Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week is back for 2022 after taking a break last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cure the seasonal blues and escape the winter chill with a cozy visit to Baltimore’s best eateries—from classics such as Sotto Sopra to new recruits including The Chicken or the Egg, Sakoon Indian Fusion and Allora.
Each of the 64 participants will have exclusive menu items from Jan. 28 to Feb. 6.
“It’s super exciting that year after year we’ve been able to present some really strong numbers in the restaurant scene,” says Marissa Moss, director of marketing and promotion at the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.
Downtown Partnership and Visit Baltimore are heading the promotion which, established in 2006, has been the oldest of the region’s restaurant weeks at more than 25 years.
Historically, Restaurant Week has featured 10 days of dining with special prix fixe menus. Moss says the idea was to create an economic driver for traditionally slower periods, such as late July, when families are aiming for their last vacations of the summer, and early February—when visitors are past the holiday rush but not yet heading out to sweetheart dinners for Valentine’s Day.
Summer restaurant week usually has the most—up to 115 participating restaurants in its strongest years—but this winter’s roster is nothing to sneeze at, Moss says.
This winter’s promotion has a number of veteran restaurants returning with signature styles patrons have come to know and love, including Restaurante Tio Pepe, The Helmand, McCormick and Schmick’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Cinghiale, Johnny’s and The Food Market.
Newbies she is most excited about are Sally O’s and the Black-owned Hoodfellas Bistro & Catering.
Liora is a great option for vegan-focused and vegetarian-friendly options, she adds. Moss is also appreciative of restaurants that offer menus during lunch hours as well, such as Café Fili.
“Especially in this time, it’s really difficult to keep that lunch business going, so we like to make sure people remember (to) take a break from your workday and go check out these restaurants,” she says.
If they can’t make it during the dinner rush, she adds, they shouldn’t have to miss restaurant week.
Moss encourages restaurant-goers to look out for special wine pairings. Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen is one example, with an add-on wine flight option for an additional $10.
One notable change this year is the additional carryout options, which began last summer in light of COVID-19 restrictions. Although all participants this year are offering dine-in, guests can look for an icon on restaurant profiles online indicating carryout if they are looking for that option.
A full list of participating restaurants and their menus will be available on baltimorerestaurantweek.com, where you can sort by neighborhood, menu type, price, cuisine and dietary restrictions.
Participating in Restaurant Week Since: 2006
Cuisine: Award-winning breakfast, brunch and lunch with a southern twist
Prix Fixe Price: 2 courses for $20
Featured: The duo of house-made biscuits are baked fresh throughout the day and include one “Everything But the Bagel” biscuit and one “Cherry Goat Cheese Biscuit” served with house-made cherry vanilla butter.
“Incredible first course! For the second course, you can choose to splurge or stick to your New Year’s resolutions, but the Pulled Pork BBQ Mac & Cheese Skillet is worth it, trust me! Bring a friend and share!” — Jennifer McIllwain, director of marketing & PR
Dietary Considerations: Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options
Hours: Breakfast and lunch, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Locations: 513 W. Cold Spring Lane (Roland Park) and 750 E. Pratt St. (Inner Harbor)
Forno Restaurant and Wine Bar
Participating in Restaurant Week Since: 2014
Cuisine: Modern Italian with some other Mediterranean influences; brick oven pizzas, handmade pastas, scratch-made
Prix Fixe Price: Three courses for $45
Featured: “Our philosophy when we do restaurant week is different from a lot of people … we have a pretty large menu compared to other places, and we do a good mixture of some of our staple dishes from our normal menu along with new things that we come up with just for restaurant week.”
Sometimes their experiments go so well, they end up on the permanent menu, he says.
“You get a lot of new people that have never been to your place before … so it’s a really good opportunity to show off kind of a wide range of what you do—what you can do.” — Ricky Johnson, owner
Dietary Considerations: Built-in vegan and gluten-free options; capacity to adapt other items for dietary needs
Pairings: Three glasses of wine for $33 (one with each course); each menu item has a different wine
Hours: Dinner; 4-9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday
Location: 17 N. Eutaw St.; downtown Baltimore
Lisa’s on Preston
Participating in Restaurant Week Since: 2022
Cuisine: American and Caribbean family-style recipes
Prix Fixe Price: Three options each with a different price: $25, $35, $45
Featured: “We serve a variety of everything, but the item you must try is the jerk chicken.” — Lisa Pryce, owner
Dietary Considerations: Vegan options for $25 and $35 (cooked on separate stove with different oils than non-vegan dishes); option to adapt other items for dietary needs
Hours: Lunch and dinner, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: 6 E. Preston St., Mount Vernon
Guilford Hall Brewery
Participating in Restaurant Week Since: 2022
Cuisine: European-inspired pub fare
Prix Fixe Price: Three courses for $35
Featured: “We are incredibly excited to share a restaurant week menu with Baltimore City that features some of our iconic European pub fare … The Guilford Pretzel with our house lager bier cheese along with our Schnitzel and Guilford Burger have been fan favorites.” — Richard Craft, managing partner
Pairings: Add on a beer flight for $10, a craft cocktail for $8 or a bottle of wine for $15
Hours: Dinner; every evening after 4 p.m.
Location: 1611 Guilford Ave., Greenmount West
For a closer look at Guilford Hall Brewery, check out our February Local Table story in the February/March 2022 digital edition.