Bagby Pizza Co.
1006 Fleet St., (410) 605-0444, bagbypizza.com
$$, L, D, OutBagby is the pizza place you wish was in your own neighborhood. Pie crusts are cracker thin, pastas and salads are homemade and generous, and service aims to please.
1000 Lancaster St., (410) 332-7373, charlestonrestaurant.com
$$$, D, R, OutCindy Wolf’s home-skillet goes posh via small-plates-ish “improvisational dining,” arranged into general unordered courses. Choose well, and you’ll be rewarded with rich, saturated, strong flavors, with enough flamboyance to hold your attention.
CHAZZ: A BRONX ORIGINAL
1415 Aliceanna St., (410) 522-5511, chazzbronxoriginal.com
$$, L, DYes, this newish place bears the name of (and frequent visits from) actor Chazz Palminteri, and while there’s a certain stage-iness to its décor, the kitchen knows what it’s about when it comes to coal-fired pizza and exemplary Italian-American faves.
608 S. Exeter St., (410) 752-9666, chiussushi.com
$$, L, D, OutWith its kimono-clad servers, warm-cloth service, and soothing décor, this friendly and competent Japanese restaurant almost overcomes the ambient restrictions of its storefront location.
822 Lancaster St., (410) 547-8282, cgeno.com
$$$, L, D, R, OutFrom Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf, Northern Italian fare with small smoky and cheesy things in the big, brassy wine bar (Enoteco) and bigger meatier things in the somber dining wings (Osteria). Fritto misto for everybody.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
720 Aliceanna St., (410) 332-1666, flemingssteakhouse.com
$$$, D, RMost of the menu is the wine list, and most of the food is beef. The petit fillet is fine, but the best cut is the jumbo pork chop. Even veggies come in gargantuan proportions.
Grille 700 in the Waterfront
Baltimore Waterfront Marriott, 700 Aliceanna St., (410) 895-1879, grille700.com
$$$, B, L, D, BrA menu of familiar lunch and dinner classics with the requisite crab dishes front and center.
James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant
616 S. President St., (410) 727-5107, thejamesjoycepub.com
$$, L, D, Br, OutJames Joyce provides the chance to score a proper pour of Guinness in Harbor East, and the Irish staples, such as fish and chips and a solid shepherd’s pie, are worth checking out.
719 S. President St., (410) 244-5533, lebanesetaverna.com
$$, L, D, OutAn elegant but comfortable Mediterranean restaurant with budget-friendly small plates and more ambitious entrées.
Manchurian Rice Co.
1010 Aliceanna St., (443) 438-3528
$, L, DCut-above Asian fast food boasting Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes in bright, pleasant new digs.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
801 Aliceanna St., (443) 872-0000, theoceanaire.com
$$$, D, R, vLuxe seafood dining. Crab cakes are succulent, delicate, faintly sweet, and totally refined, and the fish is perfectly fresh and expertly cooked.
1425 Aliceanna St., (410) 534-7296, pazorestaurant.com
$$$, D, RFull-size entrées now grace this small-plates menu, although the tapas remain the key draw: beef tartare and seafood carpaccio are very beautiful. The soaring space still soars, and feels like a night out.
1390 Lancaster St., (410) 522-3200, rasushi.com/baltimore
$$, L, D, OutThis sleek local outpost of a national chain serves up an expansive battery of artful sushi.
720b Aliceanna St., (410) 659-0099, roysrestaurant.com
$$$, DIt’s a chain, it’s pricey, and the staff bellows “ALOHA!” as you walk in, but the food is very good. Half the menu changes nightly, but classic Asian dishes tend to be very good.
615 S. President St., (410) 528-9883, talarabaltimore.com
$$, L, D, OutThis restaurant transports diners to South Beach with bright colors, salsa music, and a Latin-inspired menu. Ceviche is the star here, plus a generous choice of seafood, both raw and cooked.
1010 Fleet St., (443) 244-6867, bagbys1010.com
$$$, L, D, BrA cozy bistro offering fancy comfort food: duck-fat fries, steak frites, house-made charcuterie. There’s not much exotic here, or particularly challenging, but most everything is executed with finesse and a fine palate for flavor combinations.
507 S. Exeter St., (410) 528-8600, vinorosina.com
$$, L, D, R, v, OutChef Sajin Renae’s inventive menu offers dishes like Zeke’s-coffee-rubbed redeye filet with kale and foie gras butter. A scary-smart wine list and personable service only add to the glow.
Wit & Wisdom
200 International Drive, (410) 576-5800, witandwisdombaltimore.com
$$$, b, l, d, brLocal faves and water views tend to spell success around here. But Michael Mina’s new contemporary restaurant in the Four Seasons isn’t your typical harborside casual spot. Coddies are reborn as feather-light salt cod fritters, and other preparations of top local ingredients are equally inventive.