Best Martini

City Paper

10 E. Franklin St., (410) 539-4675,

We are martini drinkers, and we have been drinking them long enough to know that gin and vermouth aren’t the only factors involved. Equally important are temperature, properly sized glassware, and the environment in which we are drinking it. Nowhere in Baltimore do all these factors come together better than at the bar of Tio Pepe. Tucked away in a small alcove, the ancient tile bar still features Mediterranean furnishings—worn leather stools, dark wood paneled walls, red velvet banquette—everything bathed in amber light. Pedro Gutierrez puts all his 22 years’ experience into creating our perfect cocktail, and offers the traditional Spanish toast, “Salud.” Translation: “To your health.” We’ll drink to that. 

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