It’s always interesting to attend a media event when it comes to food. It’s (sometimes) an opportunity to get inside the heads of the chefs, owners, etc. You see what they want to highlight and what’s important to them. Last night, I was happy to be invited to and participate in a media event called “Dine Downtown Baltimore on Charles Street”. It was sponsored by Downtown Baltimore Partnership. The concept is that there are some people who haven’t ventured away from the tourist spots up the street to the lively area that is Mt. Vernon. This is a very real neighborhood that’s thriving and growing. When’s the last time you were there?
The first stop was B & O Brasserie. I can report that Brendan — world champion mixologist from Ixia — is now here, making his signature gourmet cocktails. Very cool. Since they’re in the Monaco Hotel, they serve all meals. B & O Brasserie concentrates on fresh, seasonal, organic, localvore food, including seasonal flatbreads. That’s what we media types were trying that night. They were garnished with pea shoots, etc., that were grown right in-house.
We traveled from location to location via the new Charm City Circulator. It’s run on battery power, fits up to 49 people, is spacious, and FREE. It will be running up the street every few minutes. Could you run it up Falls Road? Pretty please?
Red Maple has, from it’s onset, been the place to see and be seen. They used to have Jill Snyder as a chef — from Top Chef competition fame — and now it’s Kimber Powell. This is a place that Hollywood types would probably like to frequent. I appreciate that their “bar food” isn’t bar food… but honestly, people don’t go here to chow down on a substantial dinner. It’s a gathering place. The place has chic-chic-chic low tables and low lighting. They host events like fashion shows for the very fashionable.
Just up the street is Brewer’s Art. They’ve hit the trifecta of gorgeous Mt. Vernon townhouse setting, comforting food with gourmet twists and flavors, and award-winning beer. They have been selling it in other venues, but here’s a secret — it tastes best straight from the tap! No question about it. It’s creamy, rich, but with definite flavor/bite. It’s beer for grown-ups. Their artichoke pasta was tender, flavorful, and chock full of artichokes. That’s what I mean by a familiar — but by no means same-old, same-old — twist at Brewer’s Art. They also do a flatbread that could be great morning, noon, and night: it had American proscuitto, Marscapone cheese, and dried cherries. Trust me, you’d like a slice now!