What could be more classic than a corner bar in Fells Point? You know the kind—a long bar in the front and a small dining room in the rear with a side entrance that might once have been for "ladies."
Todd Conner's fits the bill and goes a step farther. It's part of the new dining trend that offers not only traditional bar food but also sophisticated meals with fresh ingredients and interesting twists on old favorites.
If you want a beer and burger, you're in the right place. There are about eight beers on tap, from Miller Lite to Blue Moon. And there is the Bond St. Burger ($8.99), which you can customize with a dozen different toppings. But diners will also find tuna steak, salmon, crab cakes, and tempting nightly specials.
In warmer weather, Todd Conner's offers outside dining on its Aliceanna Street side and was doing a lively business inside and out on a recent weeknight. Inside, the rear dining room has about 10 tables. The decor is arty and contemporary with pale yellow walls, black tables and chairs, and dramatic photos on the walls.
As we settled in, we couldn't resist starting with the Wolf Down These Petals ($5.99), a whole onion, quartered, tempura battered, and deep-fried. It was amazingly sweet and delicious, and served with a dreamy horseradish-ranch dipping sauce. We can see how the dish got its name. It's hard not to clean the plate.
Nikki's mixed green salad (named after co-owner Nikki Popovich) is one of the restaurant's signature dishes. The large size ($8.99; small, $4.99) makes for a great light entrée, especially with grilled tuna ($3.99 extra). The field greens are extremely fresh, and the addition of sweet grapes, onion, feta, sunflower seeds, and vinaigrette creates an exciting combination of flavors.
For heartier appetites, another signature dish, mac 'n' cheese ($10.99), is guaranteed to satisfy. A large bowl of penne pasta is coated with a thick, tangy cheese sauce and topped with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Diners can also add chicken, shrimp, tuna, crab meat, or portobello mushrooms for an extra boost. We chose crab ($6.99) and considered it the ultimate comfort food, though, for the price, there could have been more crab meat. Sadly, the accompanying side order of broccoli was tasteless.
Homemade desserts vary daily. From three offerings, we chose chocolate bread pudding and a berry tart ($4.99 each). We decided to save the decadent-sounding deep-fried cheesecake for another time. The berry tart, served with generous dollops of luscious whipped cream, was appropriately wonderful with an assortment of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries atop a thin layer of pastry cream and light crust. The bread pudding was a sweet finish and better than grandma's. A flash dip in the deep fryer gave the dish the slightest crust.
We found Todd Conner's a comfortable place to temporarily forget the cares of the world while enjoying reasonably priced, well-prepared food from a menu with a variety of choices. The friendly service is also a plus.
The restaurant also serves lunch and Sunday brunch and has a children's menu. There's a Yappy Hour on Tuesdays, when humans who bring their dogs—outside seating only—get 25 percent off their food check. When we were there, several canines were enjoying water, served appropriately in dog bowls, while their keepers lapped up people food.