In downtown Baltimore, inside the recently opened Hotel Monaco, there is a restaurant. the B & O American Brasserie, which while not very conspicuous when you drive or walk by, has a pretty talented chef who is making some good food.
Chef E. Michael Reidt was named one of Food & Wines best new chefs in 2001, a class that included Wiley Dufresne and Anita Lo, so having him in Baltimore is pretty fortunate.
I went for dinner with Kwan and Bigfatlar, and we ended up with a humongous meal. For starters, the bread at the table was delicious- very crusty, and it was served with butter sprinkled with basil sea salt.
We ordered several appetizers to start. Kwan's favorite was the chicken liver mousse served with fig jam and toat.
My favorite was the smoked pork belly, especially because it came with a banana-lentil salad with pig ear. The combination of the salty pork with the sweet of the banana all topped with a chili caramel sauce was wonderful.
We also got the Market Flatbread, basically a small crispy crusted pizza topped with ricotta cheese, potato, arugula and an egg.
I also really liked the chef's "Kentoocky Fried" sweetbreads, served on a bed of bacon, capers, and golden raisins. The "skin" was crunchy, chock full of 11 herbs and spices.
In contrast, the small order of the ricotta gnocchi with arugula pesto sauce was light and pleasant.
Our table also order three entrees that we shared. Kwan's rosemary skewered scallops were amazing. They came covered with couscous which added a crispiness, and the scallops themselves were so sweet and plump. They were served on a bed of parsnip puree with braised oxtail and foie gras emulsion.
Bigfatlar ordered the adobo braise pork shank that was the size of his fist. It reminded me of my mom's soy braised pork leg in that the meat just slid off the bone.
I ordered the duck two ways- crispy duck leg confit & sous vide style duck breast. It came with a white beans, cassoulet style.
We made sure not to overstuff ourselves because we were planning on getting dessert as well.
This time we only ordered two plates: Meyer lemon bars with blueberry compote and sorbet and his take on strawberry shortcake- scones in a rhubarb soup with whipped cream and strawberry sorbet.
2 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201