B&O Brasserie

Bebida de Janeiro

Novo,‎ fogo aged cachaca, maurin quina, pineapple syrup, lime, brandied cherries

Cocktail Prices: $10-14

Address: 2 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21201

I realized recently that I have been remiss in writing reviews of local bars and restaurants and I plan to correct that. To rectify my neglect I’ve decided to start with an establishment that has become almost home to my husband and I. To be honest I consider several bars + restaurants in our area home. But this one is practically in our back yard.

If I have any complaints about B&O Brasserie, and there are few, it is that there isn’t more bar seating. While there is a lounge area and table service, seats at the bar are limited. And oh how I love the bar seats. Their plush soft fabric remind me of theatre seats. And really they are not far from it. To sit and watch these craftsmen, these bartenders, is kind of like watching a show of skill and competence. I know I’ll be entertained and I always walk away with new knowledge and an increased passion to learn more.

That’s not to say that you need a PhD in mixology to enjoy. B&O offers a wide range of cocktails with something for everyone. Under the leadership of Brendan Dorr the bar staff excels in both delighting and challenging the palate.

In many restaurants where the bar excels the kitchen is lacking or vice versa, but not here. Head Chef Mike Ransom has developed a trendy menu full of flavor. I hesitate to write about food but really the two go hand and hand. Especially when you’ve had a few at the bar.

Bay Cassoulet

Market fish, braised squid, mussels, fennel, cannellini bean, confit tomato-lemon broth

Any (and almost every) time I’m at B&O I have to have the Pork Belly Grilled Cheese Sandwich combined with the Liver Paté. Just thinking about either makes me drool. Together they are a one two punch of gluttonous heaven.

Ransom recently took things to a whole new level with his Veal Sweet Bread Nuggets. Being someone who isn’t afraid to try something new, I ordered the Sweet Breads with excitement. Deep fried and seasoned to perfection, I couldn’t help but think that this is exactly what my grandmother or her mother would have made. I find myself craving them at the oddest of times.

Next for me is the Bay Cassoulet. Unforgivingly full of seafood, it has become one of my most favorite items on the menu. The first time I tried the Bay Cassoulet I was sick in bed. Hubby was living it up at the bar and decided to earn brownie points with his bride by bringing home soup. I quickly forgave him for leaving me home alone the second I tasted the broth. That broth is what I want on any cold day. If I feel even the slightest tickle in my throat I’m heading to B&O Brasserie for the Bay Cassoulet.

Words cannot begin to describe how much I love B&O Brasserie. If I could live there I would. And housed in the same home as the Hotel Monaco, I very well could.