Bolton Hill’s Tilted Row Welcomes Michelin-starred Chef, Canton Pub Sets Sail

Before Ziad Maalouf open Fili Coffee And The inclined row In Baltimore he ran Coffee Olé in Washington, DC

The restaurant known for its Mediterranean cuisine like lamb shawarma, black bean hummus and caramel date cake was a staple of the Tenleytown neighborhood for two decades before closing in 2018. It began as a collaboration between Maalouf and chef Jacques Van Stadenwho struck up a friendship early in their careers while working in the celebrity chef’s high-pressure kitchen Jean-Louis Palladin At Watergate Hotel.

The two eventually went their separate ways, with Maalouf focusing on his Baltimore restaurants and Van Staden working for cruise lines and opening restaurants in Detroit. This summer, they are joining forces again to focus on Maalouf’s Bolton Hill bistro, The inclined rowwhich will soon be getting a makeover, from the menu to the decor.

I have details on those plans in this week’s column, which also includes news of changes underway for a Canton bar and a national tribute to a local cocktail bar.

“One Last Dance”

In the 1980s and 1990s, Jean-Louis at Watergate was known as a gathering place for D.C. politicians — and a training ground for budding leaders, like Eric Ripertwho later founded the Michelin-starred restaurant The Bernardin.

For Jacques Van Staden“It was the hardest and most invigorating work” of his career. The experience helped him embark on other adventures: a stint at Alize in Las Vegas, where he was nominated for a Rising Star Chef award from the James Beard Foundationa hospitality consulting firm and culinary leadership roles for Celebrity Cruises And MSC Cruise CompaniesHe also started a restaurant chain, 2941 Street food.

But Van Staden often thought about his time in Washington and Coffee Oléthe restaurant he opened with a friend Ziad MaaloufThe two stayed in touch as Maalouf opened Fili Coffee in Baltimore in 2017, followed by The inclined row in 2019.

Tilted Row will close for the month of August to renovate the Bolton Hill restaurant’s menu and decor. (Photo by Steven Visneau)

Finally, Van Staden decided he had had enough of other adventures. He called Maalouf and asked him: “Do you want to do one last dance?”

This summer, Van Staden and Maalouf will team up to try to bring back diners to Tilted Row, which has suffered a decline in business since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the reason could be the business model: Fast-food joints like Café Fili thrive on quick service and takeout, which have grown in popularity during the pandemic, while more formal sit-down restaurants have slowed. Another likely reason, Maalouf thinks, is Tilted Row’s location in the largely residential Bolton Hill neighborhood.

“Coming out of the pandemic, at Fili, we did extremely well,” he told me, “but The Tilted Row struggled because of the location of the concept.”

Chef Amy Hesselwho had been running the kitchen at The Tilted Row for three years, left at the end of June. Van Staden will take over as Maalouf’s partner Somerset Culinary Concepts to handle the culinary side of things as they search for a new head chef.

In August, The Tilted Row will close for a month while Maalouf and Van Staden redecorate the restaurant and rewrite its menu. The Mediterranean-American concept will now lean heavily toward Southern fare, Van Staden said: think smoked short ribs with andouille sausage and Cajun rice, shrimp and grits, and chicken and waffles.

The reboot will also focus on presentation, with more creative plating aimed at encouraging diners to post their dishes on Instagram.

While they hope social media will spread the word about the restaurant beyond Bolton Hill, the partners acknowledged that bringing neighbors to The Tilted Row will be key to its survival.

“Before the pandemic, we used to source largely from the counties,” Maalouf said. “Now, people in the counties are staying there, so we want to source within a one-mile radius. We’re doubling down, not straying.”

He and Van Staden also plan to expand Café Fili, which opened a location in Washington, D.C. in 2019. They hope to open three or four new locations of the cafe in the coming years.

“It’s a good new beginning for both of us,” Maalouf said.

Canton Bar for sale

Shipyard Pub The bar on the corner of Baylis and O’Donnell streets closed this spring after five years in business and is now for sale for just under $130,000.

The sale would include the business and use of the pub’s liquor license, but not the real estate, which is owned by Andre Lasinski And Tyler Stanekaccording to property records. Lasinski was also involved in bars like One Star Country Club And The Charles.

The rating comes amid changes in the world of bars and restaurants in Canton. Blue Hill Tavern — technically in Brewers Hill — closed in May after 15 years in business and looks set to welcome new tenants soon: IndoAmerican and Sushi Place, LLC applied to take over the restaurant’s liquor license, according to city liquor commission documents.

The old one The bartenders The space at 2218 Boston St., meanwhile, will soon house the new Boston Street Baraccording to the alcohol authority.

Bravo to the coral wig

The national reputation of Baltimore’s bars and restaurants continues to grow.

A week after the New York Times raved about the pizza, Little Donna At Upper Fells Point, another Charm City spot has landed on Bon Appetit’s radar.

The magazine included The coral wiga tropical cocktail bar for restaurateurs Lane Harlan and Matthew Pierceon its list of the 11 “best new bars in the United States”

Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Amiel Stanek praised the atmosphere of the Mount Vernon bar, which opened just over a year ago in the alley of the Hotel Ulyssewriting that the “tropical but decidedly not tiki lounge… is a shapeshifter of the highest order.”

“Come in early, while the late afternoon sun is still filtering through the amber-tinted windows, and the Philippine mahogany-paneled walls and hand-painted checkerboard flooring are glowing with a golden glow,” Stanek says. “A few hours later, the small space is incredibly dark… Whether you’re here for happy hour or the last visit, you’re in the expert hands of Charm City’s mood-setters, feeling far, far away, and very much at home.”

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