Apr 26, 2010, 06:35AM

Baltimore's own Woodberry Kitchen

Local, sustainable and oh-so-very delicious.

 am a food fiend. I try something, some new taste exhilarates my taste buds and I am as giddy as a tween rereading the pages of Twilight. If nothing else is on and I feel like procrastinating, I’ll leave on Food Network. Not even just looking at it, watching it, as it moves and slides and mixes and bubbles.

Anyway, I’ve wanted to try something utterly fantastic for a while now. And with green, local and sustainability in the current lexicon, I’ve heard a lot about Woodberry Kitchen. It was in Bon Appetit magazine’s top ten restaurants last year, and Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes was on TV boasting about one of their desserts. I made the reservation.

Two girlfriends and I journeyed to Woodberry last night. We waited 15 minutes past the reservation before I did the “stand near the hostess booth” move so they’d know we were a little irritated. Despite my girly, non-threatening stature, it worked. We were led to a cute little booth on the second floor.

Woodberry’s decor and atmosphere is pleasant. It allows the average yuppie to feel a little less yuppie-ish. Instead of funky, contemporary art and avant-garde lighting, there is exposed brick, an open kitchen/brick oven, an airy second level, and firewood lining one entire wall—t was all very chic, yet rustic and fitting for the “farm to table” philosophy.

It started with a breadbasket. Sourdough and I don’t know the other (we determined it tasted like popcorn) along with a glance at the cocktails. A “Manhampden” for me: Maryland rye, sweet vermouth and bitters. I watched the bartender shake it at our table. It was delicious.

We opted for three warm plates to share: the Tilghman Island Crab Pot, Cherry Glen Ricotta with toasts, and the Roasted Mushroom flatbread. The crab pot and the ricotta came out quickly, served steaming hot in cast-iron mini-skillets. They were worth our roof-of-mouth burns.

As for dessert, I chose Duff’s favorite, the C.M.P.—a sundae with malt ice cream, peanuts coated in honey, hot fudge ganache, and marshmallow, covered in a crème brule disc that you need to break through in order to get to the rest. If one has eaten at The Cheesecake Factory as many times as I have, you can certainly differentiate in the use of local, fresh ingredients. These dishes are just, really good.


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