This Fells Point bakery boasts a surprisingly expansive dining area with additional al fresco dining (weather permitting). Pastries are excellent--one would be hard-pressed to find a superior almond croissant--but Bonaparte also serves savory fare. A multitude of loaves and rolls of varying shapes, sizes, and crustiness are, of course, available, along with a selection of elegant sandwiches and light lunch options, usually salads and a quiche or tart or two. Sandwiches are beautifully constructed, but can be a tad skimpy on meat. The coffee is excellent, while the service is courteous if a bit terse.
This charming Mount Washington crêperie offers a hearty dinner menu, but we prefer to stick to the affordable lunch menu. And the delicious lunch portions are more than succulent. The dessert crêpes are tasty, but the savory crêpes--featuring nicely balanced assortments of strong flavors such as bleu cheese with walnuts and mesclun or smoked salmon with cheese and tomato cream sauce--are divine.
The new enfant on the block in Baltimore's once-dead, recently-resurrected, and now again foundering French food scene is a gift to us hoi polloi. Here you can scratch your French home cooking itch with well-executed and thankfully un-messed-with classics like a complex and deeply satisfying bouillabaisse, dense and herby beef bourguignon, or superb duck confit, and almost everything is well under $20. The onion soup is outstanding; sandwiches are hefty and come with excellently crispy fries. Avoid the wan tomato sandwich. The space is gorgeous and waitstaff, though perhaps not the most expert, are earnest and friendly.
The demise of Brasserie Tatin makes Petit Louis one of very few straight-up French restaurants in the city. Fortunately, for Francophiles and foodies, this Roland Park entry in the Cindy Wolf/Tony Foreman restaurant empire has lots to offer. Appetizers and light plates like escargots, paté, foie gras, quiche, and, our fave, the crispy eggplant Napoleon with chevre, just scream "Vive la France!" The entrées offer pitch-perfect preparations of duck and seafood and the best steak frites in town.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201