With its artful stacks of firewood, cafeteria-style menu boards, and arched windows, it’s easy to fall in love with just being inside Spike Gjerde’s 19th-century mill turned restaurant. But looks are only one of many reasons to jump into the car. Gjerde, among the most passionate champions of Mid-Atlantic cuisine, makes everything he can from scratch and procures as much as possible from nearby. No detail is taken lightly—even the hot sauce served with buttery grilled oysters is made from fish peppers, a nearly forgotten chili favored in Baltimore a century ago. ¶ You can eat a traditional three courses, but we prefer to attack the menu with a sharing-friendly small-plates plan. Appetizers tend to be more exciting than the homey entrées, and desserts are retro-minded knockouts, from pies to puddings.Don’t miss: Deviled eggs; Tilghman Island crab pot; clams with chorizo, potatoes, and oyster butter; chocolate-malt-and-marshmallow sundae; pecan pie with toasted-oat ice cream; brunchtime pit-beef-and-egg sandwich, apple fritter, and hog’s-head hash; Gov’t Mule cocktail, with ginger beer and vodka.
Open: Monday through Friday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Expensive.