Keystone Korner Jazz Club in Baltimore

Baltimore has a new jazz club in town and it’s about damn time!  If you didn’t know, Baltimore has a rich jazz history dating back to the 1960s.  Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday and John Coltrane are just a few jazz legends that put Baltimore on the map.  Sadly as the years passed, the jazz clubs in Baltimore started to dwindle.  There are a few restaurants in Baltimore that host specific jazz-themed nights but none that focus specifically on jazz— that all changed this weeked when Keystone Korner opened in Harbor East, Baltimore.

The restaurant is housed in the previous Mussel Bar space at 1350 Lancaster Street.  Mussel Bar closed in April 2018 for renovation and in March 2019, the owner and chef Rober Weidmaier partnered with jazz producer Todd Barkan to reopen the location as a jazz club. Barkan owned the original Keystone Korner in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood from 1972 until 1983.   Over the weekend, I went in with a friend for their Family & Friends dinner seating and I got a chance to try some of their signature dishes.

Of course, I ordering an Old Fashioned cocktail from the bar. It was the original variation, delicious in taste. Later, I ordered a second one and that was prepared better than the first.  Not uncommon for restaurant bars to prepare cocktails differently especially when new staff is involved, nothing to complain about they both were great.

As our starter course, my friend and I ordered the Ultimate Deviled Eggs, Char-Broiled Chesapeake Oysters, Iceberg Wedge Salad and the Pan Seared Scallops.  I really enjoyed the scallops because it was on a bed of potato and bacon hash, served with a mustard sauce.  I’ve never had scallops served that way and I liked the flavor profile.

 

For our entrees, we ordered the Vegan Tacos, Baby Back Pork Ribs and the Crawford Grill Soul Chicken.   The ribs were phenomenal! Best ribs I’ve had in a while. They were juicy, tender and fall-off-the-bone good.  The entrée came with two different BBQ sauces on the side, which I liked because I like variety.  It also came with coleslaw and baked beans.  I can’t even tell you how those sides taste because I was chowing down on the ribs… my friend said the sides were good.  The roasted chicken was also tender and flavorful and they gave a large serving.  I loved how they served it with potatoes but not the traditional mashed, it was served with a Gruyère Potato Cake and Wild Mushroom Tarragon Sauce. The diners at our neighboring tables were asking about the chicken dish when it came out, it definitely caught everyone’s eye.

For dessert, I ordered the Bananas Foster and my friend ordered the Crustless Lemon Meringue.  To be fair,  I couldn’t have eaten anything on the menu but I order the Bananas Foster because I wanted to see them set it on fire and they did that tableside 🙂  What a presentation!

In addition to the wonderful food on the menu, we had a chance to listen to the sounds of smooth jazz.  Keystone Korner has already filled their performance calendar for the months of May and June with start times of 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm.  You can reserve seating and buy tickets at https://www.keystonekornerbaltimore.com/tickets.  If you’re not in the mood for jazz or live music, you can also visit the restaurant for dinner starting at 4:00 pm on weekdays and weeknights.

Be sure to follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

@ArlisAppetite on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

 

Nomtastic Foods lists the Best Brunches in Baltimore

Arli’s Appetite is a contributor to Nomtastic Foods “Best Brunches in Baltimore” post.   Below is my blurb on GDL Italian by Giada in Horseshoe Casino.  Check out the other mentions here.

Be sure to follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

@ArlisAppetite on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Vegan Restaurant Week Preview at Golden West Cafe

Maryland is hosting its third annual Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week February 8-17, 2019.   With 35 participating restaurants, (28 restaurants are in
Baltimore City) this is the largest Vegan Restaurant Week in the country.  This year, the organizers are asking that restaurant goers vote on their favorite vegan menu item and post photos with the hastags #MyBmore #VeganRestaurantWeek #MDVeganEats #MDvRW.

I was invited to preview the Vegan Restaurant Week options at Golden West Café in Hampden, Baltimore.  I’m not a vegan but I like to eat so I was excited to attend a vegan food event with other vegans and non-vegan foodies.   I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the menu options, not that I thought I wouldn’t like them, I just didn’t know what to expect.

Vegan Chicken Box
Banh Mi Tofu
Oyster Po Boy made with Fried Mushrooms
Seitan Kebobs
Muffuletta
Monster Mac Burger
Fish Tacos

 

Vegan Cocktails
Vegan Cupcakes – Champagne and Strawberry
Vegan Chocolate Desserts

My favorite were the Oyster Po Boy and the Fish Tacos…guess I’m a seafood girl at heart. LOL!  For more information and a full list of participating restaurants, visit https://www.mdveganeats.com/

Be sure to follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

@ArlisAppetite on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

 

A peek at the new Alexander Brown Restaurant in Baltimore

Last week, I was invited to the media preview of the new Alexander Brown Restaurant (135 East Baltimore Street) in Downtown Baltimore.  The renovated bank building on the corner of Baltimore and Calvert Street was the oldest investment bank in the country built in 1901.  It also has the oldest flushing indoor toilet in the United States, but of course it’s non-functional and  tucked away behind a locked door… but a fun fact nonetheless.  This building has bones, it survived the Great Baltimore Fire in 1904 and continued to operate as a bank until 2016.

The newly renovated 150-seat restaurant opens its doors on Monday, February 4th and will offer lunch, dinner and brunch service.  Guests can also sit at the bar and the bar/lounge area and order food from an abbreviated bar menu.

Beef Tartare
Quail Deviled Eggs
Cauliflower Pakora

Let me know what you think of the new restaurant. Leave your comments below.

Be sure to follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

@ArlisAppetite on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Dinner at Café Mezzonotte

I’ve lived in Maryland my entire life and I’ve never been to Severna Park, Maryland. That all changed when I was invited to visit the newly renovated Café Mezzanotte.  As you know, I will travel for food and Severn Park wasn’t that far of a drive. I went on a Sunday and it took just over 35 minutes.  I was invited to check out the renovated restaurant.  Just a few weeks before, it closed for renovations and reopened in September with a new look and over 20 new menu items.

I didn’t know what changes to expect because I’d never visited the location before the renovations but pulling up to the restaurant I admired the sleek black finishes and large white lettering on the building. My foodie friend and I walked inside and we were greeted by a friendly hostess who sat us in the front area of the restaurant.  Our reservation was for 6:00 pm  and there was only two other tables occupied in the restaurant.  Our server Matt was very personable and knew the menu up and down, he came over to introduce himself and take our drink orders.  I ordered an Old Fashioned and my friend ordered a Lemon Drop Martini.  The bar area is in a separate part of the restaurant. Patrons can enter the bar through a separate entrance and eat and drink without being with the other dinner guests in the restaurant area.

Oyster Rockefeller
Charred Octopus

 

 

Lamb Meatballs

We started with three appetizers and honestly it was hard to choose because they had a great selection.  The Oysters Rockefeller were broiled to perfection and topped with crispy bacon.  The Lamb Meatballs were very tender and flavorful, I especially liked the crispy onion straws and pomegranate seeds because they added another level of flavor.  The Octopus was served with a roasted eggplant and tomato salad and I loved that pairing because I’m always looking for easy and interesting foods to cook at home.

Prosciutto Wrapped Filet Mignon

 

Filet Mignon stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese

 

Linguine Vongole

For our entrees we both ordered the Filet Mignon, I ordered the option stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese and my friend ordered the prosciutto wrapped option.  The steak was amazing, not anything to complain about here.  We were also in the mood for pasta so we ordered a favorite, the Linguine Vongole.

For dessert we ordered the cheesecake and the crème brulee.  Please excuse the dark dessert photo, as the meal progressed more people were seated in our section and it was hard for us to use our artificial lighting.  I’d like to note that many of the menu ingredients are source from local and organic farms and this definitely adds to the fresh flavor profile.  I enjoyed each of my menu items and I’d definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone that asks.  If you’re ever in the Severna Park area, please check this place out.

Be sure to follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

@ArlisAppetite on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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