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Burning bright: Smoking and flaming dishes and drinks at Baltimore restaurants

There’s something about an unexpected smoky haze or a surprise burst of orange flames that captivates diners. When you want a bit of a show with your dinner, go for one of these fiery favorites.

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Ouzo Bay’s flaming Lamborghini

Ordered about 10 times a week and typically served for birthdays, the fiery drink — one of a half-dozen flaming beverages served at the bar — is actually off the menu. But the dramatics of it — the fire presentation requires the use of three types of stacked glasses — and the taste — it’s a mixture of Baileys Irish cream, Kahlua and Sambuca — makes this the most popular of the group, according to bar manager Liz Jankiewicz. $20.

Ouzo Bay’s flaming Lamborghini
Ouzo Bay’s flaming Lamborghini (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Cava Mezze’s saganaki

The popular saganaki became infamous after the dish — made tableside with brandy-flambéed kefalograviera cheese and lemon— set off sprinklers last April. A viral video of the incident has amassed more than 184,000 views on YouTube. $14.

Cava Mezze’s saganaki
Cava Mezze’s saganaki (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Vida Taco Bar’s smoked margarita

This stunning drink features Ilegal Mezcal Joven, the restaurant’s own margarita mix and a chipotle-cinnamon salted rim. If that’s not enough, the drink comes in a smoking bucket that provides enough haze to rival a smoke machine. $10.

Vida Taco Bar’s smoked margarita
Vida Taco Bar’s smoked margarita (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Gordon Ramsay Steak’s smoked beef tartare

The classic dish gets the smoky treatment as the aged and chopped beef tenderloin — combined with lemon zest, shallots, capers, cornichons and quail’s yolk — is spooned atop house-made Yukon gold herbed potato chips. The dish is served cold tableside in a dome filed with an aromatic applewood smoke. $21.

Gordon Ramsay Steak’s smoked beef tartare
Gordon Ramsay Steak’s smoked beef tartare (Handout)

The Bluebird Cocktail Room’s smoked Santiago

This cocktail features Papa’s Pilar 24-year rum, simple syrup, cream sherry, maraschino liquor and a lime peel garnish. The drink is then placed in a smoke-filled glass cloche to add a dramatic smoky effect. $16

The Bluebird Cocktail Room’s smoked Santiago
The Bluebird Cocktail Room’s smoked Santiago (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

The Bygone’s Peking duck

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Talk about a show stopper. The duck for two is flambéed tableside and then deboned in the kitchen and returned to the dining room with a lavender honey sauce. $85.

The Bygone’s Peking duck
The Bygone’s Peking duck (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Minnow’s love potion No. 8

The smoke in this signature drink comes from dry ice that is placed in the sweet cocktail, which is made with vodka, “happy” liqueur (a house-made mixture) and elderflower liqueur. $10.

Minnow’s love potion No. 8
Minnow’s love potion No. 8 (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)
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