Thames Street Oyster House (Fell's Point)
Located on their namesake Thames Street in the Fell's Point neighborhood of Baltimore, Thames Street Oyster House is well known for their diverse selection of local oysters, lobster rolls, crab cakes, and various other seafood entrees. My favorite dish is the lobster roll and it’s easily the best one you can get outside of New England. They always have a selection of at least 10 different oysters spanning from here locally in Maryland, to Virginia, and all the way to the West Coast. Their Maryland crab soup with short rib is mouthwateringly good. The outdoor dining experience is great as the tables are set up on the historic cobblestone street. If you're lucky enough to get into the courtyard, you'll be surrounded by beautiful historic brick buildings . Go for the lobster roll, stay for the great atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, and leave happy.
Maximón (Harbor East)
Maximón is relatively new and located right on the water in Harbor East with a fun and exciting vibe. The food is a unique blend of local and Latin American inspired elements and many of the dishes are primarily for sharing, so that you and your friends can experience the many diverse flavors in each of the dishes. I recommend starting off with the Queso Fresco with Pomegranate as a side to snack on during the entire meal. There isn't a place in Baltimore that has the kind of ceviche offerings that Maximón does. You have your choice of Hamachi, Rockfish, or Shrimp. They have six different types of tacos, which are all delicious, and great for sharing as they're smaller portions. I like the Sliced Wagyu and Spicy Lobster tacos to share - all of them are amazing though. The platters and entrees are larger portions and perfect for sharing with someone else. I love the Giant Prawns and the Colorado Lamb Chops, but you can't go wrong with any of the other options. The Maximón cocktail list has some fun and interesting drinks and their wine list is very extensive. If you're a trooper and can fit in dessert, definitely order the churros with chocolate and caramel sauce. After dinner, take a stroll along the water to take in the view of the harbor.
Topside (Mt. Vernon)
With a great view of the Washington Monument in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Topside offers great dining overlooking the square. They have recently updated their menu with some exciting new entrees. The bone-in short rib is outstanding and you can never go wrong with the squid ink and crab pasta. All of their appetizers are fresh and full of flavor - I like the peach bruschetta and fried cauliflower. While you're eating the savory food, make sure to get a cocktail from their original drink menu and take in the sites of Baltimore's very own Washington Monument. Make sure to keep coming back as the new Executive Chef, Justin Vaiciunas, is always coming up with new and exciting dishes.
Limoncello (Locust Point)
Located in the Locust Point neighborhood of Baltimore, Limoncello offers authentic Italian dishes - the owners were raised in the Italian town of Monte di Procida. When you walk into Limoncello, you’re immediately immersed in the fun and refined vibe of the restaurant. Some of my favorite starters are the grilled octopus, mozzarella di bufala, and the tartar. Make sure you look over their wine list as they have many bottles that are not available elsewhere in the city. When it comes to the main courses, you really can't go wrong with any entree. As for pasta, I'd recommend the Papparedelle Zafarano, which has pasta, shrimps, and scallops - the sauce is exquisite! I'm a big fan of the Costata di Vitello, which is a bone-in 16oz veal chop that is prepared per your choice, either Parmigiana or Milanese style. Of course, you have to get the cannoli for dessert because what Italian dinner is complete without a cannoli? The staff are wonderful and will make you feel right at home.
Puerto 511 (Downtown)
A gem in the Baltimore restaurant scene, Puerto 511 is a top notch date night spot in the city. Located in downtown Baltimore, Puerto 511 offers modern and creative takes on Peruvian cuisine. They are currently offering a Prix fixe menu, so you can get the full array of different flavors and preparation styles of Chef Jose Victorio Alarcon. The food itself is savory, delicious, visually appealing, and full of creative textures and flavors. One of the inventive dishes includes the Causa de Baltimore, which is a creative dish that pairs crab, Old Bay Mayo, purple potato chips, red onion, celery, radish botija sauce and avocado. The Ahi tuna Tamal dish, which has Peruvian mashed corn, cilantro, ahi tuna, and chutney de aji criollita mix green salad is out of this world.