Elizabeth Large's Top 10 Winter Restaurants

March 11, 2009|By ELIZABETH LARGE

Last Tuesday, when my list of Top 10 Winter Restaurants appeared online, the temperature was 11 degrees. It may be a lot warmer when you read this, but I bet there will be nights before spring gets here when you'll be happy to eat at one of these restaurants.

Here's my list in alphabetical order:


I want a bowl of pho right now, so I'm going to include Baltimore Pho in the Hollins Street Market area.


Midnight Sun Sam Sessa's description of Bertha's hot buttered rum makes the Fells Point pub a must-include on this list, not to mention the afternoon tea and cozy booths.


I just learned that Brewer's Art in Mount Vernon has a working fireplace, the one in the lounge. I hadn't realized that, which made up my mind for me. The haute comfort cuisine and the heavier artisan beers make it a natural for this list.


I wanted to include one Lauraville/Hamilton restaurant because restaurants there tend to specialize in comfort food. I settled on Clementine because of the charcuterie.


A friend here at The Baltimore Sun joked that the Elkridge Furnace Inn in Elkridge should be on the list because of the name, but it's actually a good choice. The prix-fixe winter menu has a sausage trio, among other hearty dishes.


If winter makes you think of Old World restaurants and German cuisine, consider Josef's Country Inn in Fallston. It's not a German restaurant, but there are three German entrees on the menu, and German dishes are often specials.


When I did an informal survey, two out of the first three people I asked said the Milton Inn in Sparks when I asked them to name a winter restaurant. It was the first one that popped into my head, too. The Hearth Room is certainly one reason, but dishes like apple and sauterne pork chop and grilled filet of beef don't hurt.


Lively, crowded can be good things when it's cold. Petit Louis in Roland Park has those things and comforting food.


Best fireplace, budget edition, has to go to the Wharf Rat in Fells Point - it has the biggest one around. The food runs to burgers, meatloaf, fish and chips and roast chicken, all good winter fare.


The fact that Ze Mean Bean in Fells Point has a fireplace isn't as important as the hearty Eastern European fare it serves.

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