Green Cupcakes!

March 16, 2009

After enjoying lunch and shopping at the Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company on Saturday, Capt. and I headed to Baltimore Cupcake Company to indulge in the number two (edible) thing that makes me happy . . . cupcakes!

The store was in Locust Point and ended up being easier to get to than I thought, of course Capt. is familiar with the area and he was driving so that might not be true . . .

On the outside the store was advertising that it carried Lillian Vernon, Vera Bradley, and all other preppy merchandise to go along with the cupcakes.  I guess so you can shop and eat.  Well, I guess they were switching inventory or sold out of everything that they had because the place looked empty.  That has nothing to do with cupcakes, but hey, they were advertising it so I feel the need to comment!

The flavors they had available were Key Lime, Vanilla Woo, Chocolate Woo, Peanut Butter Cup, Bailey’s Chocolate, and something coconut whose name we can’t remember.  We decided to go with Peanut Butter Cup (for Capt.), Key Lime, Vanilla Woo, and the Bailey’s flavor (all for me).  The Bailey’s was our in honor of St. Patrick’s Day selection . . . I just had to do it . . .

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Oh my goodness, these cupcakes tasted as wonderful as they look!  I consider myself to be somewhat of a cupcake expert, especially after spending a day in NY sampling and rating cupcakes from 5 different places (all for pleasure, of course) and Baltimore Cupcake Company’s treats certainly would have ranked high on my rating.  I don’t care for frosting that is too heavy or sugary and the frosting on all cupcakes, although very sugary and sweet, were not overpowering.  The sweetness in the Key Lime cupcakes were pretty strong, but I kind of expected that from Key Lime.  If you can’t handle strong sugar, I’d recommend staying away from the Key Lime and maybe go for something a bit more mild.

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Now, the most important part of a cupcake to me is the cake.  I cannot stand dry cupcakes!  Dry cake can ruin a cupcake, and I do not stand for it!  All the cupcakes we received had nice, soft, moist cake.  I was most impressed by the Bailey’s cupcake, whose cake and frosting could have each stood alone and given me enjoyment.  The Key Lime was again, the least impressive cake-wise.  It didn’t have much flavor, but in the end that was probably for the better because of the sweetness of the frosting.

So, at the end of our Saturday afternoon, Capt. was happy, I was happy, and I am still waiting to enjoy Vanilla Woo . . . YUM!

Oh, and they have Cupcake Happy Hour.  Who can turn down cupcakes for $1?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tea is an Irish Thing too!

March 14, 2009

One thing I told Capt. that I wanted to do this weekend was finally check out the Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company location in our area.  As you all know, tea is a weakness of mine right up there with cupcakes, so a visit to Baltimore Coffee would just tickle me pink!

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After a slow start this morning, due to a late night trip to Atlantic City last night, we got moving with the intention of doing a little shopping and catching some lunch.

The store is set up so coffee lovers can go to one side of the store and shop at a huge assortment of flavored coffee beans (fair trade at that!) and get a few coffee making accessories.  When you walk into the store, the smell of fresh coffee just hits your nose, making the place have such a warm and cozy feel to it.  I tell you what, if I drank coffee, I would have picked up some of their Pumpkin Spice coffee beans.  Capt. got himself a cup of their Toasted Almond coffee and said that it was delicious.

I headed directly to the side of the store that sold tea!  I haven’t used my tea strainer that Capt. got me last Christmas in a while and I was eager to get some loose tea leaves.  You better believe that was an easy thing to do!  The store had tons of different kinds of tea by all different companys, all packaged adorabley (because to some people packaging means a lot!).  I picked up Blackberry-Apple and Peach and Ginger tea by Baltimore Tea.

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After shopping was finished, it was time for lunch!  I got the Eastern Shore Chicken Salad (with craisins and walnuts) on ciabatta and Capt. picked up the Bay Blue Roast Beef, which he got on a pretzal roll instead of baguette.  The sandwiches were all around delicious sandwiches and were consummed quickly and happily!

All in all, the food was good, the merchandise better, and it’s a great place for a tea and coffee lover to check out.  Go there instead of starbucks!

Oh, and they had the most delicious looking gelato, which I really really wanted, but by then we had decided that we were going to get cupcakes!  More on that on Monday . . .

Happy Weekend!

March 13, 2009

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Source

St. Patrick . . . one of the few saints whose feast day presents the opportunity to get determinedly whacked and make a fool out of oneself all under the guise of acting Irish. – Charles M. Madigan

Mead Me on St. Patty’s Day

March 13, 2009

Some of my St. Patrick’s Day bonanza posts are a little beer heavy . . . OK very beer heavy!  What can I say?  I’m an Irish American girl who loves herself some Smithwick’s! 

For those who don’t roll like that and prefer beverages better suited for raised pinkies, here are a few wine/mead and tea events this weekend!

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Source

What: 15th Annual ‘Medieval Mead, Irish Saints, and Entwined with the Vines”
When: March 1 – 31
Where: Berrywine Plantations/Liganore Wine Sellers, Mt. Airy, MD
Info: This March, let Linganore Winecellars help you celebrate the luck of the Irish at their 14th annual ‘Medieval Mead, Irish Saints & Entwined with the Vines’ tasting. Throughout the month, visitors will enjoy pairing more than 20 Linganore wines with distinctive Irish cheeses from Euro-USA in Sterling, Virginia and enticing desserts by local pastry chef, Linda Gourley, owner of Just Desserts in Sykesville, Maryland. Guests will also have an opportunity to use vines from the vineyard to create beautiful wreaths and cheerful decorations.  $5.00 per plate pairing fee.

What: St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
When: March 14 – 15, 11am – 6pm
Where: Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, Dickerson, MD
Info: Join us for tastings of wine, Irish music and treats. • Free • For more information, call 301 605 0130 or visit website.

What: Celebrate St. Patty’s Day, with the Bog Band at Black Ankle Vineyards
When: March 15, 12 – 5pm
Where: Black Ankle Vineyard, Mt. Airy, MD
Info: Back by popular demand!  The Bog Band will set a lively tone for St. Patrick’s Day at Black Ankle Vineyards.  We’ll skip the green beer, but there will be plenty of festive spirit in honor of our Irish roots.  Come join us for what will be sure to be a rollicking good time!

And for the non-drinkers!  I know some of you are out there, even on St. Patty’s Day!

What: Celtic Harp Tea
Where: Crown and Thistle Tea Room, Sparks, MD
When: March 14, 3pm
Info: Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day with live Celtic music!  Let traditional Irish songs serenade you as you enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea with friends.  This is a special event tea.  Afternoon tea is $22.95 and high tea is $26.95.  Please call to make reservations.

Swimming in Risotto

March 12, 2009

When I lived in New York, one of my favorite local places to visit was Brick Cafe.  It was a little french restaurant that helped me to appreciate the pleasure of olive tampanade and risotto.  Seriously, the risotto at Brick Cafe was the best risotto I’ve ever had.  You could never go wrong ordering the dish at that place!

Because of Brick, I now get a hankering for risotto from time to time.  I’ve hesitant to get it from somewhere or make it myself because I know I can never meet the quality and richness of flavor that I would be served at Brick. 

Wednesday night was my weekday date night with Capt. and we decided that we would try a risotto recipe from foodfit.com, one of our favorite cooking websites.  I actually decided to test myself and see if I could make something even comparable to that found at Brick.

The recipe is only for one serving, so we quadrupled it so I could have leftovers for upcoming lunch and dinners. 

The risotto ended up being pretty good.  I love using peas when I cook and blanching is one of my simple pleasures, both of which are involved in this recipe.  It was simple, yet a bit time consumming, but ended up being fulfilling. 

After this dish, we’ve decided that we’ll try our hand at cooking risotto again, but maybe with richer flavors like mushroom.  All in all, it wasn’t spectacular, but it was a great intro to cooking risotto recipe!

And since Capt. likes a little meat with his meals, we cooked up some apple chicken sausage to compliment the meal.  Definitely a good choice.  The sweetness of the apples really went with the sweetness and freshness that went with the peas.

Oh and the peas are green, so it fits into my St. Patrick’s Day posting bonanza!

Risotto with Fresh Peas
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INGREDIENTS
about 3/4 cup Basic Chicken Stock (see recipe), or low-sodium canned
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons diced onion
1/4 cup Arborio rice
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly shelled peas

1. Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep hot over low heat.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a separate medium-sized pot. Add the onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion turns translucent.

3. Add the rice to the onion mixture and stir.

4. Turn the heat to low, add about 1/4 cup of the hot stock to the rice mixture, and stir slowly until the stock is absorbed.

5. Continue to add the stock 1/4 cup at a time, stirring slowly, letting the rice absorb the stock before adding more.

6. While the risotto is cooking, blanch the peas in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Drain.

7. The risotto is cooked when it is creamy on the outside and slightly firm (al dente) in the center. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and half of the peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the risotto is too thick, add a little more stock until it becomes creamy.

8. Divide the risotto into serving dishes and sprinkle with the remaining peas.

 

Serving Size: about 1/2 cup

Everything Green Around Town

March 11, 2009

First of all . . . How did I not know that the Pogues are playing in Baltimore on Thursday?!?  They are one of my FAVORITE Irish bands and I am totally missing out.  ARGH!

And now, here’s a list of some of the things that are going on around Baltimore this upcoming weekend for St. Patrick’s Day.  I will be out and about, probably at the Au Potin Stil, which I will talk about a little bit more tomorrow!

What do you have planned?

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What: The Pogues
Where: Rams Head Live
When: Mar. 12, 7 p.m.
Cost: $55
Info: Shane MacGowan slurs punk and traditional Irish folk music in this band known for songs like “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” and “Fairytale of New York.

What: Keep the Mini-Pint Night
Where: Slainte
When: March 12
Info: For $4, this keep-the-glass special fills a mini-pint three times.

What: Change Your Luck Party
Where: Slainte
When: March 13
Info: For this, the second Friday the 13th in two months, Slainte shares the luck of the Irish. Drink $3 Guinness, meet the Guinness girls and win fun prizes while listening to live music.

What: St. Patrick’s Day Party
Where: Looney’s Pub North
When: March 13 – 17
Info: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with three days of live music, Irish food and more.

What: St. Patrick’s in the County
Where: Au Poitin Stil – Timonium
When: Mar. 14-17; Fri. 4 p.m.- close, Sat. 11 a.m. – 1 a.m., Sun. noon – close, Mon. 10 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Cost: $5
Info: The festival takes place in a tent in the parking lot and inside the restaurant, each location features a stage with a long line up of Irish performers. Drink specials every day. Sunday is “Family Day” with face painting balloons and clowns.

What: St. Patty’s Day 4 Bars x 2 Days
Where: Muggsy’s, Taps, Don’t Know and No Idea Tavern – Baltimore
When: March 14 – 17
Info: All four bars will be running the same special: Buy one 16-oz. stadium cup for $20 and receive Miller Lite Draft and Guinness for only $1, both days. Car bombs will be $5, with purchase of a cup.

What: Federal Hill Irish Stroll
Where: Cross Street Market
When: March 14
Info: In its 11th year, the Federal Hill Irish Stroll is sure to attract plenty of St. Patrick’s Day weekend merry-makers. Specials include $2 Miller Lite drafts and bottles and a variety of food specials.

What:St. Patrick’s Day at James Joyce
Where: James Joyce Pub
When: Mar. 15-17
Info: Mar.15: Pete Baker (9-1:30 p.m.),Brendan Pelan (3-7 p.m.);Mar. 16: Brendan Pelan (11 a.m.-3 p.m.),East End Rakes (3-8 p.m.); Mar. 17: East End Rakes (11 a.m.-3 p.m.),Someone Else (4-8 p.m., 9-1:30 a.m.)

What: Irish Shrine at Lemmon Street and surrounding area
Where: Begins in the B&O Museum parking lot
When: Mar. 15, 10:30 a.m.
Cost: Free
Info: Tours include the Irish Shrine’s houses, St. Peter’s Church, Hollins Market, and St. Peter’s Cemetery. The first half of the tour takes about 1.5 hours, followed by an optional lunch at Patrick’s Pub (45 minutes) then on to St. Peter’s Cemetery. Call 410-669-8154 for a reservation.

What: St. Patrick’s Day Brunch
Where: Camden Club at Oriole Park at Camden Yards
When: Mar. 16, 11:30 a.m.
Cost: $30
Info: For reservations call, Jane Bailey 410-485-5834 or 443-838-5162.

What: St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where: Inner Harbor and downtown
When: Mar. 16, 2 p.m.
Cost: Free
Info: Baltimore kicks off its wearin’ of the green every year with a grand parade hosting Irish dancers, bagpipe players in colorful kilts and bands like the Marching Ravens.

What:St. Patrick’s Day at Mick O’Shea’s in Mount Vernon
Where:
Mick O’Shea’s
When: Mar. 16-17
Info: On Sunday, Mar. 16, ub opens at 10 a.m. to welcome St. Patrick’s Day Parade spectators and participants. Donegal X-press plays at 4 p.m. On Monday,Mar. 17,live traditional music from 12-4 p.m. then at 6 p.m. Donegal X-press kicks it up a notch. Tuesday and Wednesday closed for repairs.

What: Meet in the Street
Where: Claddagh Pub
When: Mar. 16-17
Cost: Free
Info: While sponsored by Claddagh Pub, this party spills out from every bar on O’Donnell Square.

What: 1st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl
Where: Lucy’s Irish Pub, Mick O’Shea’s, Tir Na Nog, James Joyce Pub, Slainte
When: March 17, 3pm – 11:45pm
Info: The Shuttle Bus begins at 3pm and will make stops every 15 minutes to Lucy’s, Mick O’Shea’s, Tir Na Nog, James Joyce and Slainte.

City Paper Gives the Inside Scoop

March 10, 2009

If you pick up Baltimore’s City Paper, you’ll find their Annual Dining Guide!  Their staff of way more people than I felt like couting hit the pavement and chowed down at 170 different restaurants in Baltimore in order to put together a great compilation.  As a woman who loves order and lists, the guide made me quite giddy when I saw that it was organized by the fare that they serve.  Maybe it’ll help Capt. and I find an indian restaurant in Baltimore that we really love, because I’ve been craving some good korma!

In honor of it being 1 week away from St. Patty’s Day, here’s a little peek at the Irish restaurants that they reviewed in the city.  They missed Tir Na Nog, but that’s kind of OK since it’s a chain, and a few other places, but the ones below are definitely the Irish restaurants in the city that I tend to frequent.  Lucy’s is my default pre-theater restaurant and I’ve already made a reservation for dinner there before I see Cirque du Soliel at the end of the month.  Also, I had the most delicious blueberry and peach bread pudding at James Joyce last time I was there.  Mmmm . . . . !

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James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant

616 S. President St., (410) 727-5107, thejamesjoycepub.com, $$

James Joyce provides the chance to score a proper pour of Guinness when you absolutely positively have to patronize this neck of the Inner Harbor’s woods. We’ve never tried any of the conventional dinner menu items–crab cakes, pork chops, and the like–but the Irish staples, such as fish and chips and a solid shepherd’s pie, are worth checking out.

Lucy’s

21 N. Eutaw St., (410) 837-2100, lucysirishrestaurant.com, $$$

Where Maggie Moore’s, which used to occupy this space, felt more like a pub with nice dining room attached, Lucy’s somehow feels more like a nice restaurant with a pub attached. Lucy’s menu offers an extensive selection of nouveau treats–sliders Irished up with Blarney cheese, seafood and pasta options, and even some small plates at the bar now–but the Irish selections sing, especially a gut-busting traditional Irish breakfast, good day or night.

Slainte Irish Pub and Restaurant

1700 Thames St., (410) 563-6600, slaintepub.com, $$

This sprawling Fells Point spot has enough self-identity to avoid the Irish-pub-in-a-box trap. Sure, it’s self-consciously “Irish,” with Celtic motifs and scripts painted hither and yon, but it’s not trying to fool you into thinking you’re getting drunk in front of Aunty Molly’s coal furnace. We go for the real football and rugby matches on the downstairs TVs, relaxing with real, honest-to-god Irish people (and our American pals), drinking expert pours of Guinness, and eating excellent sandwiches, burgers, and respectable, if a bit pricey, shepherd’s pie.

“This is Mad Good”

March 4, 2009

That’s what Capt. said about the dinner we made on Saturday night.

I was blog surfing at work the other day, and found Stinkerpants Blog.  Stinkerpants is written by Sara, a graphic designer, who primarily does wedding suites.  Her graphic design work is absolutely adorable and half the pleasure of looking at her blog is seeeing what she comes up with to suit the personality of each couple that she designs for.  She also writes about her life, her two chickens, and her membership to the CSA.  Which brings me to Saturday night’s meal.  I took the recipe straight from Stinkerpants Blog and Sara took the recipe from here.

The outcome?  Well, Capt. and I remarked about how good it was back and forth about 5 or 6 times.  It was mad good!

The recipe advises that you use collard greens, which Capt. isn’t a huge fan of, so instead we used spinach.  I think we could have gotten a touch creative and mixed up a number of greens to add some additional flavor to the meal.  Capt. said that the interesting thing is that you could taste every single ingredient in the dish – the garlic, the onion, the mozzerella, the spinach, the parmesan.  There is no star in the dish, every has the spotlight without over powering the other.  It’s like an ensemble cast where everyone is the lead and everyone gives an Oscar winning performance.  Yum, yum, yum!

I could lay in bed on a rainy day with a stupidly funny movie and be the happiest girl alive.  Plain and simple.

So, here ya go!

Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta and Collard Greens

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For a lighter version, omit flour and substitute 1 1/4 cups chicken broth for milk. You can also substitute spinach or kale. Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 30 minutes, Bake: 15 minutes.

Yield

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1  (16-ounce) package rigatoni or penne pasta
  • 1/4  cup  butter
  • 1  medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  pound  collard greens, washed, drained, and chopped
  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups  milk
  • 1  cup  shredded mozzarella
  • 1  cup  ricotta cheese
  • 2  teaspoons  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  teaspoon  red pepper flakes
  • 1/2  cup  grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

1. Prepare pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

2. Heat butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; sauté onion 5 minutes or until just brown. Add garlic, and cook about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add greens; cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until greens are tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Sprinkle greens with flour. Cook uncovered, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring well. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat; stir in cooked pasta, mozzarella, and next 5 ingredients. Place into prepared dish, and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.

4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sara Foster & Scott Howell, Cottage Living, JANUARY 2006
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ENJOY!

Happy Birthday . . . 3 Weeks Later!

March 3, 2009

To celebrate my friend, DG’s birthday, we went into Downtown Frederick for a little brunch and shopping.  I think for people who aren’t familiar with Historic Frederick, it’s really an underestimated place. 

Frederick has some great restaurants and fun shops.  Whenever I go, I insist on popping into Muse for a few locally made goods like jewelry, paints, journals, hair pieces, and home goods.  Actually DG and I signed up to take a bracelet making class through Muse in March!

DG requested that we go to Cafe Nola for brunch on Saturday and boy was it a good choice!  Cafe Nola buys directly from local farms (and there are a lot in Frederick County!), offering fresh food while supporting the local community.  Cafe Nola was very casual with a modern cafe style.  You seat yourself and wait for a server to come to you, again, the service is casual, so if you’re in a hurry, I don’t know if I would recommend popping in there.  If you’re spending an afternoon with your best friends, want delicious food, and to have a good time, go ahead in!

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JC (on the right) and I head into Cafe Nola!

We started off with some coffee and Tea, Cafe Nola proved to have a large selection of tea, and DG branched out and got a Brazilian Berry Tea. Mmm . . . It didn’t take us long to decide what we wanted, although DG made sure that we all knew everything there was good.  DG and JC wanted their baked tofu sandwich, which has baked tofu, goat cheese, spring greens, hummus, and onion.  Unfortunately, they were out of tofu, and we all ended up getting the Grilled Cheesey sandwich.  The sandwich included provolone cheese, tomato, fresh basil, and pesto, on focaccia.  The sandwiches were served with a side of bagel chips which were salted to crispy perfection.

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JC and I digging into our grilled cheesey!

I’m a little fussy about pesto, I think because my first time eating it wasn’t the best experience.  Let me just say that I walked away extremely happy about every item that was used to create my grilled cheesey.  Actually, JC got hers without basil and pesto and I looked over at her eating it and thought that she was just missing out!

It was delicious, I hope to go there again next time I make a trip to Frederick, and think you should go to!  Branch out and see everything Frederick has to offer!

The Professionals Decide . . .

March 2, 2009

Baltimore Magazine (which I love) has recently put out their first-ever ranking of the top 50 restaurants in Baltimore to eat.  It was a lot of fun to look at, especially when I recognized a few places that I have been fortunate enough to have been to in the past. 

I think that lists revolving around food can be so difficult to put together because of how much people’s tastes vary.  If my friends and I ever sat down and tried to compile a list of even our top 5 places to eat, the list would be so different.  So, of course, as I look through Baltimore Magazine’s, I am pretty happy that I agree with most of their selections.  Some of the best restaurants I’ve been to in the past year or so were included, in addition to a few places that are on the top of my list to try out.  For more about Baltimore Magazine’s selection process, check out their dining blog, In Good Taste by Suzanne Loudermilk.

One restaurant that I don’t particularly agree with is Baltimore favorite, The Charleston.  It’s hard to explain why because I think that it generally lives up to its height.  The food was delicious, the dining experience as a whole was excellent, the staff and host(esses) were top quality.  Capt. started with one of the best lobster biques that we’ve ever had, I had a scrumcious fried green tomato . . . I still talk about how much I loved the creme brulee trio I was served that had a melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin creme brulee. 

So, why don’t I think it’s the best restaurant in Baltimore?  I just didn’t walk away saying that it was the best meal I’ve ever had.  I said that it was good, I said that it was a great dining experience, but I wasn’t able to say that I was totally blown away.  Our pockets were over $200 lighter and we just felt ok about it . . . I’ve never recommended it, yet if people ask me about it, I do say that it’s delicious.  But just something in our hearts and about our tastebuds makes me say that the Charleston is overrated.  Yes, the restaurant that is considered the height of Baltimore’s fine dining, the restaurant that others strive to acheive the success of, is overrated.  I’m sorry Cindy Wolf, that’s just how I feel.  Apparently the professionals and a lot of other people in Baltimore disagree, but I stand by my story!

Here’s a few of the restaurants I happily eaten at and that I’ve been wanted to go to that also made it on the list and their rating.  If you want the full listing, do what I did and buy it yourself!

1.  The Charleston

6.  Woodberry Kitchen – Capt. and I went here for Valetine’s Day and definitely plan on going back.  The food was excellent, the atmosphere was cozy, and the service was attentive.  The food is fresh and local and the flavors in each dish definitely prove why the local movement is so successful.  A highlight was the cabbage and apple crepe.

9. Pazo – I can redeem myself to Cindy Wolf  by saying that I really like Pazo.  It has a very cool mediterranean lounge feel and the food is excellent.  I’ve been twice and wasn’t disappointed either time.  Each bite offers a fulfilling pop of flavor, and since it’s tapas, you can experience a number of different kinds of plates.  A highlight was the lavendar ice cream and fall fruit.

11. Salt – It’s on my date night list of places to go.

19.  Fin Steak and Seafood – I point Fin out to the Capt. everytime we’re in Fells Point and we keep trying to remember to go.  We usually forget, but I’ve heard good things and its on our list.

30. Roy’s  – Mike took me here for our first date night and we’ve been there again since.  It’s one of our favorite places and everything we’ve had is just fantastic.  I typically turn my nose up at chain restaurants, which Roy’s is, but the full flavor of every item on the plate prove me wrong.  A highlight is the molten lava cake and the opa.

31.  Dogwood – we’re hoping to go here in the next one or two weekends.

32. Jack’s Bistro – A chef friend of mine says that the chef at Jack’s is the most innovative chef in Baltimore.  That’s enough to convince me to want to go . . .

35. Iron Bridge Wine Company – This is my parent’s favorite default restaurant.  It’s about 20 minutes outside of Baltimore in Columbia, MD.  We buy all our wine here and I have registered to take a wine tasting class here in April.  I had a steak and blue cheese macaroni and cheese there, which was quickly shared with the whole table (much to my dissent).  You can sample their different wines by ordering flights or you can just ask their knowledgeable staff.

40. Tersiguel’s – It’s been so long since I’ve been to Tersiguel’s that it kind of doesn’t count.  I was a sophomore in high school and join my parents in celebration of my dad’s birthday in between school and cheerleading class.  It had been chicken nugget day in the school cafeteria, which was my favorite day of the week.  I proceeded to rave to my parents about how great the chicken nuggets are and how much I love them while eating one of the most moist roast chicken I had ever eaten in my life.  Apparently the maitre’de was entertained by it, because when I left, he commented to my parents that he was sorry they didn’t serve chicken nuggets for me.  Tersiguel’s is also about 20 minutes outside of Baltimore in Ellicott City.

41. The Wine Market – On the list

44. Corks – on my list!

46. b – Also on the list

47. Victoria Gastro Pub – Firstly, I have to say that the owners did a fantastic job transforming an old Bennigan’s into an elegant and formal dining experience.  The food was great, I had a melty and flavorful risotto and the staff was attentive and knowledgeable.

48.  Jordan’s Steakhouse – Jordan’s is right down the street from Tersiguel’s, giving people in Ellicott City a couple of options for higher end dining.  We ordered steak, green beans, and mashed potatoes, all a la carte.  Everything was well seasoned, the steak was rich and juicy, and the restaurant had a great atmosphere.  Where sometime Tersiguel’s can feel a little stuffy (at least to a 16-year-old me) and targeted to an older audience, Jordan’s has a more hip and modern look and feel to it, making it a but more appealing to younger couples in the area.