Ciao Bella

Ciao Bella 236 South High Street, Baltimore 410-685-7733 Therealciaobella.com Baltimore’s Little Italy has seen dramatic changes since the 80s. The area once flourished with Italian restaurants block after block. You could easily find dishes from the old country that are not always the easiest to produce at home. Over the years, too many of these great places from the Rat Pack era have closed. Several of the survivors still churn out the basics, but not with the same flare and flavor I grew up with. Fortunately, there are still a few that carry on the tradition of the old ways. […]

Hamilton Tavern

Hamilton Tavern 5517 Harford Road, Baltimore 410-426-1930 Hamiltontavern.com Long known for the perfect burger, Hamilton Tavern continues to produce original flavors you didn’t know you crave. For years, this gem is the place that the locals frequent to get a fresh Roseda Farm Burger on brioche with thick-cut bacon and the usual fixin’s. While others throughout Baltimore have caught on to what a burger should be, owner Joel Ramos and chef Jeremy Price push the envelope. The menu offers year-round staples for those who want to stick to the tried and true, as well as rotating options that change with […]

Porta

Porta 911 Kingsley Street Asbury Park, New Jersey 732-776-7661 Pizzaporta.com Pizza has three prime ingredients: dough, sauce, and cheese. Something so simple that still manages to constantly evolve in countless ways. If there was ever a food that represented America in all of its diversity, pizza is it. Porta, a New Jersey establishment, offers a menu that embodies this type of variety in a fun atmosphere that inspires good memories. If you’re thinking about a Garden State weekend getaway, Asbury Park is a great place to check out. In its recent renaissance, this small town on the Jersey Shore won’t […]

Prost German Restaurant

Prost German Restaurant 1195 Jacob Tome Memorial Highway Port Deposit, Maryland 443-731-1889 Prostinn.com As the cooler weather ushers in a change of colors on the trees, the sadness of summer’s end is tempered with savory flavors and cold Octoberfest brew. The German scene may have gone kaput in Baltimore, but Prost German Restaurant satisfies the experience no matter what time of year. Start with a sample of apps such as the Fliegende Schweinchen (huge, tender pork wings), Frittierter Camembert with Lingonberry Sauce (a classier and slightly tangy fried mozzarella) and Brezen Baum (pretzel tree). Wash all of it down with […]

Mount Vernon Marketplace (Brown Rice)

520 Park Avenue, Baltimore Mtvernonmarketplace.com After spending some time at the fairly new Skybar, (located on the 19th floor of the Lord Baltimore Hotel – beautiful views I might add), we ventured over to the Mount Vernon Marketplace. According to its website, “Mount Vernon Marketplace offers the finest, freshly prepared artisanal foods right here in Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon district.” There are over 14 food-and-drink vendors to select from, offering everything from gourmet cheese, artisan sandwiches, fresh local oysters and seafood to noodles and dumplings, French crepes, Ethiopian cuisine and coffee, vegetarian bean burgers, and much more! With all of […]

Jake’s Old Baltimore Style Seafood

Jake’s Old Baltimore Style Seafood 19178 Coastal Highway Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 302-644-7711 Jakesseafoodhouse.com There’s something about being at the beach that makes me crave seafood. Oysters, crabs, rockfish, oh my! While tanning myself on the beach, a simple search of area restaurants led to a new discovery. Half of the seafood restaurants in Rehoboth are owned by one of a couple parent companies, all having menus that are too similar to each other. All I wanted was rockfish stuffed with crab imperial. If you grew up along the Chesapeake, you would understand how simple this craving was. Instead, search after […]

Phuc Yea

7100 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami 305-494-0609 Phucyeah.com While away on vacation last week, I was so excited to spend time with a very dear friend. She suggested dinner Saturday night at a Vietnamese-Fusion restaurant, Phuc Yeah, in Miami. Granted, it was a bit of hike from where we were in Fort Lauderdale. But the name of the restaurant grabbed my attention, so there was no question we were going. Located away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami or South Beach, Phuc Yea is located in an area of Miami that’s in the midst of reinvention. That said, it would […]

Annabel Lee Tavern

Annabel Lee Tavern 601 South Clinton Street, Baltimore 410-522-2929 Annabelleetavern.com Tucked in the edge of Highlandtown is a quaint little tavern that pays homage to Edgar Allen Poe and his final poem, “Annabel Lee.” Walking in felt like entering a scene from a period movie. The elegantly macabre atmosphere was filled with sounds of fiddlers fiddling tunes to which Poe himself might drunkenly have stumbled. The bartender was quick to introduce us to a variety of the latest offerings on the brew market. After a long day, I quickly became distracted by the drinks and live music. To compliment the […]

The Bygone Restaurant

Harbor East 400 International Drive, 29th floor Baltimore Thebygonerestaurant.com For Nick’s birthday, I wanted to plan something special just for the two of us. A colleague of mine recommended The Bygone to me, as he had taken his wife there for her birthday. Knowing how much Nick enjoys the city, I thought dinner at The Bygone would be a wonderful surprise. Weeks ago, I had mentioned to Nick to keep the evening free, but never told him where we were going, keeping him in suspense for almost two months. Finally, the evening arrived, and as we drove closer to Harbor […]

The Manor Tavern

The Manor Tavern 15819 Old York Road Monkton, Maryland 410-771-8155 Themanortavern.com Spring is here for seven hours. You want to be outside enjoying nature. Take the leash off of your gimp, harness up your pooch, and head to the trails along 83. No matter which trail head you choose, you are a quick and scenic drive from the Manor Tavern. Nestled in the hills of Monkton is a true culinary gem where old favorites and new twists emerge on a menu that is almost as pornographic as the food itself. The first experience was so good, we ventured back a […]