July 11- 20
We all know David Smith as a successful businessman (Sinclair Broadcasting), but he’s an evolving restaurant entrepreneur as well. With Bagby Pizza and Ten Ten under his belt, he is prepping to open the brand new Fleet Street Kitchen soon, and another establishment in Towson after that. To introduce the local food press to the menu and the repertoire of chef Christopher “Squints” Becker, Smith and his wife Jane hosted a dinner in the gardens of at their beautiful Balto County home, Cunningham Manor. I, along with some twenty or so other journalists and restaurant people attended on a gorgeous evening in mid-July. Prior to the dinner, guests were shuttled to Smith’s neighboring farm property to see where much of the produce and stock that will be used in the new farm-to-table restaurant will come from. After an excellent four-course dinner (including some amazing brined and smoked fried chicken) guests toured the gardens and greenhouses (which will also provide flowers and herbs for the restaurant kitchens). Before leaving, guests were given some bounty to take home, including fresh-made raspberry jam, pickled beets and a dozen fresh-laid eggs. The following evening, I attended the annual Craberet party in the gardens of the BMA, sampling some wonderful food from Gertrude’s chef John Shields and chatting with Amy Newhall, Stiles Colwill, Betty & Buddy Rosen, Rhea Feikin, Tiffany Zappulla, Edie Brown, mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, Linda Moxley and lots of others. On Sunday evening, 7/15, I squeezed into the Mt. Royal Tavern for the annual Foodscape art show, and enjoyed mingling with some of the artists, photographers and guests, including Kevin Lynch, Jim Burger and Abby Lattes.