Things We Love- Date Spots
1. La Food Marketa
About: From the minds of Chefs Chad Guess and Johntay Bedingfield, La Food Marketa features a blend of flavors from the Americas that is fresh, fun, comforting, and easily understood. Offers a variety of margaritas, mojitos, and sangrias by the pitcher and glass every day, alongside an inventive cocktail list. The outdoor patio is partially covered, and reservations can be made. Carryout and delivery, via GrubHub and Door Dash, is available daily. Don’t worry about getting bored with the same date spot—La Food Marketa can provide a unique experience each time!
Feedback: “One of my girlfriend suggested this for our brunch date! I love this spot. The fact that so much of the menu is gluten free was just amazing. I was super grateful. I cannot wait o go back. There is kind of this sense of various experiences in one spot. The seated area is relaxed and comfortable. We then moved over to the bar which was a little bit of a hyped of experience. It leads to the outside seating are where some were seated on this nice day! The food, service, and atmosphere are all amazing!”
Location: Quarry Lake at Greenspring 2620 Quarry Lake Drive Greenspring, MD 21209
2. Old Ellicott City
About: The Ellicott City Partnership is a non-profit organization that works to preserve the heritage and vitality of Historic Ellicott City, while creating and enhancing economic growth. As a result, walking around this cozy little town is a romantic step back in time. While there are various outdoor dining options and social distancing is being heavily enforced, many carryout, curbside, and online shopping options are available at the 100+ small businesses downtown. There are tons of events and guided walking tours, including Haunted Main Street, which is a great way to connect with its historic past. Highlighted by live music on weekends at the Courtyard Concerts, Old Ellicott City really does have anything you could need for a great date night!
Feedback: “This small, charming street is the main reason we purchased a home near here. I love its ambiance, vibrance, and charm it offers. It’s a unique place that caters to so many different groups of people. Great for date night, girls day out, or even for families! Wine Bar offers free movie nights and dog happy hour (peppy hour). If you are on date night, I suggest Tersiguels, Pure a wine and Rumor Mill. If you want casual dining, Diamond Backs, Johnny’s Bistro, La Palapa, Matcha Time and Riverside Brick Oven. If you are into antiquing, try Antique Depot. For shopping, Sweet Elizabeth Jane, Bear Fox Babe, and Junk Girl.”
Location: Ellicott City Partnership 8321 Main Street Ellicott City, MD 21043
3. The Pendry
About: Poised in the storied 1914 property on Baltimore’s Recreation Pier, Sagamore Pendry embodies the city’s rich history, vibrant personality, and idyllic harbor setting with character, inspiration and style. Rooted in tradition, but reimagined, the pier’s extensive renovation has honored the historic essence of the property and restored it to its former glory, reflecting a bygone era, impeccable service, unparalleled quality and travel that inspires, but with a modern-day sensibility and aesthetic that speaks to today’s guest. For a great date, have dinner at Rec Pier Chop House, followed by a moonlit walk along the pool deck complimented by the panoramic view of the harbor, then stop in for a night cap at The Cannon Room, before heading up to your gorgeous room or suite.
Feedback: “Sagamore Pendry, along with the Four Seasons, is probably the most luxurious hotel in Baltimore. The hotel is decorated with beautiful art, has free wi-fi, a scenic infinity pool overlooking the city, and a garden patio with a champagne vending machine. The hotel occupies Recreation Pier, a landmark building in Fell’s Point, that was left empty for nearly two decades before reopening as the Pendry, thanks in part to a big investment from Under Armour’s Kevin Plank. Sagamore is helping to rewrite the narrative of Baltimore.”
Location: 1715 Thames Street Baltimore, MD 21231
4. Woodberry Kitchen
About: Chef Spike Gjerde is committed to supporting Maryland, both in his vendor selection and in the restaurant’s aesthetic. Crab cakes and barbecue-seasoned swordfish “out of the oven” acknowledge the wood fire in a big open kitchen. Expect flatbreads with goat sausage and ricotta, and twists, like scrapple croutons in a chicory salad or a rye crust for a blue crab tart, that put this restaurant into a class of its own. Every seat in the one-time factory gives you something to see, although the prime tables ring the balcony, affording a bird’s-eye view of Baltimore’s best. Live music on the patio Wednesday through Sunday creates the perfect atmosphere for date night! Grocery pickup is available via the Here for Us Market if you can’t make it in for dinner.
Feedback: “Seriously a well-deserved 5 star review! I went last night for an early Valentine’s Day Date and everything was amazing! The atmosphere is rustic, modern and very intimate. You don’t have to necessarily dress up for dinner, but you won’t be looked at awkwardly if you dress up a bit either. This is seriously such a beautiful place to host a wedding as well! There’s an open kitchen in the main dining area and a private room for additional diners. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone to experience dinner here at least once because my overall experience was amazing!”
Location: 2010 Clipper Park Rd Baltimore, MD 21211
5. Rye Street Tavern
About: Chef Andrew Carmellini and the NoHo Hospitality Group’s newest American restaurant, located in Baltimore’s Port Covington neighborhood, adjacent to the Sagamore Spirit Distillery. It is a tribute to the neighborhood taverns of Charm City’s industrial era. The menu features locally-grown ingredients, farm-raised meats, sustainable seafood, and plenty of Maryland crab. Rye Street Tavern specializes in serving American spirits, craft beers and wines, with an emphasis on rye whiskey and Maryland’s distilling heritage. The bi-level space designed by Baltimore-based Patrick Sutton offers indoor and outdoor dining with views of the Patapsco River, and a bar area with a stage for live entertainment. Whether for lunch, brunch, or dinner, Rye Street is the perfect place to impress your date. With Under Armour just around the corner, don’t be surprised to spot a few celebrities or even Kevin Plank himself!
Feedback: “This has been on my list for a while, and we are glad we finally made it! We arrived just after our tour at the Sagamore distillery next door and had a great experience. Our server, Nick, was wonderful and had all kinds of great recommendations. My husband had the fried chicken (with Old Bay) which was delicious, and we also loved the donuts with chocolate whiskey sauce. After our distillery tour/tasting, we were excited to try some of the Sagamore rye whiskies in cocktails and Nick had recommendations for us in that department as well. We will be back.”
Location: 13 Rye Street Baltimore, MD 21230
6. Peter’s Inn
About: For over 20 years Peter’s Inn has always ben committed to being locally sourced and locally staffed. Owners Bud and Karin Tiffany bought the place they day after they got married in September 1995. They’ve been hands-on operators ever since —Karin as chef, and Bud, who also cooks, as the “execution guy.” The original deed to the property is from 1833 with the building built in 1850. Owned by multiple generations of at least 3 families before becoming Peter’s Inn in 1977. The menu changes weekly. Outdoor seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. Reservations can be made for indoor dining via email.
Feedback: “It can be hard to get a seat here so be prepared to wait. It’s worth it, though, as the drinks are really good and the food is always super fresh. The menu, which changes frequently to reflect the freshness of ingredients, is quite varied with a breadth of delicious selections ranging from lobster burrata to filet mignon. The chef prepares steak very, very well, so that’s always a good bet. The fish selection is super fresh and always cooked to perfection. Oysters are amazing, when available, and the vinaigrette used on the salad is addicting. The garlic bread is really unique and a great starter. Desserts are made in house and are delectable. Highly recommend this place when craving cooked, fresh food.”
Location: 504 South Ann St Baltimore, MD 21231
7. Basignani Winery
About: Like many Italian immigrants, Bertero Basignani’s grandparents bought the practice of home winemaking with them from Italy. Following in their footsteps, Bert aspired to carry on the family tradition. In 1972 he bought farmland in Butler, planted 60 vines with his wife in 1974, and began making wine using his grandmother’s grape press. In November 1986, after winning many amateur winemaking judgings, Bert and Lynne decided to start the winery. Today they make 6500 gallons per year. Curbside pick up available, in addition to an awesome Wine Club, to take the experience home with you. Outside seating available, and brick oven pizza is served on the weekends!
Feedback: “We love Basignani! The atmosphere is relaxing. We sat outside today, drank Riesling & are brick oven pizza with their dogs, Phoebe & Bentley. The staff is friendly. It was a nice, relaxing day. We will definitely be back.”
Location: 15722 Falls Rd Sparks, MD 21152
8. Old Westminster Winery
About: Owned and operated by the Baker Siblings and their families since 2008. Nestled in Carroll County’s rolling countryside, Westminster Winery is a beautiful destination to relax and enjoy Maryland grown wines. Full food, glass and bottle service available through table service only, but visit The Can Stand for refreshments and picnic blankets. Wood fired pizza, artisan baked goods, and charcuterie items complement the live music daily!
Feedback: “The warm and inviting staff make it feel like coming home each and every time. Love that we can bring the dog and enjoy fabulous wine, fabulous company, and fabulous music in a fabulous setting!”
Location: 1550 Old Westminster Rd Westminster, MD 21157
9. Bar Vasquez
About: Decorated with lavish leathers, cowhide rugs, Brazilian tigerwoods, and 15 foot palm trees, walking into Bar Vasquez is like entering another world. Live Latin music and the intoxicating aroma of grilled meat permeate the place. It will take more than one trip to Harbor East to get the full experience. While the menu is the same wherever you sit, the lively downstairs area with banquettes, benches, booths, and a commodious bar is more casual. The upstairs, with velvet chairs and white tablecloths, feels more like fine dining. With impeccably sourced ingredients polished servers, pristine steamed table linens, and an expertly curated wine list, this is the perfect date spot!
Feedback: “I took my boyfriend to dinner for his birthday, and wanted to find some place that was hip, good and fancy and Bar Vasquez was literally that. We made reservations and came for dinner on a Saturday, and it was a great atmosphere and great food. The space is literally a vibe. There’s two floors, it’s dimly lit, and there was a live band playing. I couldn’t tell if I wanted tango, or find my seat. The price point is a little hefty, but definitely worth it.”
Location: 1425 Aliceanna St Baltimore, MD 21231
10. The Prime Rib
About: It is no wonder The Prime Rib was named Top Five Romantic Restaurants in the US by Food & Wine Magazine and is the highest ranked steakhouse on Zagat. Designed by brothers Buzz and Nick BeLer to evoke the elegant supper clubs of 1940’s Manhattah, The Prime Rib Restaurant opened in Baltimore, MD in 1965. The menu of prime meats, fresh seafood, and thick chops was as appealing to diners in the 1960’s as it is today. Everything about The Prime Rib, from the tuxedoed waitstaff, live pianist and bassist nightly, and top quality food, makes each occasion feel like a special one.
Feedback: “At the Prime Rib, it’s always 1965 —the year it opened. The leopard-print dining room looks like George Steinbrenner’s private club. The Waites wear tuxes. And the kitchen roasts the majestic prime rib on the bone, its collar fat suffused into the inner layer, the core rose red, all of it giving off the intoxicating aroma of old money.”
Location: 1101 N Calvert St Baltimore, MD 21202