Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...Oh, sorry. How about a nice New York strip and a baked potato eaten next to an open fire? Does that sound better?
This week's Top 10 Tuesday should get you in the holiday spirit: The top 10 restaurants with fireplaces. As a bonus, most of these come with Christmas decorations and holiday-themed cocktails.
I tried to select a range of places, and not just make it a list of wonderful historic homes an hour's drive from Baltimore where dinner will cost you an arm and a leg.
If you aren't a regular Top 10 reader, please read this first.
Here's my list: ...
* Ambassador Dining Room in Homewood has two fireplaces and is festively and beautifully decorated. Faithful readers know this is where my family and close friends go for our annual Christmas get-together and Indian food.
* Brasserie Tatin in Homewood is one of those restaurants you probably don't even think about as having a fireplace because the decor is modern. Its Christmas decorations are up now, surrounding the stone-manteled fireplace that's turned on every night.
* Elkridge Furnace Inn in Elkridge. This 18th century mansion on the Patapsco River has six working fireplaces and loads of period charm. The menu offers French and New American cuisine.
* Kings Contrivance in Columbia is at its best this time of year, with six working fireplaces. It's closed Christmas Day but has a special a la carte menu on Christmas Eve from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
* Milton Inn in Sparks. The charming dining rooms all have fireplaces, but they are electric except for the one in the Hearth Room, the hostess told me when I called. Request to be seated there when you make your reservation.
* Oregon Grille in Cockeysville offers a classic Christmas experience with festive decorations inside and out, fires blazing in four fireplaces inside and one outside on the terrace. Fine-dining steaks and seafood.
* Petit Louis in Roland Park. There are several tables near this French bistro's fireplace, but if there are only two of you request the cozy table just to the right of it. The place is noisy and crowded, but it still manages to be romantic this time of year.
* Red Maple in Mount Vernon proves that you don't have to go to an historic inn to have dinner by a fire. The fireplaces in the lounge are contemporary, and you'll be eating Asian-inspired tapas basically on your knees, but you'll have fun.
* Treaty of Paris in Annapolis has been recently renovated, but the basement dining room of the 1773 Maryland Inn still has two working fireplaces. The food can be described as Continental, with an emphasis on seafood.
* Ze Mean Bean in Fells Point is a small and cozy charmer with Eastern European comfort food and some more gourmet fare. The small dining room has a large fireplace, and there's live music on the weekends.
(Kenneth K. Lam/Sun photographer)