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Need more evidence that Baltimore’s dining scene is heating up? A bistro in Station North was this week named the 18th best restaurant in America by Esquire magazine, while a beverage director at a newly opened oyster house was named the top in the U.S.

“Baltimore (yeah, Baltimore) can now make rightful claim to having the sexiest third-date spot in America,” Esquire’s Food & Drinks editor Jeff Gordinier wrote of the bistro helmed by chef Will Mester and co-owner Rosemary Liss.

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It’s another feather in the cap for Le Comptoir du Vin which was also included in this year’s “hot ten” list by Bon Appétit.

But Le Comptoir du Vin wasn’t the only spot to get singled out for accolades. Chelsea Gregoire, of the True Chesapeake Oyster Co. was named “beverage director of the year." Gordinier praised Gregoire’s “radical, generous-spirited approach to inclusiveness" and called her a “game changer" for the industry.

Previously, Baltimore (yeah, Baltimore) establishments the Elk Room, Rye, the Brewer’s Art and Bad Decisions have been featured on Esquire’s Best Bars lists.

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