In Good Taste

Open & Shut: CookHouse; Water Song; Plug Ugly’s; L’Eau de Vie

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


CookHouse: Bolton Hill locals have long been waiting for the debut of this all-day restaurant from chef George Dailey—who also owns On The Hill Cafe in the neighborhood and has lived there for nearly 20 years. For months, the English-born chef has been hard at work spearheading the remodel of the former B. Bistro space, and he has finally set a grand opening date of Tuesday, February 11. Boasting a custom built bar, blue velvet banquette seating, and artsy light fixtures, the 75-seat space will offer breakfast and lunch service during the day, and a menu of European-inspired fare—including steak frites, lamb ragú, and house-made pastas—by night.

Water Song: You might be one of the lucky diners to have caught this authentic Chinese food purveyor, which emphasizes dishes of the Yunnan province, at pop-ups and festivals around town. But come spring, Water Song’s Mixian rice noodle bowls—traditionally served a touch of meat and lots of chili oil—crispy battered fried pork chunks, and other fan-favorites will be easily accessible from a new brick-and-mortar shop in Federal Hill. Taking over the former home of The Local Fry on East Cross Street, the restaurant is currently being renovated and expected to open in March.


Larder Launches Brunch: This sustainably-sourced eatery in the Socle complex, which also houses Fadensonnen and Sophomore Coffee in Old Goucher, recently began offering Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Expect options like buckwheat blintzes with apple butter, sweet potato with a miso mousseline sauce, and scrambled eggs with house pickles and sourdough toast. And, of course, prepare to wash down all of the eats with a strong drip coffee from Larder’s neighbors at Sophomore.


Plug Ugly’s Publick House: After eight years on O’Donnell Square in Canton, this mainstay pub is closing its doors later this month—but not before having one last blowout to celebrate its run. A closing party on February 22 will offer a complimentary buffet, drink specials poured by original bartenders, and $3 shots every hour from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. in honor of every year the bar has been open. Though the celebration will mark the end of Plug Ugly’s as we know it, owner Mark Bogosh recently told the Baltimore Business Journal that he has plans to rebrand the bar with a Western theme this spring.

L’Eau de Vie Organic Brasserie: Sadly, this Valentine’s Day will be the last for L’Eau de Vie, the plant-based restaurant that has been open just over a year in Fells Point. In an email announcement, owner Elena Johnson explained that the decision was made amidst irreconcilable negotiations with the building’s landlord. “Even though this chapter is ending, we are grateful for every guest who appreciated our vision for a sustainable, ethical business model,” the message reads. For those unable to redeem gift cards before the restaurant closes on March 1, Johnson is offering for customers to use them with restaurant’s catering business, Nourrie Cuisine, which offers personal chef services, classes, and prepared meals.