Every August, the editors make their well-researched picks in the various “Best of Baltimore” categories, from barbeque to baseball greats. The readers get to play a role in the ritual, too, with our online Readers’ Poll, which, this year, drew 5,000-plus opinions. But what about my opinion? What am I, chopped liver?
So here’s my own list, though you’ll probably notice it’s a bit Little Italy- and food-skewed. Hey, that’s because I’m a native who came back to live in the old ’hood, and I love great food. What can I say? Without further delay (drum roll):
Best Italian restaurant: I have to chose La Scala and note that the editors had the wisdom to agree with me when they gave it a 2011 “Best of” for salumeria. Breakfast? Teavolve Cafe & Lounge on Aliceanna Street gets the nod. For lunch, it’s another short stroll to enjoy the food at Amicci’s on South High Street. And my vote for neighborhood grocery goes to Di Pasquale’s on Gough Street (check out their deli, too), while bakery honors are conferred on Piedigrotta Bakery & Café on Bank Street (another past “Best of” winner). And the best meal that’s not in Little Italy? For crabs, I’d say Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn in Essex, and for the mother of all dinners, I’d pick The Prime Rib, which will never disappoint a discerning carnivore who also wants unrivaled service.
Enough about food, already: My best night spot is Fells Point’s Bond Street Social and best place to catch a movie goes to Landmark Theatres in Harbor East (bring your beer or wine to your seat). For menswear, I induct Eddie Steinberg of J.S. Edwards, who comes to my home to tailor my suits. And finally, how about best museum other than Geppi’s Entertainment Museum? I’ll surprise you by picking the Maryland Science Center, where I like to take my son, Stevie, who gets a couple of special August kudos of his own: He turns 11 this month, and he was the recent recipient, upon completion of the fourth grade at St. Paul’s School, of the Creative Thinking Award, “given when a student has demonstrated an outstanding ability to think abstractly and creatively.” Think he got that from his dad?