The sounds of sputtering grill tops, clattering utensils, and lively conversation fill the dining room at Honey Pig Restaurant, earning it praise from the Washington Post in 2010 as "one of the most entertaining barbecues around." The menu brims with both familiar and adventurous meats, including pork belly, beef ribs, and pork neck. Diners soak in Korean culture via both the food and K-pop, selecting a protein-rich spread and watching as the servers sear their orders on solar-heated tableside grills.
Formerly known as Honey Pig Dumpling, Honey Pig Chicken now broadens its menu beyond steamed bundles of flavor. Even when she isn't present, the pink cheeks and puckered lips of co-owner Mickey Kim still watch over Honey Pig Chicken. Depicted as a warm, friendly cartoon, Kim looks out from a banner that hangs over the counter inside the Catonsville Lotte Plaza's Asian grocery store. That playful personality is reflected in Honey Chicken's aesthetics as well as its menu, which encompasses seven sweet-bun dumplings: beef bulgogi, pork, mixed vegetables, curry with potatoes, shrimp, chicken, and kimchi with ground beef. Newer dishes include spicy Korean-style fried chicken or pork and ddukbokki—a traditional plate consisting of fish and spicy rice cakes.
John Saki opened Louisiana Restaurant to bring authentic Creole flavors from the bayou to the Baltimore area. The gracious interior, with appointments crafted almost exclusively by Fells Point craftsmen, creates an ideal atmosphere in which to enjoy the eatery’s menu of French cuisine with a Southern twist. The menu’s three courses highlight traditional down-home dishes, such as parmesan crayfish and Louisiana crab bisque. Entrees include Creole-mustard and pecan-encrusted catfish, as well as lobster hash and grilled quail with andouille-roquefort corn bread.
The elegant dining rooms, which John himself designed, also showcase eclectic pieces salvaged from local historic sites, such as the staircase from the old Inner Harbor Power Plant and pink-marble walls from the defunct Saks Fifth Avenue. John and his family actually opened Louisiana Restaurant on Valentine’s Day more than 10 years ago, making it a poetic destination to celebrate a romantic evening or a birthday; the restaurant was also recently voted one of Baltimore's most romantic restaurants by Yelp users. The restaurant’s ballroom also accommodates up to 150 guests, charming them with an atmosphere that provides the comfort of a Southern mansion without the discomfort of a Colonel Sanders costume.
Norito Hwaro offers a duo of decadent dining, with patrons having the choice between Norito or Hwaro seating upon their arrival to the restaurant. Flip a coin, or emulate the atom-splitting work of Ernest Walton and John Cockcroft and split up your party, and delve into Norito's Japanese menu or Hwaro's Korean menu. Highlights of Norito's nourishment include the edamame ($5)—steamed soybeans—or a traditional Nabeyaki udon bowl ($12) brimming with thick noodles, seafood, and organic veggies, and numerous sushi and sashimi options ($13–$50). All are capable of whisking palates away to the land of the rising tongue.
Woomi Garden's expansive menu teems with authentic Korean barbecue, fresh entrées, and schools of sushi. Lunchtime combinations serve up an assortment of fresh sushi served with miso soup ($9.95), or spoon out yook gae jang, whose shredded beef and spicy broth grant both satisfaction and the ability to start a fire with a mere whisper ($8.95). Diners can kick off dinners with an appetizing appetizer of lightly battered and fried soft-shell crab ($8.95) before diving into hearty entrées, such as broiled chicken teriyaki doused in flavorful sauce ($15.95). The popular bulgogi, a dish of marinated, tender beef rib eye, arrives sliced thin for an easier slide down fun-loving fork tines ($19.95). A variety of special sushi rolls, such as the Rock 'n' Roll, warm the cockles of the belly, snuggling a mouthwatering medley of fresh salmon, eel, flying-fish roe, crab, avocado, cucumber, and lettuce ($11.95). Once organic furnaces have been fully fueled, cool off overheated mouth-grates with sips from a sake martini ($5.50) or a glass of wine ($4.85).
With a savory selection of fresh seafood, delectable steaks, and tasty sandwiches, Gaffney's menu features classic American cuisine with a Cajun and traditional Southern influence. Land-meat lovers can hunker down with steaks ($21–$29) and barbecue pork ribs ($22), while diners desiring delicacies of the deep can partake of the specialty Maryland crab-cake sandwich ($16). After tasting the jambalaya ($20), the New Orleans shrimp etouffee ($21), or the bayou stew ($24)—a hearty helping of shrimp, scallops, and crawfish in Creole-mustard sauce—tone-deaf taste buds find themselves serenading incisors with John Fogerty lyrics.