Best Places To Eat In Baltimore – Baltimore may be best known among food-focused travelers for its crab cakes, beef tenderloin and Burger Biscuits, but the city’s fast-growing restaurants have much more to offer. In recent years, a new vanguard of restaurants has raised and expanded the choice of dining establishments – from the inner harbor to the outskirts of the city. These 5 restaurants are helping Monumental City reach new culinary heights.
Spike Gerdet is the culinary father of Charm City. His passionate dedication to local ingredients and skillful blending of Old World methods with a 21st-century outlook have helped make Gjerde’s flagship, Woodberry Kitchen, one of the Mid-Atlantic’s finest restaurants. His growing empire also includes this attractive eatery in the charming Belvedere area. The menu is dominated by a cozy dish in a rustic style. Start with nice little bites like maple butter cornbread and cheesy, gravy-drenched disco fries topped with a sunny-side-up egg, then move on to hearty sandwiches, hearty appetizers, and grandma-approved desserts. Two pieces of advice: come to the meal and be prepared to have your belt a little (or 2) out.
Best Places To Eat In Baltimore
Located at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Inner Harbor, this ambitious venture comes courtesy of top chef Michael Mina. Whether you choose to sit outside to enjoy the waterfront views or sit next to the open kitchen with its wood-fired grill, you’re guaranteed a breathtaking view. Styled as a modern tavern, the restaurant’s New American cuisine manages to be both traditional and modern. Think old-time Maryland crab cake with pistachio butter and horseradish slaw, or pork belly braised in dark roasted beans from nearby Lamill’s. Save room for pastry chef Dyan Ng’s progressive pastries, which often feature surprising savory elements, such as sweet olive waffles on white chocolate pudding.
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Sometimes you find the best bites in the most unusual places. This whimsically named eatery is located on the third floor of the equally whimsical and compelling Museum of American Visual Arts (admission to the museum is free if you only eat in the restaurant). While Mr. Raine’s decor may seem fanciful, inspired by a trip down under, the food takes its cues from continental classics. Homemade pickles, artisanal sausages and creative charcuterie make great starters to share. Burgers are a smart choice for your main course, including one made with ground brisket topped with seared foie gras and sweet, smoky ketchup (don’t worry, we won’t argue with your cardiologist if you order this). Weather permitting, sit on the patio to enjoy the view of Federal Hill and the fantastic sculptures of the open-air museum.
It is a mecca for meat lovers. “Chef-owner Winston Bleek handcrafts charcuterie from locally sourced meats, from pâtés and pepperoni to bologna and bacon. Visitors can even peek into the restaurant’s special room, where strings of sausages hang from the ceiling and shelves are lined with pig’s heads, bones and duck breasts. The menu features an amazing array of multicultural options. Feel French with escargot with mustard and thyme cream, appreciate Italian inspiration by devouring vegetarian carbonara, and get into the Belgian mood with a steaming bowl of wine-buttered mussels. Homemade brunch is a family treat, rich in savory and sweet dishes. If there’s a batch of freshly fried donuts on deck when you arrive, be sure to order them.
One of Baltimore’s fastest rising stars is chef Cyrus Kiefer. He first made his mark at Birroteca, a first-class beer pizzeria built in a 19th-century stone mill, which is worth a visit on its own. He currently heads the kitchen at one of the city’s most popular restaurants, Fork & Wrench. A modern kitchen based on a classic style is inventive, but not expensive. Risotto is filled with smoked lamb neck, veal cheeks are brightened with grapefruit and poppy seeds, and a fluffy Asian bun is filled with escargot, melted provolone, parsley butter and onion ribbons. Although the menu is meat-heavy, vegetarians and vegans can opt for the ever-changing 3-course degustation dinner, which is so well-executed that it doesn’t feel like an afterthought.
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Edited by Jane Marion with Suzanne Loudermilk and Mike Unger. Additional reporting by Lauren Cohen and John Farlow. PHOTOGRAPH BY SCOTT SUCHMAN
IN THE BEGINNING, around mid-March 2020, this whole cooking-at-home thing didn’t seem so bad. In fact, for a moment there, when the pandemic closed restaurants for indoor dining and I found myself making dough for bagels, investing in online cooking classes (thank you Alice Waters for your “Master Class” celebrating the wonders of California cuisine), indulging in takeaway cocktails and scrolling through foodie Instagram accounts for inspiration, it was truly new.
But as spring turned to summer and turned to fall, and another six months passed, I had to accept that I was never going to achieve perfection with the five main sauces. And as the exhaustion of the day’s work—that is, cooking every meal—took its toll, I started dreaming of dinner out again.
Of course, even dining out hasn’t been easy this year, especially for those trying to keep restaurants afloat. Now more than ever, I am in awe of the people—cooks, sous chefs, servers, dishwashers, assistants, bartenders, hosts—who make a living working in restaurants. Careers in hospitality have never been easy, but the past two years have been brutal and many have left it altogether.
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When the pandemic started and then continued, I secretly feared that I would never eat out again, or that I would forget what it was like. But restaurants have adapted, as have I. At press time, as life entered the third or fourth phase of the “new normal,” I ate many meals on plywood floors decorated with holiday flowers and vines, in elaborate tents, and in elegant dining rooms, albeit those with new heating systems. , ventilation, ventilation and hand cleaning.
It turns out eating out is a lot like riding a bike. Once you learn how to do it, you’ll never forget. But I forgot the sheer pleasure of not only having a professional cook my food, but also the person serving it. I’d forgotten the joy of having a real sommelier (ie someone other than my son grabbing a bottle from the cellar when I yell, “Can you bring me a bottle of red?”) correctly pairing a cabernet with my filet mignon. I forgot how much fun it is to have someone else clean and tidy, and how much hard work it is to scrape my old cast iron pans and wipe the grease off my oven after the smoke detector goes off.
Fortunately, as one after another has proven, Baltimore’s restaurant scene isn’t going anywhere. Yes, he staggered and stumbled and struggled to survive, but he never stopped. In addition to the tried and true who, against all odds, miraculously persevered, there were many notable newcomers who had the audacity to open up for the first time in the midst of the pandemic.
Restaurants these days have a renewed sense of purpose, optimism, and more spirit and courage than ever before. They’ve never been more appealing, not only because I and everyone I know missed them, but because the restaurants missed us, too, and they reopened with renewed determination. They’ve created lush landscaped outdoor oases, improved sanitation, ditched QR codes on menus, and raised wages to create fairer places to work. In these unprecedented times, menus have been reduced due to sourcing issues, rising food costs and labor shortages, although in some cases it has also helped to improve the quality of everything we eat by focusing on more local food.
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Yes, restaurateurs added a surcharge to the bottom of the bill to compensate for losses due to the pandemic and implemented stricter cancellation policies. Still, even as the pandemic waxes and wanes (and rises again), diners are turning out in droves, and getting a Saturday night reservation on OpenTable at certain hot spots can be difficult.
Fortunately, reports of the demise of restaurants in Maryland have been greatly exaggerated. Thanks to many measures, from strict state restrictions to high vaccination levels to strict protocol at local points, the number of closures has not been
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