Fig and prosciutto appetizer with beets, cheese and melon from The Kings Contrivance Restaurant.

Fig and prosciutto appetizer with beets, cheese and melon from The Kings Contrivance Restaurant. (photo by Sarah Pastrana / October 25, 2012)

A delicious, enjoyable dining experience is what one hopes for when venturing out for a meal. To help hone your search for a satisfying bite, Howard Magazine polls its readers each year. Here are the winners of our 2012 Best of Dining survey.

ALFRESCO
Clyde's of Columbia
Honorable mention:
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
The Tomato Palace
Facci Ristorante
LeeLynn's Dining Room & Lounge

AMBIANCE
The Kings Contrivance Restaurant
Honorable mention:
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Stanford Grill
Luna Bella

ASIAN (other than Chinese)
Asian Palace Sushi Bar & Asian Cuisine
Honorable mention:
Asean Bistro
Sushi Sono
Thai Aroma


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BAR FOOD
Bare Bones Grill & Brewery
Honorable mention:
Victoria Gastro Pub
Looney's Pub South
Clyde's of Columbia

BEST VALUE
Bare Bones Grill & Brewery
Honorable mention:
Twist & Turn Tavern
The Tomato Palace
Subway

BREAKFAST
Eggspectation
Honorable mention:
Bob Evans Restaurant
Mimis Cafe
Double-T Diner

BRUNCH
Clyde's of Columbia
Honorable mention:
Eggspectation
Victoria Gastro Pub
Alexandra's Restaurant

BUFFET
Chen Hibachi Buffet
Honorable mention:
Royal Taj
House of India
Alexandra's Restaurant
Mango Grove

BURGER
Five Guys
Honorable mention:
Red Robin Gourmet Burger
Clyde's of Columbia
Victoria Gastro Pub

CHEF
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Honorable mention:
Luna Bella
Tersiguel's
The Rumor Mill Fusion Bar & Restaurant

CHINESE
Hunan Manor
Honorable mention:
Hunan Legend
Asean Bistro
P.F. Chang's China Bistro

COFFEE
Starbucks
Honorable mention:
Dunkin' Donuts
Mad City Cafe

CRAB CAKE
Shanty Grille
Honorable mention:
Clyde's of Columbia
LeeLynn's Dining Room & Lounge
Bare Bones Grill & Brewery

DELI
Jason's Deli
Honorable mention:
Charter Deli
Bon Fresco Sandwich Bakery
Lakeside Cafe and Deli

DESSERT
Cheesecake Factory
Honorable mention:
Luna Bella
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
The Rumor Mill Fusion Bar & Restaurant

FINE DINING
The Kings Contrivance Restaurant
Honorable mention:
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Tersiguel's
Elkridge Furnace Inn

HAPPY HOUR
Bare Bones Grill & Brewery
Honorable mention:
Victoria Gastro Pub
Looney's Pub South
Clyde's of Columbia

HEALTHFUL MENU
Great Sage
Honorable mention:
Donna's Cafe & Coffee Bar
The Cafe at David's Natural Market
Subway

ICE CREAM
Meadows
Honorable mention:
Rita's Italian Ice
Cold Stone
Soft Stuff (at Forest Motel)

INDIAN
House of India
Honorable mention:
Royal Taj
The Mango Grove
Akbar

ITALIAN
Luna Bella
Honorable mention:
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Facci Ristorante
Tino's Italian Bistro

LATE NIGHT DINING
Clyde's of Columbia
Honorable mention:
Victoria Gastro Pub
Double-T Diner
Iron Bridge Wine Co.

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Bare Bones Grill & Brewery
Honorable mention:
Looney's Pub South
Stanford Grill
Nottingham's

LOCALLY MADE BEER
Ellicott Mills Brewing Co.
Honorable mention:
Bare Bones Grill & Brewery
Pub Dog Pizza & Drafthouse
Frisco Tap House

LUNCH MENU
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Honorable mention:
Luna Bella
Bon Fresco Sandwich Bakery
Panera Bread 

MARGARITA
El Azteca
Honorable mention:
Azul 17
La Palapa Grill & Cantina
La Palapa Too

MARTINI
Clyde's of Columbia
Honorable mention:
Facci Ristorante
Luna Bella
Victoria Gastro Pub

MEXICAN
El Azteca
Honorable mention:
La Palapa Grill & Cantina
La Palapa Too
Azul 17

NEW RESTAURANT (TIE)
The Corner Stable
Tino's Italian Bistro
Honorable mention:
East Moon Asian Bistro
Asian Palace Sushi Bar & Asian Cuisine

PIZZA
Luna Bella
Honorable mention:
Ledo
Coal Fire Pizza
Facci Ristorante

PLACE TO TAKE KIDS
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
Honorable mention:
Cheeburger Cheeburger
Chick-fil-A
Luna Bella

PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS
Clyde's of Columbia

Honorable mention:
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Iron Bridge Wine Co.
Victoria Gastro Pub

RESTAURANT (OVERALL)
Luna Bella
Honorable mention:
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Facci Ristorante
Bare Bones Grill & Brewery

RIBS
Bare Bones Grill & Brewery
Honorable mention:
Kloby’s Smokehouse
The Corner Stable
Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que

ROMANTIC
Tersiguel's
Honorable mention:
The Kings Contrivance Restaurant
Elkridge Furnace Inn
Iron Bridge Wine Co.

SERVICE
Luna Bella
Honorable mention:
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Tersiguel’s
Stanford Grill

SPORTS BAR
Looney's Pub South
Honorable mention:
Champps Restaurant & Bar
Greene Turtle
River Hill Sports Grille

STEAK (TIE)
Outback Steakhouse
Stanford Grill
Honorable mention:
Venegas
Longhorn Steaks
Copeland's of New Orleans

SUSHI
Sushi Sono
Honorable mention:
Sushi King
Asian Palace Sushi Bar & Asian Cuisine
Katana

TAKEOUT
Maiwand Kabob
Honorable mention:
Luna Bella
Hunan Manor
Hunan Legend

TAPAS/SMALL PLATE MENU
Ranazul
Honorable mention:
The Rumor Mill Fusion Bar & Restaurant
Iron Bridge Wine Co.
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar

VEGETARIAN
Great Sage
Honorable mention:
Mango Grove
The Cafe at David’s Natural Market

VIEW
Clyde's of Columbia
Honorable mention:
Waterside (Sheraton Columbia Hotel)
Coho Grill
The Tomato Palace

WINE LIST
Iron Bridge Wine Co.
Honorable mention:
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Facci Ristorante
Bistro Blanc

WINE TASTING
Iron Bridge Wine Co.
Honorable mention:
AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Bistro Blanc  
Facci Ristorante