Our favorite drink was the ginger rum mojito ($9). Made with ginger-infused Flora de Cana rum, lime, mint, soda and more ginger, the cocktail sounds like a fairly standard mojito. But the addition of ginger to the mix made a big difference, adding spice that elevated the drink from average to great.

At the end of the evening, we got to appreciate that flavor again, when the staff treated our table — and the table next to us — to shots of ginger-infused rum. The drink was subtle and sweet, with very little alcohol burn; easy to imbibe straight up, without the cushion of additional ingredients.

The rum was carefully infused with interesting flavors, blending familiar ingredients to create something entirely new. Like the rum, Willow takes the traditional elements of a Mexican restaurant, twists them, and conjures up something exciting and fresh.


Back story: Opened last summer by the team behind Stuggy's and RYE, Willow brings a moody space, intriguing cocktails and a modern approach to Mexican food to lower Fells Point.

Parking: On-street

Signature dish: A large quesadilla stuffed with cheese, onions, tomatoes, radish and hoisin-marinated flank steak elegantly meshes Tex-Mex presentation with the trendy flavors of Korean barbecue. The fresh, bright flavors of guacamole and salsa fresca round out the plate.

Where: 811 South Broadway, Baltimore

Contact: 443-835-4086; willowbaltimore.com

Open: 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday and Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday to Sunday

Credit cards: All major

Reservations: Accepted

Rating: ***

[Key: Superlative: *****; Excellent: ****; Very Good: ***; Good: **; Promising: *]