Legend has it that gourmet cuisine arrived in the New World when an intrepid French chef rafted across the Atlantic while seeking the mythical channel that separated France from England. Today’s Groupon sends your taste buds on their own voyage: for $15, you get $30 worth of adventurous American cuisine and fine wine at The Wine Market Cafe in Locust Point.
Boasting creative New American dishes rooted in traditional French techniques, the cafe at The Wine Market offers cuisine that is sophisticated yet unpretentious, similar to one of Picasso's many portraits of George Jetson. Offerings change seasonally, but check the sample dinner menu for some favorite creations such as the wet-aged local pekin duck breast ($23), joined in flavorful bliss by black-truffle tator tots, mustard-braised cabbage, and persimmon jelly. For an irresistible taste-meld of savory and sweet, order up the molasses-smoked rib eye flavor-bombed with a tangy tamarind steak sauce ($26). To satisfy a smaller stomach, or to tease and anger a larger one, sample some of The Wine Market’s tasty starters or “small stuff” options (the fun-size candy bars of gourmet tasters) such as medjool dates wrapped in Applewood-smoked bacon ($7) and braised chestnut soup with fresh sage, shaved fennel, and roasted apple cream ($4 cup or $6 bowl).
A unique combination of cafe, wine shop, and wine bar, The Wine Market's elegantly remodeled, loft-like space offers more than 30 varieties of fine fermentation by the glass and 900 by the bottle. Be sure to take advantage of the generous pricing system by pairing your meal with a wine from the shop: while most restaurants charge something like 300% above cost for a bottle, Wine Market puts the good stuff in front of you for just a small corking fee in addition to the shop price. The cafe's staff also offers helpful and informed suggestions for wine pairings with each meal. Recommended gustatory nuptials include a glass of French Delas Saint-Esprit Côtes du Rhône wedded to the pekin duck. Add a glass of this enjoyable red to your meal, and your Groupon will cover the whole combo.
- This Locust Point bistro has it all: excellent food with a menu that varies by season, a sophisticated yet unpretentious design, and the option to order any wine from the adjoining wine shop. Chris Spann and his whip-smart staff at The Wine Market keep it all running like a finely tuned machine. Other things to love: wines by the half-glass, a leisurely outdoor dining terrace and the most stylish mac-and-cheese in town. – Brian Michael Lawrence, Baltimore Style
- The very best thing we tried, and something worth going back for, was the grilled flatiron steak with horseradish mashed potatoes, wilted spinach, and Roquefort sauce ($20). This still-popular, well-marbled, and tender cut of beef held its own against the powerful and sharp flavors of the spinach and cheese. If anything showed off this kitchen’s “unpretentious but traditional” cuisine, it was this. – Richard Gorelick, Baltimore City Paper
- Always enjoyable, have been here on a few occasions and food remains on top of my list for some of the best eats in Bmore. – OpenTable user who dined on 12/30/2009
Wine Market Bistro
Not everyone who loves wine is fortunate enough to transform that love into a viable career, much less a successful business. But Christopher Spann did just that with Wine Market Bistro, whose numerous accolades stand as testament to his achievement. More than 25 wines can be savored by the glass in the loft-like dining room, while the adjoining wine shop stocks more than 800 bottles ranging in varietal and region. These bottles can be enjoyed in the bistro for a small corkage fee. The wine-friendly menu fills the rustic-chic dining room with the aroma of cornmeal fried oysters, artisanal cheese plates, diver scallops, and dry-aged ribeye. And in warmer months, diners can take their meals on the courtyard patio and cool off by piling ice block after ice block onto their laps.
921 East Fort Ave.
Baltimore, Maryland 21230Get Directions