Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.
How does a Baltimore restaurant make it onto this list? By offering something no place in Washington does. Make that many somethings. The setting, in a restored mill, is as inviting as they come, its wood-rich rooms glowing with a hearth-like warmth. The superb cocktails reinforce the feeling that you’re spending an evening by the fire in a ski lodge.
Woodberry was conceived as a paean to the farm-to-table movement, but chef Spike Gjerde understands that eating locally doesn’t have to mean eating fussily. Tautog, a Maryland black fish, is turned into fish and chips, farm-raised eggs are deviled and picnic-ready, spelt is fashioned into chewy noodles for a zesty tomato sauce, and a locally raised chicken is simply roasted and presented with a hot, fluffy biscuit.
Desserts—a malted ice-cream sundae, sweet-potato pie, brown bread with poached apples and custard—marry restaurant-grade precision with old-fashioned pleasures. Much like this out-of-the-way charmer.
Also good: Smoked pecans; pickle-and-olive plate; chicken-liver parfait; Maryland shrimp with romesco sauce; warm ricotta with apples and toasts; slow-roasted pork shoulder with pork gravy; roasted trumpet mushrooms; roasted cauliflower with goat cheese and vin cotto; peanut-butter shake.
Open Monday through Friday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Expensive.