An Poitin Stil 2323 York Road, Timonium, (410) 560-7900, thestilltimonium.com$$, L, D, BR, P, Out, 10 p.m.
Your nicely appointed, dark wood-with-fireplace and live music sit-down place where you can get an Irish stew or a quesadilla. Strong drinks.
Andy Nelson’s Barbecue Restaurant11007 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-1226, andynelsonsBBQ.com$$, L, D, P, Out
’Bama transplants put down roots in Baltimore and slow-developed a slow-cook barbecue masterpiece, which they will truck to your home if you can’t come to them. But go to them. It’s a nice house.
Bill Bateman’s Bistro7800 York Road, Towson, (410) 296-2737 (and other locations), billbateman.com$$, L, D, P, 10 p.m.
Well-suited to supply all of your buffalo-wing needs—just ask the Towson University students perched on every nearby stool. Also, sliders. Other locations in Havre de Grace, Reisterstown, Glen Burnie, and Severna Park. Order online!
Bluestone11 W. Aylesbury Road, Timonium, (410) 561-1100, bluestoneonline.net$$$, L, D, P
Separate fish and dinner menus to distinguish the connoisseur from the dilettante, but the dinner menu has a lot of awesome seafood dishes too.
Café Troia31 Allegheny Ave., Towson, (410) 337-0133, cafetroia.com$$$, L, D, R, Out
A serious Italian café founded by a Naples family offering all the classic Italian stuff, including ossobucco and braised beef with gnocchi. Extensive wine list and old-world ambiance.
Cunningham’s1 Olympic Place, (410) 339-7730, cunninghamstowson.com$$$, D, R
The fourth outpost of the Bagby Restaurant Group balances upscale sensibilities with a welcoming vibe. You can spend money comfortably, sure that, whatever you opt for, you’ll receive a worthwhile dish with respect to both taste and portion.
Grace Garden1690 Annapolis Road, Odenton, (410) 672-3581, gracegardenchinese.com$, L, D
In a strip mall near Fort Meade, Chef Chun Keung Li does up delectable authentic Szechuan goodness like braised pork belly with mui-choy and homemade tofu mousse, consistently earning “Best Of” awards in the process.
Hightopps Backstage Grille2306 York Road, Timonium, (410) 560-7101, hightoppsbackstagegrille.com$$, L, D, Out, 10 p.m.
Like a little bit of a Fells Point party-bar right next to your Timonium fairgrounds. Live music on the regular and a party on the patio. With pizza and pitchers, of course. Drink specials will keep you seated all Saturday.
Indian Delight622 Frederick Road, Catonsville, (410) 744-4422, tajrestaurant.com$$, L, D, P
Family-owned and serving up curry and tandoori for 15 years now, Indian Delight offers nice white-tablecloth ambiance and reasonable prices.
Kyodai1 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Towson, (410) 339-7500$$, L, D
The conveyor belt of fresh sushi just turns round and round, and you pick up whatever you want, paying for each plate according to its color. Kaiten, it’s called. Why settle for stationary sushi?
Linwoods25 Crossroads Drive, Owings Mills, (410) 356-3030, linwoods.com$$$, L, D, Out
A serious restaurant with an open kitchen and such aspirational menu items as caramelized sea scallops with grilled duck salad. Extensive wine list and decent beer selection too.
Manor Tavern 15819 Old York Road, Monkton, (410) 771-8155, themanortavern.com$$$, L, D, BR, R
Farm-fresh greens (some from the garden out back), locally sourced ingredients, and an elegant country-squire vibe accompany the beer-can chicken and country-fried pork chops. Craft beers also, and a big wine list.
Mari Luna Latin Grille1010 Reisterstown Road, (410) 653-5151, mariluna.com/latin-grille$$$, L, D, Br, Out
The more upscale, more culinarily diverse spinoff of Mari Luna Mexican Grill offers flaky empanadas, grilled ribeye in chimichurri sauce, and the most economical paella in town.
Mari Luna Mexican Grill102 Reisterstown Road, (410) 486-9910, mariluna.com/mexican-grill$$$, L, D, BYOB
After nearly a decade, Jaime Luna’s original blue-ceilinged Mari Luna storefront restaurant in Pikesville is still the west-side go-to for football-sized burritos, tacos, and enchiladas, not to mention killer black-bean soup, shrimp in garlic sauce, and perhaps the best tamales around.
McFaul’s IronHorse Tavern2260 Cromwell Bridge Road, (410) 828-1625, mcfaulsironhorsetavern.com$$, L, D, BR, Out, 10 p.m.
Far more than happy-hour refreshment after a long week. Fresh, seasonally influenced American entrees like shrimp and grits, meatloaf, and brisket pot pie are elevated by local ingredients and thoughtful presentation.
Noodle Charm1220 E. Joppa Road #106, Towson, (410) 494-8424, noodlecharm.com$, L, D
In keeping with the Bangkok-style approach, the menu offers inexpensive, quickly prepared noodle soups and rice dishes bursting with assertive tastes like Thai chilies, fish sauce, tamarind, and curry.
The Oregon Grille 1201 Shawan Road, Cockeysville, (410) 771-0505, theoregongrille.com$$$, L, D, BR, out
Romantic ambiance in a stone farmhouse serving a nice array of American favorites, from the lobster roll to a lamb loin with sweet potato gratin, ratatouille, and a port wine glaze. Fireplaces abound and the wine list is something special.
Suburban House1700 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 484-7775, suburbanhousedeli.com$$, P, B, L, D, Br
This Pikesville landmark is the place to see how matzo ball soup, chopped liver, smoked salmon and whitefish, latkes (potato pancakes), blintzes, reubens, rainbow cake, and all other manner of Jewish delicacies are done correctly.