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Corner Charcuterie Bar, Bernard Dehaene's Upscale Eatery on the Corner of Elm Avenue and 36th Street in Hampden - Closed

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Last night, before I went to see John Sayles read at Atomic Books, I dropped into The Corner on the Avenue in Hampden for dinner. It's the former site of the 36th st Diner, just south of The Wine Source. The chef, Bernard Dehaene used to be a Mannequin Pis in Olney. The menu looked pretty impressive- continental with a Belgian influence- mussels, steak frites, waffles for dessert, escargots. Their specials sounded intriguing as well- kangaroo tenderloin, dover sole. I ordered 2 starters- housemade boudin noir and soft shell crab on top of fiddleheads. The blood sausage was creamy & delicious. The softshell was beautifully pan fried, no batter. For my main course, I had the veal orloff- it was cooked with the bone and topped generously with beschamel and mushrooms. The meat was very well prepared.

My only complaints- they are cash only (not that bad), and the corkage fee- I brought in a beer and was charged $4 for it. Also they charge you $1 for a takeaway box.

850 West 36th Street

Baltimore, MD 21211

(443)869.5075

UPDATE- pics are here

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A couple sources in town report that The Corner is starting an exotic meat club. They say the chef has served python and yak, and he is also looking for black bear. Wonder if there will be Komodo dragon?

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A couple sources in town report that The Corner is starting an exotic meat club. They say the chef has served python and yak, and he is also looking for black bear. Wonder if there will be Komodo dragon?

Only if Maximilian Schell is in the kitchen.

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I went to the Corner a second time for dinner last week. This time, I did not bring alcohol because of their stupid corkage policy. Dinner was good though. I spoke with the hostess and she said the exotic meat club will be starting up in the fall.

My appetizer was an arugula salad topped with a proscuitto chip and seared diver scallop. My main was a fish called a courbine- cooked in cross section on the bone with spherical plum juice and truffled fingerling potatoes. The fish is carnivorous, and it's flesh was white and medium density. For dessert, I had a waffle with fruit and whipped cream.

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Just got email from them re:their exotic meat club. They are starting a gastronaut society. $50 fee to join up.:

"We were so honored when one of our very first mentions by Richard Gorelick, of the Baltimore Sun, stated that we produce "consistently beguiling, interesting and delicious food." With the fabulous response from our Exotic Meat Club announcement, the Gastronaut Society has officially been formed to represent food exploration with Chef Bernard and his team at the helm. The options are boundless, given all the EXOTIC FOOD out there to bring to your table. As a member of the Gastronaut Society you can avail of:

Three prix fixe Gastronaut Society Dinners throughout the calendar year at membership prices

10% plate discounts on special adventurous fare featured on our menu

Official Gastronaut Society knife engraved with your name, identifying you as a member"

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Last night was the 1st gastronaut society dinner at the Corner. I had a good time. There were about 30-40 people. They encourage a social atmosphere, so we mingled at the bar to start. They had hors d'oeuvres circulating- oysters with caviar and pomegranate sorbet, pate, and proscuitto with asparagus.

It was a seven course meal- kangaroo tartare with quail egg, cow penis in vegetable coconut curry broth, boar cheek on polenta with foie gras foam, diver scallop with salmon roe & spherical lychee juice on cabbage, squab with brussel sprouts and lingonberry bacon reduction, antelope loin with green apple mustard, salsify, and potato marrow croquettes, and lastly a cheese plate from Cherry Glen farms.

They welcomed feedback on each dish. Some were hits (antelope, boar cheek, squab), some were not (scallop). The penis drove out one table- it has the texture of beef tendon.

Next dinner's in January.

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They welcomed feedback on each dish. Some were hits (antelope, boar cheek, squab), some were not (scallop). The penis drove out one table- it has the texture of beef tendon.

 

The, umm, what?

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Going to Corner Charcuterie Bar tomorrow for the first time.  Will report back.

 

Well, I had no idea Bernard was back in the area. When he sold Le Mannequin Pis, I knew he left for Philadelphia. No idea he's been back for so long!

Anyway, from what I was told by our friend, they used to be two places, but they are now indeed merged together, but I think with different menus. There's a proper bar in the Charcuterie side (to the left as you walk in from the mid-block entrance), while there is actually a short bar as soon as you walk in where people are mainly dining but also drinking.  I saw the drinks menu from the Charcuterie side, and on the back was a long list of I think small plate items mainly. I noticed they had frog legs and I was kind of excited. But the other side where we dined (to the right of where you walk in), the menu was a 3-course for $30 plus some extra items you could order. Bummed I could not get the frog legs we still had a very delicious meal.

So, the place was PACKED. We had 8PM reservations, but did not get seated until about 8:20 or so. They apologized... We got seated, placed orders within about 10-15 minutes, and settled in.

SIDE NOTE - the place allows BYOW for an extremely reasonable fee -- $1 per stem used, and $3 per bottle opened. INCREDIBLE! We opened two bottles of Littorai (a 2012 Chardonnay and a 2011 Savoy Pinot Noir).

So, we ordered all differently for each of the three courses so we could all sample everything. We also ordered some extras, including a bone marrow dish, kangaroo tartare and frites. Probably about 40 minutes went by. Our wait person rarely made appearances. At first, when she did appear on the floor she was helping tables near us. But at that time it had only been about 10 minutes or so, so we were not expecting food just yet. We finally flagged down a server to ask for our person to swing by. She showed up about 5 min later and appeared concerned we did not have anything yet. Of course, had she ever checked in, AT ALL, with us in those 40 minutes, she would have known there was nothing out yet. Kind of nuts, huh? It was amazing to see all of the food come out of the kitchen for people seated long after us. Ah well.

So then all three extras appeared within 5 minutes, and less than 5 more minutes the appetizer courses came out so the table got crowded and we felt rushed. <sigh>  I think they realized this and the pacing for the entrees and desserts was better. The last issue with service was they messed up our bill by charging us for 4 people. This was fixed by a different server for us. I think this person just had an off night or forgot to put the ticket in or something.

ANYWAY, the food was GREAT.  The frites were not quite what the same as Le Mannequin Pis (at its peak), but very good, though the aioli was thin. The marrow was delicious. The kangaroo tartare was really, really good. We got to sample each other's dishes, too. There was  duck heart and something dish that was nice and peppery. An absinthe wet cured salmon was lovely. An oyster stew was light on oysters, heavy on veg, but really deep in flavor. A shrimp entree was tasty, but somewhat overpowered by the train green curry served with it. A lamb, lentils and yogurt dish was quite good. But the trout was tremendous. Desserts were tasty, if not quite plated as well as you'd think.

I'd go back for the food and cocktails alone. Service can be mixed and I am not going to ding the place for one server's off performance. And seriously, aside from places like Dino's Grotto that have free corkage nights, getting to BYOW with decent stemware, on a Saturday night for $12 for two bottles, 3 people and 6 stems is refreshing.

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[Thomas, I'll delete both this post and your response, so don't worry about writing style. Are you saying you can't get both menus on both sides? If that's the case, they get separate threads. One is called "Corner Charcuterie Bar" and the other is called "Corner BYOB?" (Eric Ziebold loves Littorai, btw - he briefly worked there, I think.)

Yours is a great and useful post, btw. Thanks for writing it.]

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I cannot definitively say for sure if it is one menu on one side of the house, and a different menu on the other. This may be because it seemed like a restaurant week sort of menu but I could be wrong. 3 courses for $30.  I am also not entirely sure if there is a wine list, because they did not bring one or offer since they saw I brought wine.

Next time I go I will triple check these finer details.

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I cannot definitively say for sure if it is one menu on one side of the house, and a different menu on the other. This may be because it seemed like a restaurant week sort of menu but I could be wrong. 3 courses for $30.  I am also not entirely sure if there is a wine list, because they did not bring one or offer since they saw I brought wine.

Next time I go I will triple check these finer details.

 

I wrote the restaurant, and heard back. Summary: They each get their own thread, and we don't have any posts (or thread) for the Corner Charcuterie Bar yet:

Q: Is Corner Charcuterie Bar and Corner BYOB one entity, or two? A: They are two entities. The Corner BYOB Restaurant is the fine dining restaurant. The Other Corner is our Charcuterie Bar and late night food destination. They are a similar entity, but designed to offer different guest experiences.

Q: Are they connected? A: Yes. The two restaurants are both physically connected, owned and managed by Chef Bernard, and run through the same kitchen. Guests may travel freely from one side to the other.

Q: And most importantly, can you get both menus in both establishments? A: Generally no. We offer charcuterie and cheese boards at the Corner BYOB Restaurant, and no other bar food. The Other Corner Charcuterie Bar has a separate menu, and cuisine from the restaurant side cannot be ordered at the Other Corner Bar. We make certain accommodations for large parties occasionally, if enough time is given in advance when placing a reservation. I hope I answered your questions as accurately as possible! Kathleen McAteer is our General Manager. If you have any more questions please feel free to email her at cornergm@gmail.com.

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I cannot definitively say for sure if it is one menu on one side of the house, and a different menu on the other. This may be because it seemed like a restaurant week sort of menu but I could be wrong. 3 courses for $30.  I am also not entirely sure if there is a wine list, because they did not bring one or offer since they saw I brought wine.

Next time I go I will triple check these finer details.

Restaurant week ran up until Saturday or Sunday, but I don't know if they participated or not

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13 hours ago, Shaho said:

This should not come as a surprise. There were constant rumors of staff dissent and turnover, and frequent unexplained closures during the week. Current word on the street (from my neighbor, who I would not say is the most credible source...) is that the head chef on the Charcuterie side will be taking over the establishment and rebooting. We'll hear more soon, I'm sure.

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12 hours ago, monsterriffs said:

 There were constant rumors of staff dissent and turnover

Same when he was chef/owner of Mannequin Pis in Olney.

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