BaltimoreMagazine.net

Best Restaurants 2010

Find out how we rank our old and new favorites in 2010

Edited by Suzanne Loudermilk. By Leah Eskin, John Farlow, Henry Hong, Suzanne Loudermilk, Jane Marion, Karen Nitkin, Kit Pollard

An osteria is the Italian version of a tavern, a place where people hang out for hours, enjoying delicious and unpretentious food and wine. Osteria 177 takes that concept to the next level with an elegant dining room, long list of Italian wines, and inspired presentations of classic offerings. Throughout the menu, simple dishes are given added oomph, yet avoid fussiness. An arugula salad achieves liftoff with roasted pine nuts, sliced hearts of palm, and Gorgonzola; an appetizer of prosciutto and melon relies on flavorfully aged imported meat. Seafood and pasta dominate the entrees, though pheasant, duck, and veal are also offered. Gnocchi is lapped in a rich tomato sauce bolstered with boar’s meat, and the grilled salmon is sweet and moist. The restaurant’s interior, with its vibrant colors and dark woods, is warm and appealing. Comfortable seating invites lingering, and large windows offer great views of the bustling street scene.

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