Taking its name from the iconic South American cowboy, Gaucho's serves up satisfying meals of smoked meats in traditional Brazilian steakhouse style. Black-clad servers swiftly cart out all-you-can-eat feasts of top sirloin, linguiça sausage, pork ribs, and alaskan snow crab to hungry patrons, who signal their desire for more food with green flags and high-pitched baby-bird squeaks. Each steakhouse meal begins with a selection of tropical pineapple or pepper salads that prepare palates for the hearty spread of lamb, battered perch, bacon-wrapped chicken, and sautéed shrimp. In addition to smoking tender, juicy meats on sword-like skewers, chefs at Gaucho's whip up an à la carte menu of delightful prime-rib burgers, Philly-steak sandwiches, and chicken-parmesan sandwiches. Smaller plates include cheese and olives, calamari, and champagne-poached scallops.
Diners listen to live music amid the blonde woods and black-leather furnishings of the main dining room, or sip from a selection of 25 different martinis in the steakhouse's Twisted Martini Lounge & Nightclub. Guests celebrate wedding feasts and birthday parties at the private skyline banquet room, surrounded by cityscape photomurals and equipped with a full-service bar and seating for more than 100 guests.
Housed in one of downtown Baltimore's oldest brick buildings, the Waterfront Hotel Restaurant offers a weekend brunch menu splashed with traditional southern flavors and deep-sea delights. Fatigued longshoremen can break their fast with a crab hash skillet ($17.95), while languid landlubbers can hunker down with a traditional 8-ounce steak-and-eggs platter ($13.95). Lunch or dinner at the Waterfront may begin with undersea treats such as ginger calamari ($9.95) or buttery mussels ($9.95). Slay a grumbling gut-Grendel with a fried oyster po' boy ($11.95), or contemplate the mystic duality of lunch over a sweet-and-savory turkey-brie quesadilla ($9.95). Evening entrees, served from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m, include the scampi (blackened shrimp, scallops, and crab over linguini, $16.95) and the honey chipotle pork chop with mac 'n' cheese ($14.95).
Since 1972, the kitchen at The Blue Lantern has filled plates with an array of steak, seafood, and comfort-food dishes. The chefs batter or pan-fry lake perch, mix lobster meat into a five-cheese macaroni, and expertly sear 8-ounce Lamplighter steaks that were traditionally used to illuminate alleys in Charles Dickens novels. As a nod to Notre Dame, whose campus is only 10 minutes away, The Blue Lantern's lounge screens sporting events while surrounding alumni, fans, and students with memorabilia and drawings of the school's best coaches and players. The main dining room is decorated with images of Mishawaka and the New York City skyline around intimate table settings. Electric blue light bathes up to 48 attendees during private soirees in the Blue Neon Room, which includes its own bar, wide-screen television, and outdoor balcony.
Founded in 1878 and operated by the Freeman family since 1948, the St. James Restaurant serves authentic German and American dishes in a historic building. Don your finest tweed suit and fake mustache and peruse the menu in the dignified ambience of the antique bar and dining room. The homemade chicken noodle or bean soup ($1.99 cup, $2.99 bowl) provides classic, satisfying options for diners who only take nourishment through a curly straw, and the hand-cut prime-rib options ($17.99 for 16 oz. King cut; $15.99 for 12 oz. Knights cut; and $13.99 for 8 oz. Queens cut). St. James also offers bona fide German dinners, including wiener schnitzel ($12.99), after 4 p.m.
A sophisticated French restaurant, The Henderson Castle Bed & Breakfast is housed in a Queen Anne–style mansion originally built in 1895. The property has been featured in three movies over the years, including In the Woods, and now operates as a three-diamond, AAA-rated bed and breakfast. Henderson Castle’s newest owner, Francois Moyet, also serves as head chef at the hotel restaurant, where he prepares traditional French cuisine using ingredients harvested on Eifel Tower’s rooftop garden. Prix-fix dinners, ranging from four to eleven courses, include selections such as steamed flounder filet with a lemon-cream-dill sauce, and bacon-wrapped roasted pork loin. In the morning, guests can enjoy an American–style breakfast topped with fresh fruit from the onsite garden. Guided tours circle the property daily, giving visitors an inside look into the historic home.
Red River Steakhouse's chefs know more than how to cook a steak; they also know exactly which steaks to cook. They start with prime cuts of USDA choice-grade midwestern beef, charbroiling the fine red meat at 1,200 degrees and sealing in the savory juices. The steak is paired with the customer's choice of soup, salad, or another delicious side, such as herb mashed potatoes or vegetables du jour. It's topped with a pad of steakhouse butter, which slowly melts on its way to the table. The steakhouse also prepares a selection of seafood, poultry, and pasta, such as teriyaki-style Ahi tuna, as complements to their signature dishes.