Tavern rises well above bar-food expectations

Restaurant review

December 02, 2007|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun restaurant critic

Food *** (3 stars)

Service *** (3 stars)

Atmosphere **1/2 (2 1/2stars)

With all the new restaurants opening in Baltimore, it's nice to take a break every once in awhile and revisit an old favorite. Henninger's Tavern in Upper Fells Point is one of those places I've been meaning to get back to. It's a restaurant that seems uniquely Baltimore to me, a place that puts the charm in Charm City. The restaurants in this category have no pretensions; but then they surprise you by having better food than you expect, or a little more style, or a more interesting wine list.

The front of Henninger's is lit up with white fairy lights, and this time of year it looks kind of magical in the dark, with no sign immediately visible. Inside, though, it's a Baltimore pub. On the right is a bar and to the left, a narrow dining room that has fewer than a dozen tables. (If you mind smoke, put off going until the smoking ban goes into effect in January, because it does drift into the dining room from the bar.) Vintage photographs adorn the walls a la Haussner's, and furniture such as the old china cupboard lends the candlelit room a nice patina. Jazz plays on the sound system.


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