In my book, The Elephant roared quietly on its second opening night for invited guests! Held in a bit of reserve as the menu rolls out larger each day, the passionate, professional staff picked up the pace as the evening of tours, drinks and awesome World Cuisine was offered.
Linda Brown Rivelis and Steven Rivelis are to be congratulated for resurrecting this once ornate residence from the 1800’s with highlights of Indian and Middle eastern charms, Victorian chandeliers, european fireplaces, Tiffany cut glass widows and surround embellishments.
After 2 centuries of change and unfortunate neglect, the Rivelis’ have partnered with younger and vibrant experts to wake up the sleeping Brass Elephant and Tusk bars to recreate an updated Elephant Restaurant in its original site among a regentrifying Mount Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore.
We found, and hopefully you will also, fun and serious dining and drinking options including stand up bars, street facing and more private dining and lounges ready to serve their expanding world tastes as full or small plates.
We started the evening with valet service! Then, were were kindly and professionally greeted and offered our table or choice of 2 bars. We picked the 3rd floor bar and worked our way down with a selection of wines, freshly made updated cocktails, fresh oysters and nosh. Over 70 wine selections, additional global beers and a full upscale back bar of liquors are already available due to the year of active input from experienced Mallory Staley, General Manager.
As the evening relaxingly progressed and we met new and old friends, young and established, from local and distant neighborehoods, New York and beyond. It was evident that the new restaurant retained memories of a well oiled establishment.
At dinner, I appreciated the highlighted pearlized pink walls with original double high ceilings, historical wood floors, mahagony partitioning screens and grand mouldings. These finishes were paired with evolving decco railings, comfy bauhaus and modern furnishings expected from an eclectic 1960’s duo as the Rivelis’. Both were there to receive the joy and the additional contructive critiques to refine their dreams.
Tonights shortened selections were a unique recollection of new and past experiences. Yummy zucchini puffs pulled from the garden, Pimlico Hotel styled egg rolls with fresh cabbage, sprouts and the softest local pork. Lauri and I moved next to a unstructured most delicious vegetarian lasagna of home made pasta and regional tomatoes, spices and cheese. We paired this with a pan cooked duck breast in a light and uplifted cherry demi glaze with side of a potato stack and fresh beans. Created and locally sourced from their hummble chef Andy Thomas, the food was fresh and delicious.
Desert pulled from our inner kid with cookies and milk or berry cobbler warmed on its own iron mini skillet with that days home made vanilla ice cream or a decadent chocolate mouse hemisphere on a delicious crisp with fresh whipped cream.
Yes, for us foodies, there were espressos and after dinner drinks.
Go for drinks and pistachio popcorn, or full court dining for yourself. Lauri and I will return to create new and remember old memories!
All the best and success to the new Elephant!
Dean Kane, MD, FACS