We've had a LOT of dinners out this year - many of them good and a few legitimately memorable. Out of all the drinks, apps and entrees I plowed through in 2012, these were my favorites:
Favorite Drink: The Copperhead at Rye
Maybe it's because I loved the bar so much, or maybe it's because I drank this retro drink early in the year, before retro just seemed, well, old. Whatever the reason, the sweet, boozy drink, served in a charming saucer, was my favorite cocktail of the year.
Favorite App: Birroteca's Calamari
This could be my favorite anything of 2012. Based on the chats I've had with friends who have been to Birroteca, I'm not alone, either. Chef Keefer's lemony sauteed calamari is unreal: so soft and surprising that you won't be able to stop thinking about it. I know I can't.
Favorite Entree: Duck Confit at Petit Louis
Petit Louis has been a Roland Park mainstay for twelve years. I can't count the number of times I've been there - or the number of times I've had the duck confit. But it had been a while.
We ate there last week, for Cooper's birthday, and after realizing it had been a few years since I'd ordered the duck, I went for it. It was even better than I remembered. The skin was so crispy and the meat so tender. Just...amazing.
Favorite Dessert: Berger Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches from Dempsey's
Ouzo Bay's desserts are phenomenal and beautiful. So are Wit + Wisdom's.
But the dessert I still can't stop thinking about was simple enough that I copied it at home: the completely simple, outrageously delicious Berger cookie ice cream sandwiches from Dempsey's Brewpub in Camden Yards. They are everything that's right with Baltimore.
It's been a good year, food-wise. A very good year, indeed.