Ship Shape Restaurant Deconstructed

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When contractor Dave Tobash decided to open The Chasseur, it wasn’t so much the food that inspired him—but fixing an eyesore. “I wanted to turn something ugly into something beautiful,” says the Canton resident, who never cared for the design of Adam’s Eve, the Foster Avenue spot he purchased and refurbished last summer.

Fiancée Natalie diFrancesco, however, has food service in her blood. “I was conceived in a restaurant!” she says with a laugh, noting that she grew up waitressing in her family’s Italian restaurant in Frederick. “I had just one condition before we opened,” she says. “I told Dave, ‘We have to get Mike!’”

That’s bartender Mike Zabora, a familiar (bearded) face in Canton and Fells Point, who comes with a happy legion of regulars who’ve followed him from One Eyed Mike’s to Hummers—and now to The Chasseur. The restaurant is named after the most successful merchant ship during the War of 1812 (aka The Pride of Baltimore).

“My ancestors were longshoremen and carpenters—and our whole crew here has working-class roots. ” says Zabora, flashing his custom Maryland Flag tattoo.  “We want to honor people who work hard for a living.”

1. The Menu: The Chasseur is charting the right course with a well-edited mix of apps (think: tuna tartare tacos and sloppy Joe sliders) paired with cholesterol-be-damned entrees, such as buttermilk fried chicken and sour beef and dumplings. Fancy something fancier? The pan-roasted Atlantic salmon with spinach, farro risotto and maple-tomato gastrique is slap-somebody-worthy.

2. The Chef: Sean Praglowski, formerly of Blue Hill Tavern, prides himself on using the finest, freshest ingredients to create The Chasseur’s signature comfort food dishes. “I like to keep it playful, with familiar meals that have been made in kitchens for years, but add my own twist.”

3. The Perks: Being neighborhood-centric is key to owner Tobash’s goal of becoming “the kind of place locals will come three or four times a week.” Wednesday is Stoop Night, where the crew delivers treats (like watermelon-feta-prosciutto skewers) to their Canton neighbors. Also popular with the locals: the Sunday Night Supper menu, featuring specially priced, family-style fare—perfect for roommates, double dates and couples with kids.

4. The Drinks: Thematically named craft cocktails range from sweet to spicy, including the Canon Fuse made with Three Olives mango vodka, tequila, fresh lime, orange juice, sriracha and sliced jalapeno.

5. The Scene: From the custom Vespas parked outside to the indie-darling soundtrack featuring Arcade Fire and the XX, The Chasseur is cool enough to stroke your “I’m a sophisticated city dweller” ego, but “corner bar” enough so you’ll feel comfortable wearing a suit or scrubs. Bonus: the square bar encourages fraternization. Hipsters and prepsters sharing plates? Yep, we’ve seen it.

3328 Foster Avenue, 410-327-6984

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