Conjuring authentic Italian cuisine, the chefs at Lupo di Mare cook a variety of upscale pastas, entrees, and dishes. A true team player in Mediterranean cooking, olives—marinated and served with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs ($4)—start the meal by proving their tasty batting average, and the lobster bruschetta pitches a perfect culinary game on crostini with lobster, rosemary-lemon cream, white beans, and chili oil ($11). Tiny balls of gnocchi kindle a loving bond with herb-whipped ricotta while wading through a red sea of tomato sauce ($16). With roasted mushrooms and fragile baby green beans, tender veal cutlets covered in a rich marsala demi-glace never find themselves dining alone ($22). The pan-seared sea bass—caught off the coast of the famous, sun-baked Italian city of Pan—cloaks itself in sweet corn, pancetta risotto, spinach, and white balsamic butter ($26). Because consuming Italian food without wine is practically a crime, Lupo di Mare supplies a long and varied list of whites, reds, and dessert wines to complement any dish.
The Gallery Espresso embraces café goers with a spacious, well lit dining area populated by breakfast and lunch fare, including breakfast burritos, gourmet pizzas, and grilled paninis. The diverse menu, rife with homemade goods, features enticing sweets such as banana caramel crêpes ($7.95) and buttermilk pancakes ($7.95) served by the stack or industrial vat. Munchers seeking midday boosts can wrap paws around a variety of cold sandwiches ($7.95–$9.95) and grilled paninis ($8.95–$9.95). The Gallery Espresso's dough designers roll, knead, and season freshly prepped Sicilian crusts for each gourmet pizza, topping floured canvases with grilled veggies ($8.95) or eggplant feta ($8.95). Peruse the drinks menu and treat pipes to an americano ($2.55), which employs two shots of espresso and several motivational speeches to energize bodies. Although not included with today's Groupon, guests are free to pore over and purchase jewelry and paintings from local artists and enjoy outings alongside pets on the outdoor patio.
The familiar flavors of Mexico and the American Southwest fill Sabor Restaurant's menu. Intent on embracing tradition, the chefs make everything from salsas to tortillas in-house. These ingredients help recreate familiar regional dishes such as spinach and mushroom enchiladas, tacos stuffed with seasoned filet mignon or chorizo, and fajitas served in an iron skillet plucked straight from the oven. Additionally, the restaurant offers less traditional items, including a torta with pulled pork and tamarind-habanero barbecue sauce, along with six flavors of margarita and other Latin-inspired cocktails.
Inside the savory-scented digs of Honey Baked Ham & Cafe, spools of hardwood-smoked, spiral-sliced ham entice carnivorous palates. Here, chefs uphold the same traditions that Harry J. Hoenselaar created more than 40 years ago. Back then, he chose individual hams, cured them in his secret marinade, and smoked them over hardwood chips before offsetting the earthy flavor with a crisp, sweet glaze. To this day, the staff still makes the signature bone-in hams one at a time and glazes them in the shop.
The hammery's kitchens also whip up classic side dishes and desserts, such as the sweet-potato soufflé. For less formal feasting, party trays and packed lunch boxes fuel business meetings, backyard grad parties, and lengthy end-zone celebrations.
The allure of Bill Bateman's Bistro increases exponentially with a glance at the wide-ranging menu. Locally lauded for its superlative wings, Bill Bateman's Bistro's offers glazed poultry in a variety of sizes and sauces. Combine cuisines with 10 ($8.49) of the Sweet Thai Chili Wings, or firmly uphold winged tradition with 30 original buffalo wings ($22.99). Fifty Wings from Hell ($36.99) will sate the fire-deprived tongues of fearless wing devourers and can be ordered via a Ouija board that until recently was just a game. The shrimp-melt wrap ($10.99), jalapeñoed Heat Wave Burger ($8.99), and grilled-chicken-topped California Salad ($10.99) are but a few of the numerous bites capable of complementing the various cold draft beers. For the full rundown of possible palate pleasers, see the complete menu for each participating location: Parkville, Severna Park, Glen Burnie, and Reisterstown.