Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cheap Date

I predict that the hottest pace to hangout this summer will be the patio at the new Stanford Grill in Columbia. Last night at a private opening reception, the patio had its grand debut and it was instant hit with the invited guests. Though the view of Rouse Parkway and the strip shopping center across the street is no match for the lakefront in Town Center, the owners have succeeded in creating an intimate outdoor dining and lounging area that is unique in the Baltimore Washington Corridor. You hardly even notice that there is a road out there.

Mama Wordbones and I spent most of the evening on the patio. Though the rain poured down around us on three sides, we stayed dry as we dined under the canopy with the large fireplace.

For most of dinner I sat next to Guy Guzzone and his wife Pam. We talked a bit about the proposed settlement between the residents of the Villas at Cattail Creek and the developers over the ill fated private sewage system they installed. I mentioned to Guy that fellow blogger HoCo Rising had written that he doesn’t believe the proposed settlement is a “credible offer.”

It’s easy to second guess these things. I told Guy that I suspected that this settlement offer was the result of some hard bargaining and protracted negotiations where threats were made by both sides to walk away from the settlement and let the courts decide the issue. Guy informed that he had been “very involved” in these discussions and that, in fact, was the case. He described the process as being contentious and that the proposed settlement offer was not reached easily.

And speaking of HoCo Rising, I also ran into his mom and dad inside the restaurant in one of the cozy booths. Dad is also a blogger but admits to not being as prolific as he’d like to be and certainly not as much as his son.

After dinner we moved over to the fireplace area and I spent some time talking to our podcast producer Dave Bittner. We were informed this week that our show will no longer be welcome at the Lakeside Café in Town Center. Michael So told us that someone had complained that the show was not appropriate for his café. Considering the fact that we tape well after the lunch hour on Friday afternoons when there are very few people actually in the café, I suspect there is local politics behind this “complaint.” Our show next Friday with HowChow will be the last at Lakeside.

Towards the end of the evening I spoke a bit with David Jones, the managing partner of the Blue Ridge Restaurant Group which owns the Stanford Grill. He told me that they were initially reluctant to put a restaurant in this location because of it’s rather off the beaten path location. They changed their minds when they decided to create a sort of R&D restaurant that would test out dishes that could eventually find their way into the other Blue Ridge Restaurant Group restaurants that operate under the Copper Canyon brand. Since this location was to be a bit more upscale and innovative they figured that people would take the little extra effort to find it.

Judging from the wide sampling of their menu that we enjoyed last night, it will be well worth that effort.


Hapi said...

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Name Dropped said...

Question: Do the folks who talk to you do so with the understanding that you'll be quoting them on the blog? Seems like they would make that assumption if talking to a real reporter. Is there a similar etiquette for bloggers, e.g. on the record vs. off the record?

HoCoRising said...

Ha! That's a trip.

In light of the damages claimed, I just don't see how $4K a home gets the job done. I don't doubt the effort in making that proposal, considering that all parties want to move on. While everyone's at the table, how bout that 9-hole golf course?

My mom also mentioned that she ran into Calvin Ball last night. That's one conversation I would have liked to have been a fly in the wall for.

Jen said...

Can't people just have a normal, neighborly conversation anymore? It is not as though the GM conversation generated prolific soundbites sure to be used against him in the future. In the instant information age, a conversation with a bartender at Clyde's could be tweeted across the Internets in a matter of seconds. I'm not so sure on vs. off the record is relevant these days.

Dave Bittner said...

The food, atmosphere and company were all wonderful that night. My only concern for the restaurant is the location. I joked they should hand out free GPS units with their address preloaded, so people can wind their way back there.

HowChowBlog said...

Hardly notice the road there? You apparently have still not adopted the parking lot cafe lifestyle. People are going to go there for the view of the road.

I think the on/off the record issue is interesting, but I doubt that it actually applies here. Stanford Grill hosted a "press" event last week that sounds like it was mostly bloggers, so Wordbones was probably more known as a blogger in that restaurant than anywhere else.