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It’s that time again….Restaurant Week! The time of year to break out of the comfort zone of the usual restaurants, venture out and try something new.

For date night this week, my goal was to find something in a completely different part of town. It’s easy enough for us to walk to Fells or Little Italy so trying out new places there is no big deal. Therefore I wanted to choose somewhere that required a drive and not someplace we would normally venture to.

My first inclination was Mt. Vernon. Any time I drive through that area of town(which isn’t often) I get excited by all the little shops and cafes that line the streets. However unless you work in the high rises around that area there’s really not much reason to go. I browsed a couple of the Restaurant Week menus online and found some potentials, but nothing I was overly excited about.

Then I started to investigate the options in Federal Hill. Sure we go there every now and again to visit Jenna or take part in the Charm City Run group runs, but we wouldn’t drive all the way over just for dinner. There were quite a few options listed but the one that stuck out to me was called, The Wine Market. I like wine, I thought, so why not see what food they have to go with it. As soon as my eye caught sight of the “Wine Market S’more” offered for dessert I was sold.

Wine Market on Urbanspoon

When I stopped and looked at the address, I realized that it was right next door from Charm City Run (there goes my theory about trying out a different part of town we wouldn’t normally go). In my defense it’s slightly tucked away off the main road, so not somewhere I would think of stop.

The Wine Market, as the name implies is part market. You actually walk through their shop of wines in order to get to the bistro dining area. For a small corking fee you can actually pick out a bottle of wine from the shop and enjoy it over dinner. We didn’t do that, but it’s a fun concept!

I figured if I had any chance of finding an acceptable red wine it would be at a place like this. So I explained my preferences to our server, John (?) who was absolutely delightful. He knew just what I was looking for and brought me a Pinot Noir which was just as I hoped: slightly fruity, not overly dry and certainly NOT oaky.

Z on the other hand asked for the opposite end of the spectrum and just by a quite sniff of it realized I would in no way like it.

Z’s on the left is certainly darker than my pick.

Z and I once again used our dining strategy and settled on one of their offered three-course meals to be split between the both of us.

While waiting for our first course they provided bread with a sun-dried tomato-olive oil dipping sauce.

First course:

Such an interesting combination of flavors. A cool and delightful dish for a warm summer day.

Since we don’t cook fish as much as we would like, we try and order it whenever we go out. Therefore for our entree we chose the Pan Roasted Cod with fingerling potatoes and pea puree.  They were even nice enough to portion it out on two plates since they knew we were sharing (major bonus points for them!).

It was essentially a variation on fish and chips. The cod had a light crispy coating and sat a top a tender potato with a sweet glaze over it all.

Then the moment I had been waiting for….dessert.

I have to say this is the fanciest s’more I’ve ever had. It was phenomenal. The mudcake was probably my favorite part; a melt-in-your-mouth brownie. Z enjoyed the smokey topping that was reminiscent of a campfire.

Yeah, we didn’t like it at all….. ; ).

Overall it was an amazing dinner at a great new-to-us restaurant. Our waiter was charming, the service was quick and the food wonderful.

Happy hour too? I think we’ll have to come back!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Have you ever participated in Restaurant Week? If so, what’s the best place you’ve been?