Special Issues Eat Special Issue 2016 Eat Special Issue

Sushi from RA Sushi

J.M. Giordano


$: Average entree price is at or below $10.
$$: Average entree price is $10-$20.
$$$: Average entree price is $20+.
B: Breakfast.
L: Lunch.
D: Dinner.
BR: Brunch on weekends.
BYOB: The restaurant allows you to bring your own booze.
P: On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
OUT: Outdoor dining in season. It could be anything from a few tables on the sidewalk to a dedicated deck.
10 p.m.: Serves food after 10 p.m. on a regular basis. Many restaurants serve until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but spots that get this designation go beyond that.
R: Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
DV: Delivery for a limited area, including restaurants that deliver through a web-based service such as OrderUp or Amazon Prime Now.


Apropoe’s at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront

700 Aliceanna St., (410) 895-1879
$$$, B, L, D

Catering primarily to Marriott guests, Apropoe’s features a good crab cake to get them oriented to Baltimore properly.


725 Aliceanna St., (443) 220-0477,
$$$, L, D, OUT, R

Yes, chef Eiji Takase is flying crabs to Baltimore. Sawagani crabs from the Miyazaki River in Japan, to be specific. There is also bluefin sushi and A-5 Wagyu beef. If you’re feeling like blowing big bucks, get the $120/person tasting menu and prepare to be wowed.

Bagby Pizza Co.

1006 Fleet St., (410) 605-0444,
$$, L, D, P, OUT, DV

Bagby is rightfully known for its brick-oven pizza (try the spicy shrimp or the prosciutto and goat cheese), but don’t miss its spectacular salads. BYOB, but only for wine.

Cava Mezze

1302 Fleet St., (443) 499-9090,
$$, L, D, BR, BYOB, DV

A Greek restaurant where the decor is sleek, the plates are small, and the brunch, for $30, can be bottomless. Get the saganaki and prepare for your server to light a block of cheese, doused with brandy, on fire.


1000 Lancaster St., (410) 332-7373,
$$$, D, R

Executive chef Cindy Wolf has been a finalist for James Beard awards multiple times, and for good reason. Charleston’s menu perches, like Baltimore, on the Mason-Dixon Line between down-home dishes and fine-dining ingredients, preparations, and presentations.

Chiu’s Sushi

608 S. Exeter St., (410) 752-9666,
$$, L, D, BYOB, OUT, DV

Fresh sashimi and hand-rolled sushi, but for something different try the nabe mono (traditional Japanese casseroles). A perfect complement to the traditional environment.


822 Lancaster St., (410) 547-8282,
$$$, D, OUT, R

Cinghiale gave Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf a chance to bring authentic Central and Northern Italian cooking to Baltimore—and they did it with flair. If it’s a special occasion and you’re with a big group, go for “La Cucina della Nonna,” second only to your Italian grandmother’s kitchen.

Fleet Street Kitchen

1012 Fleet St., (410) 244-5830,
$$$, D, OUT, R

The crown jewel of the Bagby Restaurant Group, this fine-dining restaurant embraces the farm-to-table movement, with many of its ingredients coming from the nearby Cunningham Farms.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

720 Aliceanna St., (410) 332-1666,
$$$, D, R

Known for its expensive and scrumptious steaks and wines, Fleming’s is also home to some surprisingly cheap happy-hour deals. Either way, don’t miss it.

Where to go with a wine-snob friend that won’t break the bank

Mai Ly Degnan

Wit and Wisdom
200 International Drive, (410) 576-5800,
$$$, B, L, D, BR, R, OUT

The fact that a restaurant in the Four Seasons is the place to find top-notch wine shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the reasonable price points might. Sommelier Julie Dalton believes the best wine needn’t break the bank. Your friend typically sips Sauvignon Blanc? Dalton can up the ante with a similar-style dry Riesling, Kühling-Gillot Qvinterra 2012, from the Rheinhessen that is “bone dry, very crisp and juicy like a Sauvignon Blanc,” and only $40/bottle. Need just the right Chardonnay-style wine? She’ll recommend Wit’s white Pinotage “that has been vinified like an oaky Chardonnay” at only $50/bottle. As for reds, she recommends Mark Ryan’s The Chief which has “depth, richness, tons of fruit and spice” for $67/bottle, or for the bigger reds for wintertime, she picks a rarer version with a Saperavi grape from the Republic of Georgia for $60/bottle. Prices for standard bottles of well-known wines at similar restaurants barely start at those prices, yet at Wit, wine aficionados can enjoy the fruits of Dalton’s labor to garner interesting varietals from lesser-known vineyards that are still affordable. The waterfront bar is also promoting bubbly with its Champagne Campaign, offering 50 percent off all bottles of champagne from 9 p.m. to midnight. (Jennifer Waldera)

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

1000 Lancaster St., (410) 230-9501,
$$, L, D, OUT, 10 p.m., R, DV

Sure, it’s a chain, but this Harbor East joint has seriously good German beer which you might complement with equally tasty cuisine such as the artisan salami pizza or the lobster-and-shrimp mac and cheese.

James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant

616 S. President St., (410) 727-5107,
$$, L, D, BR, OUT, 10 p.m., DV

James Joyce became more Irish after he went into a self-imposed, lifelong exile from his home. The same may be said of this authentic Irish pub, where it’s possible to appreciate a pint of Guinness right while scarfing down a delicious sandwich to fuel your next literary endeavor.

Lebanese Taverna

719 S. President St., (410) 244-5533,
$$, L, D, OUT, DV

For Middle Eastern food, it’s hard to beat Lebanese Taverna. From the falafel and kabobs to the salmon harra, every bite is mouth-watering.

Manchurian Rice Co.

1010 Aliceanna St., (443) 438-3528,
$, L, D, OUT, DV

This clean, tiny, mostly takeout place is perfect for a pan-Asian lunch on the go. The double-cooked pork is a standout.

Mussel Bar and Grille

1350 Lancaster St., (410) 946-6726,
$$$, L, D, BR, OUT

The mussels, so big that they’re borderline obscene, are obviously a big draw here, and Mussel Bar and Grille offers five different preparations for them. But don’t skip its upscale comfort food—the kitchen’s house-made tots breathe new life into the starchy side.

The Oceanaire

801 Aliceanna St., (443) 872-0000,
$$$, D

The Oceanaire may be a national chain, but its seafood sure tastes local, with crab cakes that fall apart when you touch them with your fork (more crab, less filling!). Amazing wine selection and a good happy hour.

Ouzo Bay

1000 Lancaster St., (443) 708-5818),
$$$, D, OUT, R

High-end Greek fare that is worth the price. The house spreads—including skordalia (garlic dip), htipiti (roasted red pepper, roasted jalapeño, and feta), taramosalata (a dip made from pureed fish roe), and tzatziki (yogurt, dill, and cucumber)—are better than most place’s entrees.


1425 Aliceanna St., (410) 534-7296,
$$$, D, R, P

Going to Pazo feels like a cross between the movies of Pedro Almodóvar and Federico Fellini: Mediterranean, indulgent, a bit decadent, and yet somehow casual and enormously gratifying. Offers a complimentary valet.

RA Sushi

1390 Lancaster St., (410) 522-3200,
$$, L, D, OUT, 10 p.m., R

Not just another high-end Harbor East chain restaurant, RA offers some interesting Japanese fusion dishes in addition to the standard rolls, and it wows with a bit of atmosphere.

Roy’s Restaurant

720 Aliceanna St., (410) 659-0099,
$$$, L, D, OUT, R

This chain fusion restaurant’s menu, which features prix-fixe and gluten-free options, is seafood heavy with a few sushi offerings and entrees that frequently feature a Hawaiian or Asian vibe.

Taco Fiesta

618 S. Exeter St., (410) 234-3782,
$, L, D, OUT, DV

Amid all of Harbor East’s high-end delights, Taco Fiesta has carved out a niche as the go-to spot for great, fresh Tex-Mex specialties at decent prices. The fish tacos and burritos are great, as are the steak nachos, but the star of the show is the salsa bar, with seven varieties to choose from, along with fresh cilantro, onions, and jalapeños.


1401 Aliceanna St., (410) 522-1907,
$, B, L, D, BR, P, OUT

Comfy couches, good Wi-Fi, and a friendly staff make the tea and vittles taste better. Food menu includes eggs and paninis, while the drink offerings include coffee, cocktails, and, yes, chai bubble tea.

Ten Ten

1010 Fleet St., (410) 244-6867,
$$$, L, D, BR, R, DV

More relaxed than its sibling restaurant Fleet Street Kitchen, but with the same focus on local sourcing. An inviting and comfortable bistro with hearty fare, including a solid charcuterie plate and steak frites.

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