A few weeks ago, I attended a media dinner at The Corner Pantry, the new cafe and bakery in Lake Falls Village, the small shopping center at the corner of Falls Road and Lake Avenue. The cafe space had previously been Banksy’s Cafe and I felt bad that I never had a chance to go there. For many years, it was Glazs Cafe and I always liked that place, which was run by The Classic Catering People.
Enter Chef Neill Howell. A Brit, he moved to Baltimore from New York City to open and run Bond Street Social, a place I visited once – liked the food very much, didn’t love the place. A little too hip for me. Fast forward about a year and Chef Howell and his wife Emily (a Baltimorean!) bought and totally redesigned the cafe. I LOVE the decor – white subway tile, black accents, chalkboard and great modern lighting. Every time I go in, I can’t help but wish my kitchen looked exactly like that! Gorgeous and classic.
At the media dinner, we were first treated to beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres – little treats like crab and corn fritters, mini chicken and waffle BLTs and watermelon basil granita. I especially loved the granita – it was simple and really flavorful and refreshing on a summer night. Then we enjoyed a Ploughman’s board (YUM – ham hocks, local Charlottetown Farm goat’s cheese, crostini, relish, and more) and several courses of entrees and salads, served family style around the table of eight guests. My favorite dish was kimchi soba noodles – the perfect kick. And, even though (sadly) I am not a huge dessert person, the WARM sugar coated doughnut in a spoonful of passionfruit butterscotch sauce was ridiculously good. And they sent us home with more baked goods like scones, cookies, muffins and more.
In addition to the usual coffee drinks (yes, I love my caffeine…) and baked goods, Corner Pantry has a daily cold bar, offering grilled meats and fish, sides and more. It changes everyday and is posted on their website. On a recent trip in, I got chicken and rice, tomato salad and some mighty tasty truffled cauliflower soup. Happy girl. It’s all sold by the pound and I know I will be picking up dinner there soon. They’re open 7:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m. on Monday – Friday and 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. You can also go for the daily afternoon tea service from 2:30-4:30pm. For $12, you get tea, the daily scone, two tea sandwiches and a petit four. Sounds like a nice after school treat to me…
Chef will also also offer cooking classes — very affordably at $35 — on everything from grilled pizzas (September) to British classics (October) to Holiday Hors d’oeuvres (November). If you’re looking for a great cooking teacher, look no further than Chef Neill: down to earth, approachable and very, very talented. Do it.
It seems like this place is gonna do really well. Good vibes for sure!