Monday, December 11, 2006

The Hungry Cat is Expanding

There is a big new sign plastered on the window of The Hungry Cat restaurant: "The Hungry Cat Raw Bar Spring 2007." I asked David Lentz owner/chef, as to whether he was finally expanding into the adjacent vacated Schwab's restaurant space. David, just before taking over the grill, indicated that the plans have now been finalized in which The Hungry Cat will expand resulting in more indoor and outdoor seating. But the best part will be a Raw Bar featuring oysters, caviar, and raw fish. Previously, back in August 2006, I wrote about eating at The Hungry Cat, and I will refrain from talking about another wonderful brunch after visiting the Sunday Hollywood Farmers Market.

David Lentz, having grown up in Maryland, has been influenced by the Chesapeake Bay seafood culture. In fact, Judson, a former employee told me about, the times that The Hungry Cat brought out a large shipment of Maryland Blue Crabs and set out the hammers. The first time they did not sell out, and I think it was all you could eat at one price. But when David Lentz did it a second time, word had gotten out, that this was a real Maryland crab feast, in which large quanities were being offered. And if you have ever eaten blue crab with a true Marylander, you will know how fast and how many crabs can be consumed. The crabs were gone in no time, leaving the later arrivals with no crabs. Judson said that they would probably limit the number of crabs the next time.

A great small wine list that pairs well with the seafood centric menu is another great feature at The Hungry Cat. I mentioned visiting a Heritage Turkey Farm in Sparks, Maryland not that far from where David Lentz grew up. I told him how the Springfield Farms Heritage Turkeys were so good, that Robert Parker who lived down the street would FedEx these birds on dry ice for holiday gifts. David then told me how he used to do wine tastings with Robert Parker. Now we know, David Lentz trained under one of the best in the business.

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