While studying flute performance and classical dance at the University of Wyoming, Michelle Shaw's endeavors were hampered by constant back pain. She sought relief through massage therapy and yoga, and this holistic care soon developed into a passion, inspiring her to attend the Baltimore School of Massage. She now helps others revel in muscle relief at Mount Vernon Wellness. Within a private treatment room overseen by a serene painting of Buddha, she eases sports- and work-related injuries, which are often caused by repetitive motion, poor posture, and pole-vaulting over cubicles. To treat these ailments, she draws on an array of modalities such as Swedish, deep-tissue, and reflexology massage. She also employs traditional Thai-massage techniques, which incorporate pressure-point therapy, energy work, and yoga-like stretching to regain bodily balance.
Housed in a grand townhouse, the Mount Vernon microbrewery offers patrons a carefully curated menu of imported sips, scotches, and brewed-on-site beers. For food, Chef Dave Newman keeps diners guessing with a menu that rotates with the four seasons practiced in the United States. For starters, try the house-made artichoke ravioli, glazed with Meyer lemon-infused butter and pistachio-mint pesto ($10). When you're ready to move on to more filling adventures, entrees include the inventive, crispy Utz-crusted cod with baby clams and smoky mountain bacon ($24), grilled shrimp with spring pea and mint risotto ($16), and grilled lamb loin ($28).
Brunch Café | New American Dinner | Trendy Cocktail Bar | Dog-Friendly Patio
Where to Sit: Since City Cafe is split into three sections, where you sit depends on your dining motives. Select from the café section (for morning coffee), the elegant cocktail lounge (for late-night and happy-hour drinks), or the cozy, split-level dining room (for more leisurely meals).
When to Go: Swing by for dinner on Tuesday, when every bottle of wine is discounted by $10 and select entrees only cost $15.
Inside Tip: When the weather's nice, ask your pooch to accompany you for brunch on the dog-friendly patio.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Sip a coffee while scoping out the tiny, but intriguing collection of books at Read Street Books (229 West Read Street).
After: Get your daily dose of culture at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (1212 Cathedral Street) or the Lyric Opera House (140 West Mt. Royal Avenue), both just blocks from City Cafe.
At a glance, Indigma?s name?a mash-up of ?India? and ?enigma??seems cryptic, but the restaurant?s menu is anything but. Instead, it demystifies the subcontinent?s diverse and richly historic cuisine, grouping each entree by its region of origin and deconstructing its colors and flavors into seemingly innocent ingredients. The team of Indian chefs approaches these with a respect for their home?s iconic recipes, but also demonstrates a willingness to experiment.
Sichuan lamb serves as a touchstone for the cuisine?s Indo-Chinese influences, distinguishing itself from more traditional entrees such as Southern Indian dosas and Northern Indian murgh tandoori, which a reviewer from the Baltimore Sun lauded as ?some the best tandoor chicken I've ever had.? The chefs also create contemporary interpretations of classic flavors, as in the open-face samosas with seasoned potatoes and peas in bowls of crispy pastries.
Located within a refurbished townhouse, according to Baltimore magazine, Indigma?s ambiance mirrors the chefs? commitment to homestyle cuisine with a refined touch. Vibrant colors fill the rooms, which feature salmon, fuchsia, and saffron-yellow walls. At the same time, accents such as crisp white tablecloths and crystal chandeliers add a slight air of refinement to help make first dates feel special and to keep monocle-wearing gentlemen from feeling out of place.
Trinacria's ambitiously stacked sandwiches helped launch the Italian deli's lunchtime legacy. Offerings run the gamut from a veggie sandwich packed high with fresh mozzarella and roasted red peppers ($5.69) to a meaty Italian cold cut with salami, capocolla, proscuittini, and provolone ($2.99). Wrap lips around a roast-beef panini ($6.99), with roasted peppers, olive oil, and gorgonzola, or opt for delicatessen selections. Trinacria's menu of cured meats, cold cuts, and house-made sausages allows customers to craft their own brown-bag fillers. From asiago ($6.99 per pound) to American ($4.69 per pound), pancetta ($6.99 per pound) to pepperoni ($4.79 per pound), gourmands won't want for options.