Top 10 Best Restaurants I Reviewed in 2009
This list was inspired by an e-mail from Lars Rusins of BaltoFoodies.com asking if there was any way of searching the Sun's restaurant review database by how many stars were awarded.
The answer is not yet, although that would be a good thing to add, as I found when I tried to make up this list.
I went back into the Sun archives to create it, and I put the stars awarded for food in parentheses.
But wonderful food isn't the only qualification for why I want to go to a restaurant, so I next decided to order them in terms of overall experience.
This is a totally personal ordering, and one I can't really defend except to say I'd go back to Restaurant A before I'd go back to Restaurant B.
Out of curiosity, I asked Other Reviewer Richard Gorelick what his standout restaurants for 2009 were. He e-mailed back: "Hi, Mekong Delta is the one place I was most happy to tell readers about."
Here's my list: ...
1) Prime Rib downtown (4 stars). A classic that just gets better with age.
2) Volt in Frederick (3 1/2 stars). Go for the total experience as much as the food.
3) Sam's Kid in Fells Point (3 1/2 stars). Inexpensive Pan-Asian tapas in a high-style atmosphere.
4) Tapas Adela (3 stars). Authentic Spanish small plates in a handsome dining room with good service.
5) Bistro Blanc in Glenelg (3 1/2 stars). A wine bar with elegant food.
6) Restaurant Sabor in Lutherville (3 1/2 stars). Good, eclectic menu ranging from French to Puerto Rican and BYOB.
7) Alizee near Johns Hopkins University (4 stars). The food was great; the service was inconsistent. But that was three months ago.
8) Talara in Harbor East (3 1/2 stars). The menu has changed since I ate there and now isn't just ceviche and tapas.
9) Peter's Inn (3 stars). Gourmet comfort food in a classic Baltimore bar.
10) Brasserie 10 South downtown (3 1/2 stars). French-inspired American food. Closed and then reopened with a different chef and menu. This is not the same restaurant I reviewed.
(Elizabeth Malby/Sun photographer)