on the market. The neighborhood staple has been around since 1978, serving up classic comfort dishes like cheesy tots, crab cakes with mashed potatoes, and massive pork chops. The restaurant, which is currently listed for $600,000, will remain open until owner Alan Morstein finds a buyer. 1002 Light St., 443-961-6427
Restaurant Week Extended: Not surprisingly, more than 60 restaurants scattered throughout the city have vowed to extend their Baltimore Restaurant Week specials until Sunday, January 28. (Check out our roundup of suggestions if you need help narrowing down all of the choices.) The dining deal offers prix-fixe menus at price points of $12-20 for a two-course lunch, and $20-35 for a three-course dinner. Baltimore County Restaurant Week is also now underway, with nearly 60 eateries offering special menus until February 3.
TO 2/11: Burnt Coat Pop-Up at R. House Charm City chef Cai Lindeman has settled in the rotating pop-up stall at R. House for a three-week run, serving eats including locally sourced burgers, Old Bay French fries, and banana pudding with toasted meringue. Chow down on a classic Roseda Farms ground beef patty, or a sweet potato and black bean burger topped with avocado and pickled radish on a brioche bun sourced from Stone Mill Bakery. R. House, 301 W. 29th St.
1/26: BIG Time with Ann Costlow This Friday, the local food and theater worlds collide as Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) continues its weekly BIG Time series with special guest Ann Costlow—who owns Sofi’s Crepes next door on North Charles Street. The evening will begin with an interview with Costlow, followed by a series of completely unprepared comedy sets inspired by the conversation. The Baltimore Improv Group Theatre, 1727 N. Charles St., $5, 8 p.m.
1/29: Alison Roman Book Signing Bird in Hand Former Bon Appétit editor Alison Roman is stopping by Bird in Hand in Charles Village next week to chat with female makers Jinji Fraser of Pure Chocolate by Jinji in Belvedere Square, Sarah Conezio of Pennsylvania-based Keepwell Vinegar, and Bird in Hand’s own preservation and canning connoisseur Lauren Sandler of Spike Gjerde’s Foodshed restaurant group. The free event will feature books and beverages for purchase, along with snacks inspired by Roman’s new cookbook Dining In. Bird in Hand, 11 E. 33rd St., 6:30 p.m., Free, 410-814-0373.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: Last week, this Syracuse-based barbecue chain on Fleet Street shuttered its doors suddenly after only two years in business. Though the restaurant’s run was short-lived, it was known as a spot to enjoy a smoked brisket or pulled pork platter while catching a game in Harbor East. “We would like to thank everyone who has joined us at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Baltimore over the past few years,” spokesperson Jason Ryan said in a statement. “Although we are sad to announce we will be closing, we are grateful to the Baltimore community for welcoming us.” No word yet on what will become of the building. 1401 Fleet St.
The Life of Reilly: There’s no doubt that St. Patrick’s Day in Charm City is going to feel different this year. On the heels of the closure of Ryan’s Daughter Irish Pub in Belvedere Square, this Guinness and Jameson destination in Butchers Hill is also closing its doors. Owners Crosby and Julie Healy took to Facebook to announce the closure. “It is with a heavy heart that we inform our friends and patrons that after 11 years The Life of Reilly is closing its doors,” the post reads. The owners go on to cite a heartfelt passage from author J.R. Moehringer’s The Tender Bar. The pub was a neighborhood go-to for warm stews, strong Irish coffees, and community trivia nights. 2031 E. Fairmount Ave., 410-327-6425.