All You Can Eat
City Paper's Annual Dining Guide
There's no denying it: Baltimore's restaurant scene is changing. For years, nearly every dining establishment--fine-dining stalwarts, excepted--fell under the quirky label. But increasingly, slick restaurants with luxe style and steep checks have been popping up--Inner Harbor East is ground zero, but other neighborhoods have been infiltrated as well.
We have also seen the cementing of the Cindy Wolf/Tony Foreman empire, which is starting to reach Philadelphia's Stephen Starr proportions. And then there's the rise of restaurants that focus on organic and locally produced ingredients. While we're a bit wary of some super-trendy spots, where the décor is sometimes more interesting than the food, we are all for diversity in our dining experiences. Still, we don't want our favorite haunts to be ignored as prettier, younger models capture our attention.
So once again we have created a guide to places at which it's worth picking up a fork or a chopstick, or at least as many as we could fit. We covered both new-school hot spots and old-school joints. The restaurants are organized by area of the city, so you can use it on those nights out when you draw a blank on what to eat, or your first choice has the kind of ludicrous wait time a grumbling stomach simply won't stand for. Robbie Whelan also interviewed 10 chefs from around the city to find out why and how they make the food they do.
As you read this guide, remember that we are not trained chefs or professional eaters--for the most part at least. We're just people who like to eat a wide variety of stuff at a wide variety of establishments new and old, cheap and wallet-demolishing, comfort food and who-in-the-hell-thought-to-put-those-things-together. So, dig in, before we eat it all.
EAT 2008 was written by Rebecca Alvania, Shelly Blake-Plock, Christina Bumba, Michael Byrne, Anna Ditkoff, Edward Ericson Jr., Lee Gardner, Michelle Gienow, Violet Glaze, Richard Gorelick, Eric Allen Hatch, Katherine Hill, Tim Hill, Henry Hong, Anne Howard, Anisha Jagtap, Chris Landers, Joe MacLeod, Bret McCabe, Christopher Skokna, Van Smith, Erin Sullivan, and Wendy Ward. The food facts were checked by research assistants Christina Bumba and Katherine Hill and interns Sean Allocca, Alex Begley, Nick Di Marco, Tim Gelles, Ben Kallman, Christina Lee, and Stephanie Thornton. Photos by Frank Klein, Christopher Myers, and Rarah. Cover illustration by DJWOMAN.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201