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Best New Restaurant

Rocket to Venus

3360 Chestnut Ave., (410) 235-7887, www.rockettovenus.com

Posted 9/19/2007

Because it works. Because someone had a vision of the kind of place he wanted to open and made it happen. What we've always wanted in our heart of hearts is a nice place to go with our friends. And Rocket to Venus has turned out to be as attractive to the gray-haired set as it is to its fan base of thin pale people with black hair. We feel comfortable there, we can hear our own conversation, and we love running into all kinds of people. Holding back allowing smoking until 9 p.m. has helped a lot--a smart accommodation for those who want an early dinner and drinks without a secondhand-smoke hangover. We like the attention the menu pays to vegetarian dishes (love those wimpies), and the prices have been kept more than reasonable. The food is not what anyone would call challenging, but neither is it half-assed or boring. It measures up. Maybe it's not rocket science after all.

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Other Awards for Best New Restaurant:

Mekong Delta, 9/16/2009

Woodberry Kitchen, 9/17/2008

Salt, 9/20/2006

Pazo, 9/21/2005

Soo’s Kimchee House, 9/22/2004

Kali's Court Mezze, 9/17/2003

Chameleon Café, 9/18/2002

Blue Agave Restaurante y Tequileria, 9/19/2001

The Bicycle, 9/13/2000

Atlantic, 9/15/1999

Holy Frijoles, 9/18/1996

All Awards for Rocket to Venus:

Best Fried Oyster Po' Boy, 9/17/2008

Best Hipster Bar, 9/17/2008

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Best UnderAppreciated Restaurant (9/19/2007)
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