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August 7, 2009

Woodberry Kitchen one of Bon Appetit's 10 best

WoodberryHonored.jpgWouldn't you think if you were naming a Baltimore restaurant one of your Top 10 new restaurants you might want to tell the local newspaper? Or if you were that restaurant you might want to blow your own horn?

Not so. I just got an e-mail from Lynn (thanks, Lynn) pointing out that Woodberry Kitchen has been named one of Bon Appetit's Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America. Congratulations to Spike Gjerde, whose handsome farm-to-table restaurant has been a hit since it opened. He's modest as well as a good cook.

Here's what the magazine says: ...

In the early 1990s, long before sustainable, local, and organic became the calling cards of chefs everywhere, Spike Gjerde was showcasing the abundance of the Chesapeake Bay. With the opening of his latest spot in the historic Clipper Mill complex—a brick-and-wood space that has the look and feel of a restored farmhouse—Gjerde takes his farm-to-table commitment to the next level. A wood-burning oven is the centerpiece of a kitchen that turns out dishes like roasted Rappahannock River oysters, Roseda Black Angus Farm hanger steak, and fantastic flatbreads.

A recipe for Spiced Pear Flatbreads with Goat Cheese and Mustard Cream is also included.

(Kenneth K. Lam/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:55 AM | | Comments (10)


Another restaurant I have not had the pleasure of dining at. I love the fact that they purchase local ingredients from Springfield Farm which is right down the street from me.

Congrats Woodberry! I've dined there several times and have always enjoyed it. Excellent service too!

I'll echo the comments about Spike Gjerde. Not only is he and his restaurant excellent he also is a very nice guy. I had the privilege of working with him a few years ago on a wonderful project called "Days of Taste", a program for 3rd graders in Baltimore to introduce kids to good food and how it is grown and cooked!

Wow, that is a tremendous honor...congratulations, indeed! And, I am sooooo glad that I made a reservation a week ago for 8 of us to eat there for the 1st time on August 29th, because it will be even harder to secure that table now!

Just for balance, in case there might be flacks running around loose, one of my favorite Chowhound quotes was about this place by poster matt8313:
...the whole experience was just generally tremendous. If there was a flaw, it was the patrons. Squint right and they were a lovely, stylish, attractive cross-section of young-money Baltimore. Squint wrong, though, and it started to look and sound like someone had left the Hipsterator 9000 cranked up to high. Not the kitchen's fault, and maybe it was just tonight, but some of the patrons redefined smug for a new and smugger generation.

Had a wonderful meal there on my birthday.

Congratulations to Woodberry Kitchen and Spike & Amy Gjerde. What a
wonderful accomplishment for Baltimore.

In answer to your question - anyone knowing Spike and Amy knows that they don't "beat their own drum" but rather in their quiet way go about providing the best culinary experience in the mid-Atlantic, and Bon Appetite showed excellent judgment in naming them one of the top ten in the country.
Spike is certainly an outstanding and innovative chef, not just a "good cook."

We have a reservation for our anniversary on Thursday. I picked them because the were NOT participating in restaurant week, and knowing how popular they are, didn't want to get caught up in all that RW stuff. I missed this post and just saw the magazine yesterday. I'm also glad I made it when I did, for when I did!

congrats guys! for bundling all those ideas,
inspiration and local talent (from the food
producers to the designers and staff) with
your own lifelong vision.

proving craftspersonship is alive and well in
the soil below our feet if you have
the talent to pull it all together.

I'm with VisitBaltimore, and we just did a video with Spike Gjerde, from Woodberry Kitchen. In the video he talks about the restaurant's menu and fresh produce as well as its location and ambiance! Check it out at

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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