What's going on at Taverna Corvino?
When we heard that executive chef Christopher Paternotte left Taverna Corvino (1117 S. Charles St., 410-727-1212) in Federal Hill, we wondered how it would affect the restaurant, which opened less than a year ago. As far as the food, the menu is similar to the one offered under Paternotte.
Baltimore's 25 Best Bars
Baltimore is known for the illustrious corner bar—the comfy dive down the block where the Natty Boh is always cold and everybody knows your name. But the city's nightlife scene has boomed in recent years, resulting in upscale lounges, energetic music venues, trendy wine bars, and down-home bistros. We decided to cover all that ground and give you the region's 25 best bars, from Hunt Valley to Annapolis and everywhere in between.
Getting out of bed in the morning just got easier with our 35 top breakfast and brunch picks.
For those of us who greet most days with cold cereal and cheap coffee, a relaxing morning meal at a cozy restaurant is just our cup of tea. And as we looked around the region, we realized there were an amazing number of choices for breakfast or brunch. Soon enough, we were on a mission to find the best places to savor fresh-brewed java, fluffy omelets, and thick pancakes.
A local sausage maker provides brats and sauerkraut to Oktoberfests.
Once again, Binkert’s Meat Products (8805 Philadelphia Rd., 410-687-5959, binkerts.com) is gearing up for a season of Oktoberfests. The company—founded in 1964 by German immigrant Egon Binkert, a master butcher who had an American dream to open his own place—expects to deliver bratwursts, sauerkraut, red cabbage, and mustard to more than 50 October celebrations throughout the area, says second-generation owner Sonya Weber.
The kudos don't lie. Maryland winemaking is finally on the map.
It's a crisp Sunday afternoon, and the view beyond the barn at Boordy Vineyards is bright with autumn colors. Rob Deford, the winery's owner, cranks the handle of a vintage crusher and white grapes emerge, their skins broken and stems removed. He jokes about what it would be like to make the winery's annual 90,000 gallons of wine with this antiquated equipment. But, of course, he doesn't have to—behind him loom almost three dozen stainless steel tanks, the largest with a capacity of 12,000 gallons.
Cocktails are for the mornings, too.
From mimosas to Bellinis, cocktails are to brunch what comics are to Sunday mornings at home—a tradition. But besides classic libations, many restaurants are putting their own twists on early-day drinks. Woodberry Kitchen, for instance, packs a lot of creativity into The Full Monty—its version of a Bloody Mary. Ingredients include candied bacon, a whole smoked shrimp, and a scallion garnish. To add a local kick, the glass is rimmed in Old Bay and served alongside a four-ounce shot of Natty Boh.
Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse defies the economy with a progressive agenda and a new free school.
On a late summer evening, a dozen students in their 20s and 30s take seats around an oversized picnic table and on rows of bleachers inside the Baltimore Museum of Art's geodesic dome. John Duda, one of the founders of Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse collective, prepares to lead tonight's class, "Urban Development as Counterinsurgency," but he can't start. The students keep arriving.
"The problem with starting everything 15 minutes late," jokes Kate Khatib, another Red Emma's collective founder, "is that people start showing up 15 minutes late for everything."
Small potato nuggets become a menu staple at local restaurants.
A lot of people attribute the recent popularity of tater tots on restaurant menus to Napoleon Dynamite, the 2004 cult favorite with a great classroom scene featuring the mini potato bites. But Alan Morstein, owner of Regi's American Bistro in Federal Hill, was way ahead of the movie. He introduced A.J.'s tater tots to diners eight years ago. "I'm the man who put tater tots on the map," he proclaims.
This Vietnamese sandwich adds its flavors to our local fare.
Sub, hoagie, cheesesteak, and grinder, meet the new sandwich in town: bánh mì. Its tender grilled meat, pickled daikon, and fresh cilantro remember the flavors of its native Vietnam. Its crispy baguette and cool mayonnaise capture the nation's French colonial past. Its simple, paper-wrapped presentation borrows from its origins as street fare. "It's very cheap, it's very quick, it's very good," says Trang Nguyen of Saigon Remembered (5857 York Rd., 410-435-1300). The restaurant's menu offers 13 variations, ranging from tofu ($5.50) to ham ($6.95).
Free tastings lure in wine lovers.
At Swirl Wine (2320 York Rd., Timonium, 410-252-7787), the wine-tasting crowd starts showing up at 3 p.m. on Fridays for freebies. At The Wine Source (3601 Elm Ave., 410-467-7777), vino lovers look for complimentary sips on Fridays and Saturdays. At
Two seasoned home cooks known as "The CardaMoms" give birth to a new cookbook inspired by their spice business.
In 2005, when Katie Luber, left, and Sara Engram, right, were launching their Maryland-based spice business, they had a conversation with a friend about their concept.
"He said to us, 'Hmm . . . spices, and you're these girls. . . . You're the Spice Girls! That's so hot!'" recalls Luber, laughing at the memory.
Nancy Faidley-Devine, co-owner of Faidley Seafood in Lexington Market—well-known for its award-winning crab cake—gives us the scoop on cocktail vs. tartar, broiled vs. fried, and more.
These Maryland patties really take the cake.
Picking the best crab cakes in Baltimore is a lot like picking your favorite coffee place. The choices are overwhelming—and loyalties are fierce. So it seemed downright brazen to even attempt to name our top patties. But that's exactly what we did.
We toured white-tablecloth restaurants, bare-table taverns, and old-time watering holes in our search, and weren't disappointed. We think you'll find our list is filled with respected standbys and surprising discoveries.
Milk delivery comes back to Baltimore.
Readers of a certain age will remember when delicious, farm-fresh milk was delivered right to your door. But that convenience eventually went the way of the 15-cent stamp.
Forget the fancy fare, local chefs crave mom's comfort food.
While some of the area's top chefs are laboring over ambitious presentations like saffron-poached sea scallops and red-wine-braised veal cheeks, they often experience pangs for more familiar foods from their youth-basic dishes that mom cooked. And every now and then, they're happy to put aside the duck confit and black truffles and go home to mac and cheese or pot roast-and reconnect with mom all over again.
Michel Tersiguel, Tersiguel's