Sunday, August 01, 2010
Ever since HowChow came on the local food scene I happily deferred all restaurant reviews to his more nuanced keystrokes. Still there are times when I just can’t help but throw in my two cents, or three as it were.
Here are three recent observations of the HoCo loco food scene:
One: Mama Wordbones and I first visited Portalli’s in Ellicott City back in December. Back then they had only been open for about a month. We were disappointed but at the same time we were willing to give the place another try…sometime.
Sometime arrived this past Thursday night when I was out for a solo dinner. I had intended to grab a bite and a glass of wine at the Pure Wine Café but the bar was full so I decided to head down the street to Portalli’s instead.
Before long I found myself sitting at the bar deep in conversation with Evan Brown, one of the owners. To make a long story blogable I’ll just say that my dinner was great. I partook of their Farm-2-Table Restaurant Week menu which included bruschetta, risotto, and blackened rockfish. It was all good. I think it’s time to take Mama Wordbones back.
Two: Saturday night was an absolutely gorgeous night. The early evening temperature was perfect so we decided we wanted to eat outside. Mama Wordbones had never eaten outside at CoHo Grill so I easily convinced her to check it out. It turned out to be a good call. As opposed to the prolific parking lot outdoor dining in HoCo, CoHo offers an entirely different experience. Instead of asphalt we looked out over manicured lawns bordered by a mature stand of trees. Instead of traffic noise we were engulfed by the sounds of nature.
The dinner was excellent too. We opted to go with the Restaurant Week menu and were not disappointed though I don’t think I’d order the watermelon feta salad again. The best part was that Saturday night at CoHo Grill all bottles of wine are half price. Now I’ve heard of restaurants offering half price wine on slow week nights but this was the first time I’ve been to a place that did it on a Saturday night. We uncorked a bottle of Woop Woop and drank in the night and the wine.
Three: Count me as fan of Farm-to-Table Restaurant Week. At Portalli’s I enjoyed HoCo loco sundried tomatoes with my risotto and HoCo loco cucumbers and red peppers with my rockfish. At CoHo Mama Wordbones and I split a blueberry trifle with very fresh blueberries from Larriland Farm.
Nicely done, very nicely done.