As much as we grump about the lack of appealing options year after year after year, we don't want much out of our Inner Harbor dining experience, really. We don't expect to be challenged--no foams or Uzbek cuisine required--or dazzled by trendy décor. We just want good ingredients prepared in a way that tastes like someone took some care with them somewhere between the delivery truck and the plate, served in an atmosphere distinct and welcoming enough to make us feel like we could be in our neighborhood, rather than anyone's or no one's. Thank God, then, for M&S Grill. The menu centers on the kind of stuff you'd see on just about any local dining room menu (Maryland crab and French onion soups; cobb, Caesar, and spinach salads; big steaks and seafood; pastas; a dab of crab imperial here and there), but all executed with simple vigor and skill--no blandness or steam-table mush here--along with a few attractive novelties (a hanger steak salad is a personal fave). The bustling, woody dining room has the feel of a place that's been around a lot longer than three years, and it works for a minor occasion or a casual weekend lunch. Not only is M&S perfect for placating visiting family with tamer palates on trips down to the Harbor, but we actually head down to the Harbor sans out--of-towners more than we used to just so we can eat there.
Other Awards for Best Place to Eat in the Inner Harbor: