Entertainment Food & Dining

Collection: Baltimore Sun restaurant reviews

  • In Catonsville, the very model of a neighborhood Italian bistro

    In Catonsville, the very model of a neighborhood Italian bistro

    Franco's Italian Bistro opened last fall in the Frederick Road location that had previously been Regions. Regions was valiant but slightly complicated, with an ambitious globe-traveling menu of small and large plates. Franco's Italian Bistro is simple, straightforward and, from what I could tell,...

  • In Pasadena, The BBQ Joint hits all the right spots

    In Pasadena, The BBQ Joint hits all the right spots

    On the fanciness scale, barbecue ranks somewhere very close to the bottom. It's messy, down home and definitely not precious. But that doesn't mean that a chef with fancy training can't do barbecue justice. Case in point: Andrew Evans, the Culinary Institute of America-trained owner of The BBQ...

  • Alma Cocina brings the soul of Caracas to Canton

    Alma Cocina brings the soul of Caracas to Canton

    Canton has landed a winner. Alma Cocina Latina, a new 90-seat Venezuelan restaurant in the Can Company, is the best restaurant to open for years in the Southeast Baltimore neighborhood. The restaurant opened in late April and already appears to have a following. Part of Alma's rapid popularity...

  • Familiar but slightly underwhelming Mexican fare at Mezcal

    Familiar but slightly underwhelming Mexican fare at Mezcal

    There is something charming about straightforward Mexican food. Tacos and margaritas, served in cheerfully decorated rooms, bring people together. The scene at Mezcal, an Owings Mills Mexican joint open since late 2013, proves this. Despite sometimes slow service, the restaurant's mostly well-executed...

  • La Cuchara and its Basque cuisine make a bold entrance

    La Cuchara and its Basque cuisine make a bold entrance

    In a matter of weeks, La Cuchara — the name is Spanish for "spoon" — has ripened into a mature, engaging restaurant. The kitchen, led by chef-owner Ben Lefenfeld, is turning out good, hearty and interesting food from a menu inspired by the Basque cuisine. People are having fun at La Cuchara, really...

  • Enjoyable food, despite some bumps, at Chef Paolino Cafe in Ellicott City

    Enjoyable food, despite some bumps, at Chef Paolino Cafe in Ellicott City

    Howard County is so celebrated for Asian and Indian restaurants that sometimes it's easy to forget that the county is also home to good, casual restaurants representing more familiar cuisines. Chef Paolino Cafe, located in an Ellicott City shopping center, is one of those spots. Though some dishes...

  • Katana, a new Japanese restaurant, livens up a Canton corner

    Katana, a new Japanese restaurant, livens up a Canton corner

    Katana is a sweet and promising new Japanese restaurant in Canton. The focus is sushi, but there are also hot and cold Japanese appetizers, entrees, and various rice and noodle dishes. And there's more. Much, much more. Not unusual for Japanese restaurants, Katana has an enormous menu that almost...

  • Blue Pit BBQ in Hampden is likable and tasty

    Blue Pit BBQ in Hampden is likable and tasty

    Barbecue is everywhere in Baltimore these days, from the food trucks to the stadiums to the suburbs. That's a good thing. It's also in the bars — and at Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar in Hampden, smoky meats and southern side dishes make excellent bar food. Blue Pit, which opened as a bar with sandwiches...

  • For Annapolis, a big and brassy new spot on West Street

    For Annapolis, a big and brassy new spot on West Street

    Suddenly, mussels and frites are everywhere. Belgian-themed restaurants, fry shops and bars have been cropping up in Baltimore lately. And now, Annapolitans have a new Belgian-inspired hangout. The featured menu items at Baroak Cookhouse & Taproom, the big and brassy new restaurant inside the Loews...

  • Terrific takes on classic Afghan kebabs at Maiwand Grill

    Terrific takes on classic Afghan kebabs at Maiwand Grill

    Baltimore is no stranger to great Afghan food. The Helmand restaurant has been a city favorite for years; the country's influence is also apparent in kebab shops and casual eateries scattered throughout town. Maiwand Grill, a new Afghan place downtown, is a good addition to that group. With excellent...

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