Morris Martick RIP
Didn't get a lot of notice but a Baltimore restaurant icon passed away last week!!
MR. Martick passed away on December 16 at the age of 88.
Yes--thank you for that sad notice. Ironically, I never had the pleasure of dining at Martick's--so sad. But, I know that it was a Baltimore institution and that Mr. Martick was part of that. RIP --FoiGras
I cannot say I was a regular at Martick's. Maybe I've eaten there a half dozen or ten times in 30 years. Actually in recent years I ate there more frequently since each mention of Martick in a local publication included the warning that you better go cause he can't last forever. The warning was given so frequently that Martick would joke about it in passing during his visits with customers.
I loved the snake skinned wall paper and the stainless steel. It was sometimes cold and the tile floor created echoes in the mostly empty dining room. I was fascinated when the lights flickered. Was the place about to catch fire? It reminded me of the billboard on Route 50 that you used to see heading for the Bay Bridge advertising "The Poseidon Reataurant-- Where dining is always an Adventure".
When out of town guests come I love to take them to places that evoke what Baltimore is and was. Our friends in New York enjoy doing the same when we visit. So we have been to Peter's Pub, Zorba's, the Wine Market, Tio Pepe's, Ryleigh's, Night of 100 Elvis' and once a few years ago to Martick's.
I recall being unsuccessful contacting Martick by phone for reservations so I went to Mulberry street one afternoon and rang the bell. Martick opened the second floor window and leaned out. He was in his underwear which from many stories I've read was a common state. In fact he was known for cooking in his second floor kitchen in less. I made the reservation and we enjoyed a successful dinner including bouillabase, pate, and a visit from Martick at our table. He regaled us with memories of his days as an antique dealer and with mutual friends from the antique district on Howard Street.
This was among the most successful evenings entertaining our New York City dwelling friends who got a dose of multiple Baltimore flavors in a single evening.
A few days ago I went to Mekong Delta with my wife. I took along a City Paper with Martick's obituary to read. We refer to Mekong Delta as one of our "rut" places since it has the ultimate combination of freshness and value for the dollar combined with a pleasnt host Leo so we go there frequently. After dinner I asked Leo if he knew Morris Martick. He said "that guy?" pointing to Martick's photo on the cover of the paper. "Oh yeah, I knew him. He would come in frequently and sit at that table in the back by himself. He always looked like he was checking things out and gave me advice about how I should run my restaurant."
It's good to know he never retired. Thank you Morris for the flavor you added to the city.