Best Fancy Restaurant: Arômes

3520 Chestnut Ave., (410) 235-0035, aromesrestaurant.com

Arômes might not have the most elaborate decor in town—the 28-seat restaurant features exposed brick walls, simple wood tables, and some bare Edison bulbs that hang from the ceiling. But what it lacks in swanky decor it more than makes up for with its incredibly culinary creations. Chef Steve Monnier serves up a fixed six-course menu that combines French and American cuisines with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. The menu is constantly changing, with courses rotating out weekly, but you should relax and trust whatever Monnier comes up with, because the dishes are marvelously inventive: On our visit, the various courses included ingredients ranging from shavings of monkfish liver frozen with nitrogen, shortbread made with onion-infused butter, and the best pan-seared pork belly we’ve had in the city. Seriously, onion-infused shortbread? Who thinks of that?

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