Blue Hill Tavern (938 South Conkling Street)

This weekend I was in search of a fancier restaurant in Baltimore. Before a decision could be made, the restaurant had to meet a few criteria: a cool/chic décor, an interesting menu and not a chain restaurant. With these three factors in mind and some help from Baltimore Magazines 50 Best Restaurants, I chose Blue Hill Tavern.

Nestled in the heart of Canton, Baltimore Blue Hill Tavern illuminates the night sky with a bluish tint. The restaurant is beautiful. A central host stand is situated right in front of the doors with tables around it and a bar to the immediate right. The tavern is two floors with more elegant table settings upstairs and another bar at the back of the second floor. The dimly lit dining room and beautiful paintings strategically placed around the restaurant set the setting for a delicious meal.

The Blue Hill Tavern. Photo by City Paper.

The Blue Hill Tavern. Photo by City Paper.

The thing that always amazes me about nicer restaurants is the knowledge and all-around service of the front-of-house staff. The extremely helpful and polite waiter to the constant attention from the bus boys made the experience all that much more enjoyable.

Now, to the second criteria: the menu. The menu was beautiful, broken down into appetizers, salads, brick oven pizzas, mains and extras. I was overwhelmed with the appetizers. They all looked to die for. I was recommended to get either the Mussels (which are a daily special and were a Mediterranean rendition with feta, olives and roasted red peppers) or the Rabbit Empanadas ($12). Being the adventurous foodie that I am, I went with the empanadas. I mean, how many times in your lifetime are you going to be able to eat rabbit? After a few deep breaths and a couple pictures of the beautifully prepared appetizer, I dug in. The rabbit was tender as can be and had a kind of smoky flavor from the red wine braising process. It was definitely a great way to start off the meal.

Rabbit Empanadas. Photo by Taylor Seidel/ TU Student.

Rabbit Empanadas. Photo by Taylor Seidel/ TU Student.

With such a refined and seasonal menu, choosing a main entrée always presents an issue for me. You know that all of the selections are going to be delicious. I always like to try something different, so I narrowed it down to Half Duck Two Way ($24), whole Bronzino ($28) and the Seared Salmon ($25). My waiter guided me towards the duck and I could not be happier with the decision. The duck was prepared as both a seared breast and a confit leg and thigh (confit refers to cooking the meat in its own fat). The confit was some of the most succulent and juicy meat I have ever had. The duck was served with a crispy polenta cake, braised kale and a tart blueberry demi glaze. We also got the Surf and Turf ($27), which was a beautiful petit filet mignon paired with an all-lump crabmeat crab cake.

Duck Two Ways. Photo by Taylor Seidel/TU Student

Duck Two Ways. Photo by Taylor Seidel/TU Student

The food was delicious. The executive chef is a genius, pairing different flavors together to form beautiful dishes. Blue Hill Tavern exceeded all expectations.

Enjoy everyone! And above all, if you go out to enjoy a meal, be adventurous and try something different. I promise you, especially at a nicer restaurant, the pairings may be off but they always result in GoodEats.

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Until next time. I wish you GoodEats!

-Edited by Jared Kurlander

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Tagged: American, Baltimore Magazine, Blue Hill Tavern, Canton, City Paper, GoodEatsMD

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