Photos by Nicholas Karlin, words by Kaylee Dugan
How often do you go to Baltimore? Once a year? Never? Did you know a Marc train ticket only costs $8? Did you know there’s a ton of great bars and restaurants you’re completely missing out on? If you didn’t know any of this before, get pumped. There’s an entirely different city that’s only an hour long train ride away and it’s chock full of gems, and the newly opened Rye Street Tavern is one of them.
Located right next door to Sagamore Spirit Distillery, Rye Street Tavern is a huge restaurant and event space that looks right out on the water. They’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from their rye producing neighbors, mixing in lots of copper and dark wood into the restaurant. They even have an unused copper liquor still built into the building.
Chef Andrew Carmellini, the man behind New York and Miami’s The Dutch, took inspiration not only from the distillery, but from the entire area when it came to crafting the menu. His team took trips to the eastern shore to go crabbing and catch rockfish, but he’s not trying to reinvent Maryland cuisine. Nor is he copying what other restaurants in the area do so well, instead, he’s doing his own spin on the classics. Expect a refreshing striped bass ceviche, an addicting “jerked” hot chicken (with charred pineapple and Hawaiian sweet rolls), as well as wood broiled Chop Tank oysters that are paired with hatch chilis, then covered in parmesan and a cilantro crumble. The thing you truly can’t afford to miss is the Mule sherbet. It’s equal parts boozey and creamy and is probably what heaven tastes like. Whether you’re looking for a spot to snack on the water or your sitting down for a big mean, Chef Camellini’s menu has your back.
The bar is equally as impressive. Not only are they fully stocked with Sagamore Rye, but there are a ton of fantastic bourbons available (including my personal favorite, High West). Not interested in drinking your whiskey straight? Take a look at the bourbon cocktails. The Moonshine Mule is perfect for the non-whiskey drinker who wants to become a whiskey drinker (or the regular whiskey drinker who went a little too hard the night before). Its base spirit of McClintock white whiskey (another local) is toned down by Q ginger beer and a dash of line, making it incredibly drinkable without completely losing that whiskey bite. If you find yourself dining with a whiskey hater and don’t feel like kicking them out of your friend group, you can find solace in the menu’s handful of draft and bottle beers, as well as the decently large wine list.
It’s a beautiful restaurant, next to a cool distillery in a city you probably don’t visit enough. It’s time for a day trip.
Rye Street Tavern is located at 225 E Cromwell Street, Baltimore, Maryland. They are open Tuesday – Thursday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. , on Friday – Saturday they are open from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. and on Sunday they are open from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.