Richard Gorelick writes about Lauraville's Red Canoe in today's Baltimore Sun's Food and Dining section:
Self-confidence is as attractive in a restaurant as it is in a person. The best places to dine both expensively and frugally more often than not turn out to be the product of someone's clear vision.
You can tell you're in one of these places when you're relaxed and satisfied. Someone else has done the hard work. Servers feel this too -- good service hardly ever happens in an uncertain setting. And the only thing that really matters about ambience is that it's been thought about. Great food helps. Sometimes,a place like this will appeal directly to your desires -- that's when you fall in love.
While reviewing inexpensive dining in 2009, this happened to me at Red Canoe Bookstore in Lauraville (4337 Harford Road, 410-444-4440), Nicole and Peter Selhorst's combination bookstore, de facto community center, enchanted garden and lunchroom. Customers might come for the fresh, homemade and healthy food -- sumptuous chili, and the best muffins anywhere -- and leave feeling they've been nourished in other ways, too. The Selhorsts knew what they wanted Red Canoe to be, their neighbors supported them, and now it's real.
The full story is here.