Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Are Invited: Federal Hill Tasting Party!

You won't want to miss the much anticipated debut of Federal Hill’s brand new cookbook, Federal Hill Cooks! You can check it out, hot off the presses, AND sample some of the prepared recipes at our Tasting Party!

This fun event will be on
Thursday, November 18, 7-9 pm at Jordan Faye Contemporary (1401 Light Street). Tickets are just $15 and include food tastings and wine. Come celebrate the book release with friends and neighbors!
Cookbooks will be on sale for $20, a bargain with over 200 selections from South Baltimore neighbors, business owners, and chefs. Chapters include Appetizers, Salads, Soups & Sandwiches, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Desserts, Breakfast, Beverages, Kids in the Kitchen, and more!

To get your Tasting Party ticket, stop by or call Jane at Main Street 410-727-4500.

--Chelsea Ryder

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Federal Hill's Byblos: More Than Good Food

Some say cooking is an art form. There is no doubt that food and art are two of life’s greatest joys. No one knows this better than Sami Tabet. The owner of Byblos Lebanese cuisine at 1033 Light Street, Sami not only runs the restaurant six days a week, he is also an accomplished artist. His oil paintings add a unique flair to the authentic atmosphere of the Lebanese restaurant in the heart of Federal Hill.

Sami paints Arabic words depicting thoughts, stories, and poems in the background of his paintings. This approach reflects the fact, Sami says, that “whenever you do what you do, you are always thinking.” One painting includes names of people he grew up with or once knew incorporated into a scene of seven individuals sitting in a field beneath a tree. The painting that serves as the quintessential piece that delivers this message is titled “No Such A Thing Called Silence.” Sami also dubbed it “Screaming Quiet Place."

Sami discovered his talent for painting at the age of 11 and his passion never ceased. He began taking classes in 1984 in Beirut, Lebanon. His wife, Hala Tabet, is the one behind all of the delicious Lebanese dishes at Byblos, while Sami serves the dishes.

However, meeting his wife and starting a family did not cut short his career as an artist. Soon after coming to the United States in 1988, he began to do full-finishing decorating for restaurants. Now, he decorates his own with his paintings (all of which are for sale). In fact, Sami’s artwork will be on display in a show dedicated to Sami Tabet starting November 1 at The Lutheran Center (700 Light Street). Opening night will ring in with a reception, a chance to meet the artist, walk around, and check out his beautiful and meaningful paintings.

--Chelsea Ryder

Friday, October 22, 2010

Federal Hill’s Businesses Truly Shine

Highlighted in the “AT HOME” section of The Baltimore Sun newspaper are five unique Federal Hill shops. Entitled “For those nights at home,” the article focuses on stores offering home furnishings and housewares that would be delightful inside any home.
Artesanos Don Bosco (828 S. Charles Street) offers beautiful hand-crafted Peruvian furniture. But, it is involved in more than just the business of selling. The store supports a nonprofit organization that provides financial aid to Peruvian communities. The artisans have been trained by Italian craftsmen through the program which operates in Peru. Better yet, all of the profits go right back to the artisans and their communities. (

At Klein’s Antiques (912 S. Charles Street), you will find antique items being sold at wholesale prices. It's also a two-for-one situation -- Baltimore Antique Brokerage buys and sells the products, while downstairs at Federal Restorations and Antiques, the items are restored.

Phina’s for the Home (919 S. Charles Street) is offer affordable and high-quality lines of linens, throw pillows, hand soaps, comforters and more. (

Shofer’s Furniture (930 S. Charles Street), established in 1914, is showecased for its five floors and 70,000 square feet of attractive furniture and home furnishings. And if that wasn’t enough, they also have a clearance center located across the street. (

Zelda Zen (46 E. Cross Street) was included for its unique, playful home decor items, kitchenware, and their famous “Hon Balls." (410-645-2424). (Pictured above)

See photos of the aforementioned (and more!) home goods available in Federal Hill at:

--Chelsea Ryder

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Federal Hill: A Long Way from Japan

The Street Beat Festival wasn’t the only anticipated event happening on September 19th. This was also the day that Hiro Matsumoto came all the way from Japan to visit Federal Hill Main Street, winner of the 2009 Great American Main Street Award! Hiro is interested in starting a similar community revitalization program in his native Japan and was visiting successful organizations throughout the Baltimore/Washington area. Hiro enjoyed the Street Beat Festival activities, particularly the music, and then visited the Main Street Office and Visitors' Center to learn more about the program and its 10-year history.

--Chelsea Ryder

Pictured above are Hiro, Lauren Atkins of National Main Street Center in Washington, DC, and Federal Hill Main Street director Jane Seebold at the festival.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Come n' Get it in Federal Hill: New, New, New!

Federal Hill welcomes three brand new businesses: Midnite, Curiosity, and D&J Gift Shop.

Midnite confection’s cupcakery officially opens at 1051 South Charles on Saturday, October 9th. Along with a cozy, modern atmosphere, Midnite offers a unique twist on the delicious treat we all know and love. Perhaps the most unique are their signature cocktail-themed cupcakes. Other signature flavors include cupcakes with names like “playboy” and “sublime-inal” and, of course, the “midnite” cupcake. If every every night my midnight routine consisted of a chocolate chip cream cheese surprise tucked inside a decadent chocolate cupcake, topped with a sinful chocolate buttercream frosting, I wouldn't mind at all!

Curiosity, another newcomer, is located just above another Federal Hill shop favorite, Whimsy, 1033 South Charles. An expansion of an established interior design studio, Destefano & Graleski, this retail space enables them to offer their own unique flavor with items such as light fixtures, small home accessories, prints, and other specialty home goods.

Located on Light Street, D&J Gift Shop (1129 Light Street) peaks ones curiosity with their supply of various odds and ends. From Halloween masks to jewelry, pocketbooks, hats, china ware tea sets, comical coffee mugs, computer accessories, iPhone covers, and of course, both Orioles and Ravens large life-size chinese umbrellas.

All three are places you surely need to check out for yourself!

--Chelsea Ryder

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Useful WEB Workshop in Federal Hill

Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore is hosting “Boomer & Business 101” - a FREE workshop comprised of guidance on career paths, balancing work and home life, as well as entrepreneurship tips.

There will be two program sessions, the first held Wednesday, October 27, 2010 from 6:30-7:45pm and the second on Friday, October 29, 2010 from 12:00-1:15pm. Both workshops will be held at the WEB Federal Hill Training Location (1118 Light Street, Suite 101, Baltimore MD 21230).

Pre-registration is required! To do so, call WEB at 410-727-4921.

--Chelsea Ryder

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Federal Hill Shop Crawl

Come browse the eclectic mix of boutiques Federal Hill has to offer at the Baltimore magazine VIP Shop Crawl on Thursday, October 21st, from 6-9pm.

Businesses will be offering exclusive sales, food and drink specials, and gifts for the first 100 shoppers to arrive! The night starts at Taverna Corvino (1117 S. Charles Street) with beer, wine, and flatbread pizza specials.

Participating shops include: Alexandra Webb Artisan Jewelry, Amy’s Boutique, Babe. (a boutique), Crystal Moll Gallery, Curiosity…, Honey’s Treasure Chest Accessories Boutique, Ladybugs & Fireflies, Lucinda Gallery & Unique Boutique, Mark Cottman Gallery, Pandora’s Box, Phina’s for the Home, The Bottom Drawer, Vanessa's Vintage Treasures, and Whimsy Boutique, all offering at least a 10% discount!

Check out for more information.

--Chelsea Ryder

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Federal Hill’s Magical Main Man

Spencer Horsman of Illusions Magic Bar (1025 S. Charles Street), a fourth generation Federal Hill-er who entered the world of magic at age four, is embarking on a year-long journey with Cirque du Soleil as a performer and MC.

Even though Illusions will be losing its main man, the establishment, owned by Spencer and his father, Ken Horsman, will not be dark. While Spencer is wowing spectators across 14 countries and 36 U.S cities starting in January 2011, some new and exciting acts will take the stage at Illusions. And, Spencer will make appearances and re-appearances on his home stage in between stops on his international tour. You can even catch him in a new light when Cirque Du Soleil comes to the Washington/Batimore area.

Although Spencer looks forward to the opportunity of working in front of such large and diverse crowds, some mysterious force always pulls him back to Federal Hill, where he will continue to “ooo” and “ahh” the crowd at Illusions. Luckily for us, Spencer has not disappeared into thin air and shall return.

--Chelsea Ryder

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

'Federal Hill COOKS!' Coming Soon

... And, you can, too. With Federal Hill Main Street’s soon-to-be-published cookbook, featuring more than 200 unique and personal recipes from local residents, chefs, and business owners. Family secrets revealed as well as restaurant quality dishes, all can be found in the Federal Hill Main Street Cookbook.

The Cookbook will arrive in mid-November, just in time to make the perfect holiday present for a special someone, or to help you actually make something special for all those holiday parties. Besides tons of delicious and unique recipes, the cookbook will also contain original drawings by Kerri Misiaszek of Locust Point and photographs by Steve Cole of Federal Hill South.

Events centered around the Federal Hill Main Street Cookbook are currently being planned at Jordan Faye Contemporary Gallery as well as The Book Escape! Watch for details at

--Chelsea Ryder

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Flavors of Federal Hill For All

Charm City Food Tours introduces Federal Hill as its newest location. Unlike more traditional tours, these food tours are not just for newcomers. Locals and tourists alike can experience the unique flavors of fine dining in Baltimore. In addition to great tastes for the palate, the tours also provide food for thought as participants learn about local history and architecture.

The Federal Hill tour makes stops at different restaurants each time. Participating establishments include:
Big Jim’s Deli, Abbey Burger Bistro, Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast, Cross Street Market, Trattoria Anna Maria, and Dangerously Delicious Pies. More venues will be added to the route in the future.

Since my recent discovery of Federal Hill, I've done a little food touring of my own. There are so many great options! I've gotten hooked on Byblos Lebanese Cuisine. Located at 1033 Light Street, Byblos is relatively new, but I predict it will becomes as historic as the neighborhood itself. Dishes include traditional middle eastern entrees such as falafel, babaganoush, and both spinach and meat pies. They also serve desserts and even
vegan options! Not to mention, owners Sami Tabet and his wife Hala Tabet fit in perfectly with their Fellow Federal Hill-ers: kind, friendly, and dedicated, not only to their restaurant but to the Federal Hill neighborhood as well. If Byblos does not get added to the food tours in the future, be sure to check it out on your own personal food tour.

For more information on Charm City Food Tours, visit:

--Chelsea Ryder