Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On the Road Again: The Four Seasons Baltimore

Get out of DC for a quick get-away to Baltimore.  Treat yourself to a luxurious weekend at The Four Seasons and take advantage of the spa amenities.  Dine at the fabulous restaurants and enjoy!

The Hotel:  The Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore offers a chic, five-star, resort-like getaway in the heart of Harbor East, the city’s hippest new district.   The hotel has a great fitness center and comfortable beds.  The staff is super friendly.  It is just over a year old so everything is new and fresh. This resort oasis has a bi-level terrace overlooking the harbor with an infinity pool, whirlpool, reflection pool, lounges and cabanas, and a Pool Bar and Grill.  (Take part in that this summer.)

Relax:  Luxuriate in the Spa and treat yourself to the Harbor Salt Scrub.  It is perfect for this time of year to get rid of all the dry skin and nourishing the new skin with the hot oil.  The steam room, sauna, and bubbly hot tubs make for the ultimate relaxation.
Dine:  WIT and WISDOM, an American tavern by Michael Mina, was one of the best meals we've had in a long time.  Clayton Miller, formerly of Trummer’s on Main in Fairfax, Virginia, led us through a tasting menu with each dish getting better than the next.  The service with exceptional and the staff was extremely knowledgeable.  The presentation of the food was beautiful.  

Wit and Wisdom perfectly balances the familiar with the sophisticated.  The atmosphere is upscale cozy casual.   The spacious lounge boasts a fireplace with a white brick chimney and comfy brown leather couches, and a spectacular live-fire grill with expert chefs working quickly but calmly. A wall of windows opens to a waterfront patio and stunning views of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

The food exceeds even the atmosphere, with intelligent twists on some of America’s best comfort food.  And the drinks continue the renaissance of classic craft cocktails put together with extraordinary care.  

I started with a Vicar of Winkield, composed of hangar spiced pear, St. Germain, agave nectar, and lime and shaken in a chilled coupe glass with fresh grated cinnamon.  
Corey knocked back a Sticky Wicket, made of Jim Beam, Fernet Branca, smoked maple syrup, and soda, stirred and served short over ice with an orange peel.  Both were excellent.  Corey is a whiskey lover, and he said this was one of the favorite cocktails he has ever had. 
Dinner began with a beautiful pickled vegetable dish.  It was like art on a plate.  Definitely felt a new Nordic vibe.
An oyster stew made of vermouth cream, spinach, and caramelized onion followed.  Well done. 
Then we tried a fall vegetable salad of smoked salmon tartare, horseradish, and trout roeThe ingredients were fresh and the horseradish enhanced the fish.
After that we tasted the perfectly cooked Charred Octopus with Calvert Farms Radish, Preserved Lemon, Apple, and Steak Sauce.
Next were Nantucket Bay Scallops with potato gnocchi, parsley, tripe and a Manchego chipotle froth that playfully finished off the main. 
Then we had a sweet, lean, spectacular bison steak that makes black angus feel ordinary.

We loved the sides:
Shibumi Farm Mushrooms – Whole Roasted Garlic, Thyme
Tuscarora Brussels Sprouts Smoked Gouda, Goat Chevre Pickled Roasted Garlic, Bacon
Almond Porridge – Almond Cookie Crumbs Malt Vinegar Caramel, Ground Salted Almonds

And a parade of desserts including the sweet potato trifle (my favorite), C.C.C. Marcona almonds, chocolate caramel pudding, coconut sherbet; and warm banana cake with banana sherbet, cinnamon chocolate, and brown sugar wafer.

The evening was extraordinary for the extremely attentive service, the wonderful atmosphere, and the inventive food.  We left slightly “over-served,” extremely happy and proud of Wit and Wisdom’s entire staff for the incredible restaurant they have built. Hope to be back again soon!

WIT and WISDOM is located at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, 200 International Drive, Baltimore, Maryland. Breakfast is available Monday-Friday 6:30am-10:30am; Saturday-Sunday 6:30am-10:00am. Lunch is served Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:30pm and can also be enjoyed on the restaurant’s patio. Brunch is available on Saturday-Sunday from 10:00am-2:30pm, while dinner is available Sunday-Thursday 5:30pm-10:00pm and Friday-Saturday 5:30pm-10:30pm. For more information, please visit or call 410-223-1456.
Wit & Wisdom Tavern on Urbanspoon

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