HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


Woodberry Kitchen

  • h

Has anyone checked this place out yet, the menu isn't slaying me.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have a friend in Bmore who met one of the people opening it. Apparently they started a coffee shop (closed temporarily till they get the restaurant up too) that was pretty good. She made reservations for us to go on the 10th. I couldn't find a menu when I googled last night so thanks. The menu is entertaining. Looks like a lot of local stuff which is cool. If you go before me let me know how it is?

    3 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau

      I am thinking of just going for a drink at the bar first to check the place out. I think the menu is bizarre.

      1. re: hon

        The menu to me is hilarious, you can tell they were trying to be funny. Not exactly the best food descriptions though. And I really like that they are local food based. That is pretty cool. Definately a southern and rural kind of menu though, of course Supper gives that away. Hopefully the food is good, and the place just isn't trying to be too hip. But even if you just go for drinks give me a heads up? This friend isn't known for being a chowhound, but the outlook seems to be looking up.

        1. re: ktmoomau

          I will definately give you a heads up!

    2. I went last night. A fellow 'hound and I discussed this briefly yesterday as well. If you're going in expecting the cutting-edge, modern side of Spike, you might be surprised and/or disappointed. This definitely leans in the comfort food direction. But really well-executed comfort food, with the occassional surprising touch. And reasonable prices to match, I would add.

      Based on our server's recommendation, we tried the carrots. Oven roasted until just carmelized on top, and then topped (at the table) with a very thin "jus" of pureed carrot tops (greens) and butter. Unbelievable. Really, really good.

      The other big hit, as honeybee mentioned, was the chicken. Half a Springfield Farm bird, deboned and cooked "under a brick"-style with the resulting golden, crispy skin on top, and juicy, tender meat underneath. Quite possibly the best I've ever had. The accompanying grits were woefully underseasoned unfortunately, and were the only true disappointment of the night.

      Roasted squash soup was nice. Clams baked with spinach, bacon, and cream were really nice. And the simple ("adolescent") salad was fine.

      Riedel stemware was a welcome sight. I wish more restauranteurs cared about this one detail. Also of note was the house-carbonated sparkling water. And for us fans of the departed Artifact, it was nice to see the fancy equipment and Counter Culture beans back in use at Woodberry.

      All in all, it might have been a little different than what I was expecting-- the Amish-looking dress code for female servers was curious-- but I enjoyed it very much and look forward to checking out more of the menu.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Darin

        Thank you! Now I am really looking forward to my visit!

      2. Sure, the menu is silly, but the food sounds good and reasonable. Fried hominy, mmm...

        1. I was (am?) a big fan of Artifact coffee. Not only for their coffee, but their food (sandwiches and wraps) was well-thought-out and always delicious. Based on Artifact, my expectations for Woodberry Kitchen were high.

          The restaurant is housed in a large open brick space with seating on the main level and upper balcony. Toward the back of the restaurant is a brick oven with a large wooden bread table directly in front of it. With this “hearthy/farmish” backdrop, and because the wait staff were dressed in (for lack of a better term) bohemian garb, I occasionally felt like I was sitting in some sort of country-barn kitchen (I had only one glass of CDR, I swear). I don’t know if this was an intentional effect to get at the “farm to table” theme. Anyway, on one side of the brick oven is the grill and bar, and on the other side is another area where food is prepared.

          So we sat down and began to peruse the menu. At first, I was sort of annoyed at the menu’s layout and it took me a bit to get my bearings. However, because the menu is not arranged in traditional fashion (apps/soups/salads/entrees), you are forced to think differently about how to order. The nice feature is that you can order a variety of dishes if you want, which is what we did. The section of “snacks” is, I suppose, meant to be ordered and served quickly. From the snack section, we ordered deviled eggs and fried hominy with chile mayo which were both excellent. (BTW, if anyone liked the egg salad sandwiches at Artifact, you will love the deviled eggs). My wife enjoyed the various beet salad with yogurt cheese and I had the very tasty lamb meatballs. My final dish was the braised bone-in-pork shoulder served with greens (chard maybe?). The pork was slightly dryer than I thought it would be, but still tender and full o’ flavor. The sauce was excellent and I loved the greens. If not for wanting to try other things on the menu, I would order the pork again. My wife really liked the scallops with the gold rice and special sauce. She said the rice was al dente—not undercooked, but grainy in a rustic sort of way.

          For dessert, due to my wife’s wheat allergy, we combined two dishes. We ordered the roasted pear (without salt or buckwheat) from the warm plate section of the menu and asked to have it topped with homemade vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. UN – F-ing –REAL. The ice cream had vanilla bean speckles and was not overbearingly sweet (even with the caramel sauce). The waiter informed us that the ice cream is made in-house. Excellent. (BTW, we asked the waiter tons of questions because of my wife’s allergy and he was very patient and helpful.)

          Overall, the service was great, despite getting really busy. I was surprised about the service being good since the restaurant just opened. Another nice feature for us was that the chef was able to accommodate my wife’s allergy – (believe it or not we have been asked to leave a restaurant because of her allergy – Ramone? Ethel?). Finally, the cappuccino was prepared properly (something you don’t always find at a restaurant), a great way to end a very good meal. The prices are very reasonable. We had two of the house-bottled sparkling water and a glass of wine. Our bill was only $75. We can’t wait to go back.

          3 Replies
          1. re: smt

            Great reviews. The menu and the hound reviews have me ready to visit this place really soon, despite the fact that I'm located in NoVA. Even though it is comfort food-y, which I don't mind except at fine dining prices, they seem to have a lot of unique touches and (above all) the execution sounds right.

            1. re: Torina

              Agreed it sounds worth trying. Can someone confirm that parking is plentiful and free?

              1. re: bordeauxfan

                yes, there is valet parking and two lots - the large brick warehouse building on Clipper Road and a parking lot across the street from the brick warehouse - both a 1 1/2 minute walk from the restaurant, in addition to limited street parking on Clipper Road

          2. Made it here for a drink and oysters tonight, which turned into drinks and a couple of apps because I fell in love with the space. I tend to do this, attach myself to the ideology of a place, or a menu item or whatever, and decide I love it before I have any evidence. Sometimes, this doesn't work so well; this wasn't one of those times.

            The space is surprisingly big, with a wraparound lofted seating area (reminiscent of Pazo, oddly enough, albeit on a smaller scale) that was already partially filling while I was there, 6:30 on a Monday (with the Ravens playing a big MNF game later, no less).

            The staff was attentive, charming, and hugely enthusiastic about the food. I sat at the bar, and the bartender, seeing that I had a drink and oysters already, said, "I'm going to tell you about the specials, even if you're not planning on eating anything else, just because I'm excited about them." And he did. In detail. This place is actively, almost aggressively enthusiastic about carefully sourcing their ingredients.

            I wound up with a plate of oysters on the half, a perfectly reasonable six for nine bucks, from the Bay. Like many of the local oysters I've had after this hot, dry, autumn, these were slightly on the bland side -- but they were easily the best Chesapeakes I've had, briny and clean. The bartender suggested I try their house-made hot sauce with them, and it was scorchingly hot, tasting largely of habeneros (or maybe scotch bonnets; whatever they were, the scoville was through the roof). But the mignonette was good but unnecessary, and the lemon was all that was really necessary.

            On the recommendation of the other bartender, I tried the sizzling shrimp, which were genuinely remarkable. The shrimp (according to the bio I got to hear) are from a shrimp farm in Cambridge, MD, that's been working to perfect a sustainable, no-waste shrimp farm. Whatever the details, the shrimp had a sweet, shrimpy taste that I've never actually encountered before. It was remarkable, and it rendered the otherwise very good accompanying sauce irrelevant.

            The bar stocks an assortment of good liquors, including a number of organic beers and vodkas; the music was well-selected mellow alternarock (think Wilco, R.E.M, and so on); and the whole experience was just generally tremendous. If there was a flaw, it was the patrons. Squint right and they were a lovely, stylish, attractive cross-section of young-money Baltimore. Squint wrong, though, and it started to look and sound like someone had left the Hipsterator 9000 cranked up to high. Not the kitchen's fault, and maybe it was just tonight, but some of the patrons redefined smug for a new and smugger generation. One minor flaw, though, in an otherwise promising evening. I can't wait to go back with Wife and other people, so we can try more of the food and drink more of the drinks. Impressive first encounter.

            3 Replies
            1. re: matt8313

              "Smug for a new and smugger generation"--ha! You truly captured the essence of the crowd at Woodberry. They aren't the usual Hampden/Remington (the bordering neighborhoods) denizens. My husband and I tried WK Friday night, and had much the same experience.

              The food is outstanding--well thought out and executed. We started with a couple of glasses of Wolaver's organic porter, and the oh-so-fun and tasty fried hominy coupled with a plate of deviled eggs.

              From there we moved to the iced oysters--I loved the mignonette but yes, lemon alone would have sufficed. We also had a plate of the wood-roasted oysters with bacon, which had a nice depth of flavor.

              My husband had the cast-iron ribeye, which came with a potato gratin in a very cute little cast-iron rectangular casserole. Delicious. I chose the special: cornmeal-encrusted trout with fried green tomatoes and the same cast-iron casserole, his time filled with cubes of sweet potato and a complementing cheese.
              It was comfort food at it's finest, and not greasy at all, not heavy.

              I am already conspiring as to how I can return in the next week or so. Maybe if we go the hamburger and fries route....

              Service was friendly, enthusiastic and attentive. We had an initial glitch because our hostess seated us at an upstairs table, where we sat unnoticed for 15 minutes. Once we flagged a server, she was most apologetic that no one had "claimed" us, and immediately took over. I was very impressed with her recitation of the specials. Plus she looked like Chloe Sevigny! The busser was also friendly and attentive without being intrusive.

              All-in-all, his place is a winner. You would never guess that they've only been open for about a week. Spike Gjerde is an incredibly talented chef, someone with great vision.

              1. re: PaulaG

                Wife and I made it to WK last night for a Friday Dinner Date. The staff was great and service was pretty right on for a place newly opened. Owners were on-site and our server was very enthusiastic about menu and timing of meal was very good. We had the fried hominy along with 6 raw oysters and 6 baked oysters for apps with 2 fine beers (Victory Pils and 60 Min IPA). Raws were cold, somewhat briny and med. sized.....they got a 7-8 on my internal oyster scale based on temp/flavor/plumpness. Wood-fired were with cheese, butter and breadcrumbs and my wife loved them but I think next time I will try them with Bacon/Cheese. Hominy was different and pleasant but I believe I will pass on them next time...too deep fried-y. My wife had the sizzling shrimp small plate for her main and it was good and the other reviewer hit upon that the shrimp had a different texture and flavor...very good sauce but a little skimpy on the serving for the price IMO. I had the Halibut special that was fire baked with good spicing and served over Cremini mushrooms in a red wine based sauce along with small wedge of a au gratin type casserole. It was very good and the fish was a great piece and cooked perfectly. All in all, a very good meal for a night out and the bill was 78 including 4 pints of very good beer. We will return. The restaurant's space is great and it has a very good vibe to the place...we sat up on the 2nd floor balcony overlooking everything but the first floor looks like the spot...lot's of activity and open kitchens. The bar space is also a great area and I am sure that those seats are very coveted on the weekend nights. They also had valet service and a neat bonfire outside to have drinks around if you have to wait for a table. It makes for a very nice casual night out and I wish I had a place like this even closer to home.

              2. re: matt8313

                I feel the same way about the space. I loved it! It gives me the same feeling as Cork (although it's about triple Cork's size). After reading about the restaurant online a friend and I got a zipcar and drove to bmore just to try it out (we live in DC). We appreciated the free valet parking since there is no such thing in DC. The tall ceilings and exposed brick gave it a fun modern feel. We were starving so we ordered a lot of different dishes. Everything looked so good and we had a hard time deciding. We enjoyed evrything we had. It was a few months ago so I don't remember the details. I've been trying to go back ever since!

                If you're looking for a fun place to go with friends, or even a relaxing dinner after work I think this a good pick. For those who live nearby....you luck things!

              3. Another person who had an amazing meal at Woodberry Kitchen. We started at the bar while waiting for the rest of our party. I had cava, Mom had a white wine from South Africa. We had some baked oysters that were good, not anything unbelievable, but very good. The bartender topped off my cava for me.

                Everyone at the bar seemed to be really happy with the food and was telling us what to order. Bartenders were enthusiastic, as were the staff.

                We were seated upstairs and started with roasted squash soup and crab pot which we shared. the soup had more of a taste of cream, sage and mushroom than squash, but it was wonderful. I was glad someone downstairs recommended it.

                The crab pot had large chunks of crab and the sherry was a wonderful addition. I really enjoyed this. We all ate all of it, even after our entrees came.

                I had the Sole special with green tomatoes and potato gratin and leek remoulade. It was really good, but even better was my Mom's porkchop. I have never tasted a porkchop that was that tender and juicy. It was amazingly good. My fried ad the Autumnal Vegetables and it was good too. Very good flavors and made even us carnivores happy to go veggie.

                I wish I had room for dessert too. Even though it is a trek to get up there for me, it is close to my friend and will be a spot we go back too. I am so happy to see such a great place so busy.

                1. I would give this place more time. Some dishes were average (deviled eggs, flatbread pizza, oysters with bacon) and some were quite good (the jalapeno cocktail, the date pudding, the oysters with bread crumbs and parmesan). The pears in the dessert (I forget what - a cobbler-type thing) were way undercooked, though the dough and custard were good. The service was extremely disorganized, and we had to keep flagging down the waiter to remind him what we ordered. Spike was tending the woodstove AND plating everything with no help -- a recipe for disaster, or at least a three-hour dinner in our case, and we only ordered one entree and the rest small plates.

                  1. Friend and I had dinner at WK last night. We didn't have reservations, and lucked out being seated right away on the second floor about 8:15pm. It was very busy for a Wednesday evening.

                    Let me start out by saying the space is beautiful. I loved the layout (very Pazo-esque) and feel the whole 'farm to table' theme was very well thought out, even down to the servers uniforms. Odd but there it works.

                    Our server was a bit inexperienced, but very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the menu. He was attentive without being overbearing, and he paced our evening perfectly. (This is always a big deal for me for some reason, I hate feeling rushed and I really hate when the entrees come out too soon and you're still working on your appetizer.)

                    We started off with cocktails and ordered the Sizzing Shrimp appetizer. Not to sound like a broken record, but these shrimp (from some sustainable, no-waste shrimp farm in Cambridge, MD) they were fantastic. I don't ever recall eating shrimp that tasted like this before. They are sweeter and tender, not what your average shrimp tastes like. I typically don't order shrimp in restaurants, but this was really remarkable and something altogether different.

                    The wine list is very interesting and seems to span all budgets and regions. I'm not a big fan of Maryland wines, but I can see where it goes with the whole local theme. We ended up ordering a California Sauvignon. I was surprised to see a few bargain (i.e. under $15/bottle) choices. Something of a rarity these days, with wine price creep....

                    My first choice for entree was the Bone In Pork Shoulder, but was disappointed to find out it was sold out. Second choice was a special - cornbread encrusted Sea Trout with a side of mashed sweet potatoes. Friend had the Wild Rockfish served in a red wine sauce with baked cauliflower, and by the way, it was a very large portion of rockfish. Both entrees were excellent, but I think Friend's rockfish was the real winner.

                    After reading so much about the homemade ice cream, I just could not resist and so I ordered the maple chestnut.....unbelievable. Seriously, it was awesome. French press coffee was the perfect end note.

                    In all, this place is awesome. Its beautiful, well thought out and remarkably executed. Ditto the other poster who said they couldn't believe this place was still so new. You would never think it. I will definitely be back.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: tennisgal1206

                      Generally. you only get frozen shrimp here. Fresh are sweeter and more tender, as you describe.

                      1. re: ko1

                        Yes, but these were even better than the fresh shrimp I've had before. Something about that no-waste sustainable shrimp farm thing.

                        1. re: tennisgal1206

                          I had them there, too. Extremely tasty, and probably the outstanding dish of our meal.

                          1. re: ko1

                            Does anyone know where to get these shrimp (and other great seafood) for home preparation?

                            1. re: smt

                              Wegman's usually has fresh shrimp. If you ever cross over into Virginia on the ES or around Harper's Ferry, there are stands selling fresh Carolina shrimp cheap.

                              1. re: smt

                                Some Google work came up with this - looks like the place:


                                Washington Post article:


                                Current as of April 18, 2007 "they have stopped, for the time being, taking on new restaurant clients or accepting mail orders at their Web site"

                                But an article on their website:

                                "Orders will be shipped out in 24 hours. You might very well hit a sold-out sign, but they’ll let you know when they’re shipping again. The guys tell us that more shrimp should be available in November/December in time for holiday cooking."

                      2. Finally had a chance to try Woodberry this past friday, went at 8:30 with a friend and scored seats at the bar, the place was crowded. I really like the space! I wish I liked the food as much. On their website, the oysters are $9 a half dozen, on the actual menu they are $12 a half dozen. The choice were all from the Chesapeake which was cool, we got an order of the "Olde Salts" to split. Lemme tell you, they were the smallest most pathetic looking oysters I have ever seen, if it were my place, they would never have left my kitchen. Besides the fact that they hadn't been properly shucked (the meat was still stuck to the shell) there was precious little meat in any of them. One was so small, there was really nothing I could get up with my fork - I finally got the bartenders attention (there were 3 of them and we were pretty much ignored the entire time we were there) and showed him, he took it back and brought a few more as a replacement. The sizzling shrimp were very small, lukewarm and mushy, again $12 for 6. I have had fresh shrimp in South Carolina and Louisiana, these didn't live up to those. On the upside, the kitchen pickles and olives were very good and the smoked bluefish flatbread was tasty. The wines by the glass were a very meager pour, after one glass that contained about 3 sips, my friend switched to beer so as not to go broke.
                        I will give this place another chance because it's in my 'hood and I like the idea of it but they need to get it together.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hon

                          We tried to go there Sat night, had reservations for 4 at 9PM; our friends' brother was in town so he joined us so I know, our bad to show up with one more person than the res, but I was hoping by 9 things would be slowing down & we could possibly eat at the bar if they couldn't accomodate us. Which they didn't even try to do. We did stand in the bar area for an hour, it took 15 minutes to get drinks after ordering - 2 beers, a glass of wine, 2 cocktails - the bartender drew 1 beer, waited on 3 or 4 other people, made the cocktails, waited on a few other people, etc. By 10:00, we reminded the hostess we were still waiting she said, oh, this table is just eating their desserts, another is paying their check, I MAY have something for you then. We said thanks but no thanks. There were no "sorry, come back and try again" or any such. After seeing your review of the food, I'm just as glad (actually I was already glad) we never got seated!

                        2. Just another take on WK--had a generally positive experience there last weekend, but with one sour post-dining note. I live in New York but was visiting family in Baltimore for the Thanksgiving holiday. I've liked Spike's restaurants in the past and was eager to try this latest endeavor. We tried several of the dishes recommended here--oysters, the sizzling shrimp, the pork chop--and while nothing positively blew us away (there was a lot to live up to, given the high praise in previous posts), we thought that much of the food was solid and the atmosphere very pleasant. The service was friendly and attentive--seemed a little green (servers didn't really know info on the wines I had questions about) but puppy-doggish in enthusiasm level. At meal's end, I charged the dinner and left a 20% tip. Today, however, when checking my credit card online, I found that my tip had been increased by $8 above what I had left--making it almost 30%. I have never had this happen at a restaurant before, and although I straightened it out with my credit-card company (I have my copy of the receipt), it was galling. I am trying to give the restaurant the benefit of the doubt, attributing it to early service glitches--maybe a number keyed in incorrectly somewhere? But if someone actually just felt they deserved a 30% tip as opposed to a 20% tip, I am appalled. Has anyone else had problems of this kind?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: equilibrist

                            this may not be WK but either your or their cc processing company. this happens a lot... amounts listed as pending transactions are often higher than the actual check... if you wait until the transaction is posted it usually corrects itself. The cc processing co. will authorize for more than the original amount due to the extra $ assumed you will be tipping. this has everything to do with visa and very little to do with the actual restaurants... although in this case they may have keyed in the wrong amount.

                            1. re: frites

                              Thanks for the info. In this case (Amex not Visa), the transaction had already posted at the higher amount. But I am willing to think it was an honest mistake. We did really like the place, which is why the higher charge was so upsetting.

                          2. your experience is so odd compared to ours when it was packed and they were jumping at the bit to be friendly and wonderful. Maybe it was different people or just a bad night, but they were almost so friendly to us that it was odd for Dc/Balt.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: ktmoomau

                              My wife and I stopped in for a cocktail and some appetizers on Friday around 6 o'clock. While I can say the food was tasty, my wife and I were completely embarrassed by the somellier of the restaurant. We chose to sit at the bar and ordered a glass of Viognier and a French 75. We were carded by the bartender, a perfectally acceptable practice in anyone's book. I should inform you all that we moved to Baltimore from Portland, Oregon the day before Thanksgiving. Now an Oregon Driver's License is similar to many. The card has a large picture of you and a smaller picture of you in its background, an expiration date, sex, height, weight, name, address and most importantly your birth date. We are both twenty-six so I can understand the bartender carding us. When you change your address in Oregon you are provided a barcoded sticker that you place over the original name and address portion of the I.D. I should inform you all that the picture and D.O.B are in no way altered by this sticker. I pulled my sticker off a long time ago as it was pealing away from being in my wallet. My wife on the other hand still had her sticker on her I.D., nice and neat as always. My I.D. was accepted and my wife's was questioned. The bartender brought it over to the sommelier (bar manager) who took a second look at the I.D. and denied it. He then continued to walk over and completely humiliate us in front of a handful of customers and staff. He debated how easy it would be to make your own sticker to alter the I.D. Remember, the picture and D.O.B are in no way altered by the sticker. We offered to pull the sticker off, since we now live in Baltimore to prove to him that the name was the same underneath, which shouldn't even matter when checking someon's D.O.B!!!! He rudely replied that "We're not going to pull the sticker off." We provided him Bank Cards with the same name and a picture of my wife on it, our insurance card which displayed the same address presented on the sticker. What more could we have done. Finally he agrees to accept the I.D. but not so fast. He then pulls the I.D. back to look at it again and ponder denying its acceptance. After many more minutes of debating with us how easy it would be to make a fake sticker he finally accepted the I.D. To be honest, we were both ready to leave right then. However, the forty-five minutes it took to find the place had left us parched and hungry. I might also add that a waiter walking by and my arm gently collided spilling beer down the side of my jacket, with no acknowledgement at all. I saw the waiter glance at my jacket but he didn't find any reason to verball recognize the incident. As he was walking by again and I was whiping the beer off with a napkin and still no acknowledgement. I'm a mellow guy and this wasn't a big deal at all. I probably spill more beer on myself than anybody. I think the two things added up and really killed the experience for me.

                              Like I said earlier in my post, the food was excellent. We enjoyed the Oysters Rock, Squash Rings and BBQ Pork Buns. Who I believe was Spike, was standing to my right overseeing all the dishes coming out of the kitchen and seemed like a real nice guy with great intentions and a appreciation for both his patrons and staff. Even the hostess at the front was really nice. It's shame that their hard-work has been overshadowed by a sommelier that does not know how to treat his younger customers. It's really a shame too. I really wanted to like this restaurant. I like what they're doing and the food all sounded fantastic. We were trying to figure out its location so we could take my sister and brother in-law, who live in Baltimore, out to dinner for the holidays. It was by far one of the rudest serving experiences I've ever been put through. I'm pretty sure that an underage drinker trying to sneak a drink would not pronounce Viognier correctly. It may come out something like VE-OG-NEER. Beneath is a link to the Oregon DMV website that sites the change of address sticker process, just in case anyone needs to read up:


                              On to greener pastures.

                              1. re: mcattrone

                                Welcome to Bmore and please accept our collective apologies for this currently, perhaps temporarily, hot place's rudeness to young newcomers. Management's track record in opening vision is good but execution has been variable, with a string of closed places. We're sure you'll find long-established friendly, sophisticated places that want your business, like Chameleon, Bicycle, Wine Market, and the warm places of Greektown, Zorba's (a Viognier-free zone) and Samos (BYOB).

                                1. re: mcattrone

                                  Maybe you should update your ID's and then try. I can say the same thing about places in Portland OR when I moved out there with my Baltimore ID.

                                  "It's shame that their hard-work has been overshadowed by a sommelier that does not know how to treat his younger customers."
                                  I'm the same age as you, I ordered wine and I had a perfect evening. I dont think your age has anything to do with your experience.

                              2. Wonderful.

                                I went tonight. My friend and I shared a 17$ bottle of red wine which was really nice with everything we ate. We tried a Pesto flat bread, chewy but crispy and perfect, the crab pot which was really creamy with big pieces of crab and had a really nice flavor, then we split the salmon dish which was seasoned perfectly and then was tried a desert which was more then wonderful.

                                I guess I can rave about the food, but I would rather say how great the service was. Our server was really attentive but not annoying. He was there to fill our glasses and remove our plates, but also very nice with great manners and a sweet disposition.

                                I love this place. Possibly my new favorite Baltimore restaurant.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: voodoohutch

                                  I am very sorry for the bad treatment of the couple from Oregon, but I want to echo the recent posts in praise of WK. This is a wonderful place. The service is excellent, id a bit amatuerish, it is beautiful, and the food is generally excellent--altho consistency in concept, not execution, is a minot problem. It is a remarkable value, and it shows a real effort to make dining a real pleasure. In that, it is right up there with Cinghiale, altho WK is more accessible in every way. BTW the raw oysters are fab.

                                  1. re: voodoohutch

                                    My fiancee and I had our first Woodberry Kitchen meal last night (New Year's Eve) and had a great experience! Our reservation was for 10:30 pm. and the restaurant was still packed when we arrived. We were seated upstars, which I highly recommend if for nothing other than the view of the space from the loft. Nearly as soon as we were seated we were served a complementary glass of Champagne by a dapper fella' in a white tux. From there things only got better. Our waiter, Alex, did a fine job and was at the table at exactly the right moments.

                                    We started with a handful of small plates which were all excellent. We ordered chips and dip, chicken liver parfait, deviled eggs and a crab pot. All excellent although many of the chips were too small to dip without getting your fingers in the dip. The chicken liver parfait was silky, light and perfectly seasoned. The deviled eggs while simple were really, really good. Our entree's, Brined Pork Chop for me and Autumn Vegetables for my fiancee, were ordered from the regular menu. The evenings specials were numerous and all looked good but I'm a sucker for a good pork chop, which was cooked to the rare side of medium rare. The Autumn Vegetables were served with the most delicate Gnocchi I've ever tasted. We ordered beer (Troegs Dopplebock and Dogfish 60 Minute IPA) with our meal rather than wine. The portion sizes are incredibly generous and with all of the appitizers there was no room left for desert. At midnight we were treated to yet another complementary glass of Champagne.

                                    I'd agree with tartuffe and say that WK is right on par with Cinghiale, if not a little better. I felt WK offered a better overall value but if you really want to break the bank there is plenty of opportunity. Many of the evening's specials were priced in the $30-$40 range and the wine list, while much smaller than Cinghiale, has plenty of room at the upper end.
                                    We really, really can't wait to go back!

                                    1. re: Vespa1

                                      My wife and I celebrated our 9th anniversary last night by trying out Woodberry Kitchen for the first time. I've got to say we were both very, very pleased with the experience and would definitely recommend it. We started the night by sampling the wood oven roasted oysters with the bacon on top. Really nice size to all of the oysters and the taste was top notch. In addition, we got the Montana Whitefish caviar which was one of the specials. The caviar came on top of bite sized potato pancakes and had a great burst of flavor. Our main courses were two of that nights specials: Pecan Duck served two ways and the Lamb Chops. The duck was cooked absolutely perfectly and had me wishing for more. The only disappointment in the dish was its accompaniment of a dried out buttnut squash garnish. However, the excellence of the duck easily outshone this slight misstep. My wife had the lamb chops which I also sampled, and they were very moist and had a nice red wine sauce that was not overpowering. Her garnish of potatoes was nicely done, and had none of the problems found in the squash. While we were enjoying our main courses I decided to go ahead and have a plate of the sizzling cheeses brought out. This consisted of two types of cheese (goat brie and some type of chedder) brought out on a sizzling hot plate with fresh rosemary giving off nice aromatics. We were happy with the cheese and felt they were fair portions for the price ($11).

                                      We finished dinner having the French Press coffee, a pumpkin toffee roll with egg nog ice cream, and a chocolate tart with burnt orange ice cream. My wife and I were both merely OK with the pumpkin roll and chocolate tart. They weren't bad, but they were both pretty standard compared to the delicious food we had had earlier. Both of the ice creams however were excellent. If I had to do it again I would have just gotten a bigger portion of the ice cream.

                                      Service throughout the evening was great. I should also note that you definitely would be wise to get reservations. We had reservations at 6:30 and the place was packed all evening long. At no point did we feel rushed to leave though. All in all, it was a great meal, and we'll be going back.

                                      1. re: choreops

                                        We ate here last weekend for our anniversary and loved it. Our only complaints: The bottom roll of the burger was soggy when served (but it tasted so fantastic, it didn't matter to me), and the kitchen pickles were not really pickles so much as onions and cauliflower in a jar.

                                        I had an Alexander to drink and it was perfectly prepared. The burgers and fries were excellent, and pretty cheap. The pear/cranberry sorbet was amazing.

                                        Next time, I'm going to get the chocolate flourless cake as it looked great.

                                        The staff there were all super nice and very attentive. We can't wait to go back.

                                        1. re: k8tbug

                                          There are plenty of things to love about WK, and other things that i cannot believe others on here havent mentioned.

                                          1st, I love the aesthetics. The look and vibe is fantastic and is exactly what Baltimore needs in a restaurant. The service is also very good. We sat upstairs, and I have to say the lighting is poor. I understand keeping with a low-key, easy going vibe, but if you have even slightly imparied vision and wear glasses, expect to have someone else look at the menu and read it off for you. Things like that annoy me.

                                          We had some kind of sausage dish that was great, the oysters rock, which was solid, but certainly lacked a bit in depth of flavor. All the more reason to always go raw.

                                          The flatbreads were phenomonal. The spicy pear with i think chevre was the best flatbread I have ever had. I cant remeber what exactly my 2 friends had, but i decided to go with the cast-iron rib eye. Honestly, i rarely order a steak out. You can cook it at home and typically do a better job. My experience reinforces that idea.

                                          It was limp, overly buttered, and very fatty even. Not to mention:

                                          I am sorry, but a starch is not a side. A starch is a starch. For $30 it should have also come with something like green beans at least. To say that the best dish of the night was a flatbread should never happen IMO.

                                          Service was dynamite, the idea/concept is welcoming as well.

                                          Just fix the lighting, and some menu issues. Minor kinks. Will easily be a regular.

                                  2. Hubby and I visited WK for the first time last night and really enjoyed everything. We shared the melting cheeses plate, and I had a beet 'salad' with goat cheese and olive oil and other sauces (?)- marvelous because I love beets and there were three different kinds on the place. For entrees, my hubby had steak, which he said was good, but nothing to get too excited over. It was accompanied by cheesy potatoes which were good, but I can make better at home. I had the most unusual thing I could find on the menu - the bacon and egg fried rice- made with soy sauce and ginger. Very tasty, but at $15 very overpriced in my view.
                                    One thing that no on else on this board has mentioned yet are the crazy speed bumps in Woodberry. I drive a very low sports car and even at speed of 1 mph, my car could not hurdle these mountains of humps. The humps were also so wide that they scraped my car throughout. Be warned, if you go- don't drive your low-to-the-ground sports car. Now, they do have valet parking, which I never do, but some folks do... can you imagine what those valet guys would have done with my car over those speed bumps?
                                    Anyway, all in all, it was a fabulous evening with great service and some of the wait staff recognized us from our other dining excursions around B-more.
                                    Also of note: a large variety of small plates are available at very small prices. There is a large bar at WK and I envision this as a 'hang-out' for those who live close by and want to nosh. I won't be hurdling the speed bumbs for nosh, but we will return!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Turkeybone

                                      I'm going there tomorrow night for dinner with one of Bawlmer's local celebrities, so it should prove interesting. Will let you know.......

                                      1. re: RichardCrystal

                                        Four of us inluding one local celebrity pulled up to the WK Friday evening at 7:45 to valet park. Upon exiting our car the attendant asked us if we had reservations. When we said we did he replied, "Good because if not you won't get seated before 11". Entering the main ante room (it can hardly be called a lobby, it is somewhat unidentifiable), we proceeded into the dining room/bar where a crowd appeared to have been gathering for some time. After checking in we waited about 5 minutes and were seated. (It pays to have someone along who is well-known in cases like these!) The interior is cavernous, being at one time some sort of industrial foundry as most of the Clipper Mill businesses once were. The seating is also industrial yet amazingly comfortable. We were seated by the main entrance where it was possible to receive people we knew who just happened to be there that evening.
                                        The menu is somewhat confusing being divided into unusual categories, forgoing the list of appetizers, entrees and desserts. A list of specials were displayed on a large board at the end of the bar just over the "kitchen counter".
                                        Two at the table ordered sizzling shrimp and some concoction called Spoonbread Shrimp as a "small plate". The former was delicious and the latter was somewhat bizzare. In both cases the heads were left on which personally I find delicious! I went for the "Various Beets". Being a beet lover this was a treat, since these roots are something not found on most menus as an appetizer.
                                        My "entree" was the pork chop. If you are a pork chop lover then I say, RUN do not walk to the Woodberry Kitchen. This was absolutely the best pork chop I have ever had; thick, juicy,tender, pink and not overcooked.
                                        The flatbread pesto pizza was excellent with a light thin flatbed crust and just the right amount of topping as not to be overwhelming.
                                        For dessert we shared a date sticky pudding which I did not care for but my firends devoured. I'm not a chef, I barely cook so if you're looking for ingredients or possible recipes here look elsewhere!
                                        Since the WK seems to be the trendy place to dine at the moment, you must have reservations at least on the weekend. I shy away from "trendy" finding most places a simple flash in the pan (pun intended). However with the right management, menu and personnel (ask for our waiter, Patrick) the WK should be around for a good long time.

                                    2. Went last night, great food, excellent service, and an all around good time. Two of us had about 9 small plates and no entrees and pretty much everything was delicious. Can't wait to go back.

                                      1. Went 2weeks ago managed to slip into the bar and tried a few items.
                                        Tried to take friends past Fri and called Thursday Afternoon couldn't seat us till10:30pm
                                        we went elsewhere. Overall I think it is an exciting addition- but way to popular and filled with Baltimore's hoity toity right now
                                        Thoughts on food:
                                        Arugla Pesto flatbread was great
                                        Shirmp Spoon bread was fine I tend to agree with RichardCrystal that is was odd, the bread had a very bitter flavor
                                        The Carrots were great!
                                        I like my oysters salty so I loved the Chicoteague selection and found the vinegar "dressing" a delicious touch
                                        Flourless Chocolate Cake- not my thing but my husband loved it
                                        We were treated by an employee to a special shortbread dessert-Now that was awesome! Order this if it is on the specials.
                                        great beer and wine selection! You can see the influence of Grand Cru in this place. I'm siked to see another champagne cocktail appearing in Baltimore

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: poached

                                          "but way to popular and filled with Baltimore's hoity toity right now"

                                          What is a "Baltimore hoity toity"? How is one of them identified? And how does the presence of such a person negatively impact the dining experience at this restaurant, other than making it harder for non-"hoity toitys" to get reservations on a Friday night?

                                          Is there a separate bar menu for people who want to eat at the bar?

                                          1. re: crackers

                                            It's a given that you are going to need more than just a day's notice to get a decent reservation at one of the hottest restaurants in the city at the moment....but that along with an upscale crowd does not mean it's "hoity-toity".

                                            1. re: tennisgal1206

                                              Hmm I disagree that its a given in Baltimore that you need more than a day's notice. I'm happy the place is busy and I know now to plan ahead- just passing that info on.
                                              Agreed Upscale doesn't = hoity-toity
                                              When I was there many people at & around the bar and their was alot of name dropping about who was there who had been there and who was coming there- granted I was at the bar, It was something I observed.
                                              I like my restaurants come as you are not who you are. That said it was an observation and shouldn't deter anyone from giving the place a whirl.

                                            2. re: crackers

                                              "Is there a separate bar menu for people who want to eat at the bar?"

                                              No, same menu.

                                          2. The place sounds wonderful, but when I was in the neighborhood last night fairly late, and I turned into that long, narrow passageway, the valet was stopping traffic like it was a border crossing or something. I turned around and headed back out. For future reference, is there anyplace in the complex or nearby where one can park on one's own, or is the valet parking rendered semi-mandatory by lack of anyplace else to go?

                                            Call it a quirk, but the whole idea of valet parking just turns me off, both from a security standpoint, and from a "I'm capable of doing it myself, if you provide a place" angle. I'm sure most valet parking is wonderful, and in some parking-deprived areas, it's probably even worth the money (whether tip or fee), but I know some folks who have regaled me with tales of their misdeeds in their valet days. I suppose I could park down in the lot at Meadow Mill (ah, memories of my AXIS Theatre days!), hike up the hill and across the tracks, but if there's someplace closer, it would be nice to know.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Warthog

                                              Past the valet parking stand to the right is a parking lot and there is one inside a warehouse across the street, you don't have to valet park at all. They might have been stopping people to let them know the parking lots were full.

                                              1. re: hon

                                                Oops - let me clarify. The valet was having some sort of extended discussion with the driver of a vehicle, and between the two of them and the idling vehicle, they were blocking passage. That, combined with the lighting, the relatively narrow passage between imposing brick buildings, and the weather at the time all added up to a scene that looked suitable for a set for a movie about intrigue at a checkpoint in West Berlin during the Cold War.

                                                I didn't see a way to get by, I didn't wish to be "valeted", and I didn't see anyplace else to park, so I turned around and left.

                                                Maybe another time.

                                                For the record, I would assume that the WK valets are courteous and professional, and I have no evidence to suggest otherwise. I just don't like even the concept of valet parking, unless there's literally no other place to park within walking distance. That's just my personal peculiarity, and it should not be taken as reflecting ill on any specific establishment or valet (OK, accept the previously mentioned fellow who relished telling valet "war stories" of creative misdeeds).

                                                1. re: Warthog

                                                  Warthog - We had the same experience when we went to WK. I hate valet parking my car- it has tempted valets in the past to go for a joy ride, much to my shagrin.
                                                  At the valet station in front of the restaurant, the valet was tending to one car headed our direction, then another came in the other direction, saw the valet and just stopped there- no one was going anywhere at that point.
                                                  I do fear that the parking situation will severely limit the business this place gets from diners not arriving on foot.
                                                  You are right- it is a very small space and a challenge to get in and out of...

                                                  1. re: maddogg280

                                                    There's a parking lot beyond the valet stand and to the right - the warehouse on the left is for RESIDENTS, park there and you risk having your car towed. When you cross the train tracks, bear right rather than going into Clipper Mill drive and on the left behind the WK and Studios is another parking lot which is also open for customers.
                                                    I would recommend making a reservation for dinner ANY night of the week as even last Tuesday night there weren't dinner seating openings until past 9pm.

                                                  2. re: Warthog

                                                    I was fascinated to see that some of you "hate valet parking" - because I must confess that it is one of my top criteria in choosing among already acknowledged top dining experiences. Salt needs it big-time. LOVE Woodberry Kitchen. Cheers, all!

                                              2. We finally made it last night (Monday 2/25) - no reservations and were prepared to eat at the bar, but there was a table for two upstairs. I am trying to figure out if it just didn't live up to the hype or whether it was just an average meal in a pretty space?

                                                We started with the deviled eggs and fried hominy. The hominy was pretty luke-warm and while tasty, would have been better if it had been hot. The same complaint of my mushroom soup - it was creamy and good, but could have been great if it had been just a bit warmer. The boy said he like the deviled eggs, but they were pretty mustard-y and he makes better eggs himself.

                                                I had the tomato/mozz flatbread, which again, was fine, but I love the version Pazo does, so this one was a bit underwhelming. I probably should have tried one of the more adventurous versions, but was in the mood for plain. The boy had the pork chop and while it was good, he said it didn't compare to the pork chops au poivre at Helen's (his gold standard).

                                                So fine for food, but service was incredibly slow - took over 10 minutes to get someone to come back for the check once we got it. Another mildly annoying quirk of the place is that they wouldn't take a reservation for 8 on the weekend. I can see where this might be challenging to coordinate, isn't this what restaurants do? They are one of these places that has several long benches with many tables and chairs opposite, so it seemed like it would be easy to push 4 two-tops together for 8? The hostess was mildly apologetic, but said we should just come back during the week with 8. I explained it was for out-of-town weekend guest so that really wasn't an option. I suppose they are so hip right now, they don't have to take larger parties on the weekend?

                                                All in all, I guess I wanted more. We'll have to give it another try to see if the service and food temp straightens out, but it might be hard to convince the boy it is worth a trip back.

                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: a70wilson

                                                  My wife and I are debating going here for my 29th birthday with the intent of inviting a few friends. Is this space conducive to say 10-12 people for dinner on a Saturday night, then maybe 14-18 people total staying afterwards and having a few at the bar? My worry is that our party may be too large for the bar area, or too loud.

                                                  1. re: bmore_flavor

                                                    I think your worries are correct. You should call to confirm, but I believe they have a maximum party size of 8 or so on weekends now. Assuming it hasn't changed since my last few visits, you would be hard pressed to squeeze a group of 10 to 18 anywhere in the place on a Saturday night. It's packed!

                                                    1. re: bmore_flavor

                                                      there is a private dining room available for such events

                                                      1. re: bmore_flavor

                                                        They definitely told me they would not take a reservation for 8 on the weekend, but I didn't know to ask about a private room (per honeybee's suggestion). The only "private" room I noticed was picnic-table-type seating in the front room as one entered - didn't seem private, but it did seem like it could hold 10-12 at the one table. If you find out more about this, I'd be interested in knowing if there is any extra charge for it?

                                                        As for hanging out at the bar afterwards, I can't imagine there would be any space for more than a few people.

                                                        1. re: a70wilson

                                                          There is. An extra charge for it.
                                                          The front room is where they host thier 'private' events, the menu is limited and the room is for hire. You can seat 12 at the 'Farm' table quite comfortably but you can of course, rent tables etc...if the party is going to be bigger. The max number in that room is 35-40seated but don't expect to have room to move between the tables or a bar set up. It's squishy!
                                                          When the room (aka: Woodberry Hall) is used for events WK patrons use the entrance around near the valet, but you'll still get some strayers wandering in or peeking in.

                                                          1. re: aussiewonder

                                                            I checked into booking an event here a few weeks ago. They quoted me $400 to rent out the private room in addition to the prix fixe menu cost of at least $36 pp. not including drinks.

                                                            1. re: Vespa1

                                                              Hahaha I wish I had known that as someone from DC our private events places are out of this world expensive (like 3k mins for a Sat night plus some had room rentals too) I would have made all my guests go to Baltimore for my engagement party! Charm City may be getting my business next time.

                                                        2. re: bmore_flavor

                                                          Whatever you do, make sure you dont get seated upstairs. The service is HORRIBLE.

                                                          1. re: AckAck

                                                            That's the only place I have ever been seated (3 visits), and I have no complaints. Our service was just fine, thankyouverymuch. Besides, from up there you can bounce fried hominy kernels off the railing...

                                                            1. re: PaulaG

                                                              Decided that a party of 15 for my bday simply will not work. The wife and I have reservations this weekend for just the two of us.

                                                              What dished do you rec? I love raw oysters, so I may have to try those. What else is good?

                                                            2. re: AckAck

                                                              We were upstairs when we had the pretty mediocre service (10-15 minute wait for someone to come back to pick up the check after it had been dropped off) - see my post further up. They also tried to give us someone else's food twice - I didn't hold this against them, but it did seem symptomatic of disorganization upstairs.

                                                              1. re: a70wilson

                                                                I've never had any service problem downstairs, and they do have the best oysters on the half shell in town.

                                                        3. Went there last night. Service was a bit lacking (it didn't seem well orchestrated from my observations, as other people have said) and not too smooth, though our waiter was very nice and I think trying hard. The atmosphere was excellent. The place is beautiful - great design. We sat upstairs overlooking the lower level, which was a very nice seating location. I enjoyed the music playing in the background, which gave the place a somewhat hip feel. The crowd was not too hip, however. Not at all diverse. Mostly your 50 year old important lawyer types and sometimes their Gillman high school kids. But everyone seemed happy to be there. Maybe the crowd was just conservative that night - early Sunday night. Again, nice atmosphere and that alone is definitely worth the trip. The food was good/ok, but didn't knock our socks off. We had the roasted chicken and the veggies and dumplings as our entrees. The former was pretty good but the latter not so good. Neither approached great and it felt overpriced. I was a tad disappointed but my girlfriend was totally satisfied and is recommending the place. Apps - we went cheap with friend hominy (tasteless; avoid) and deviled eggs (very good). For dessert we shared one scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream and that was excellent and a nice way to end the meal. The bar seemed like a very good place to eat from and even just taste test some entrees. Instead of being a small and crowded bar, it seemed more like a large thick wood counter that would be nice for dining. Parking was easy. We were seated immediately. All in all a nice evening, but a bit disappointing in terms of the food. Wanted to be wow'd, but it was still good. Would like to try some other menu options. Went to Ixia and Mezze recently, and we enjoyed our meals more there and I think the overall experience as well. But, different types of places.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: charmcitychica

                                                            Yeah, I don't think hominy is supposed to have much taste it is made in lye and wood ash so it doesn't get a chance to have too much flavor, I think you either like it or you don't. It was a big depression food, because it was cheap and it stretched the meal by providing filler in the stomach. My Mother hates it because my Grandads family often made it, I don't mind it, but if I had toe at it often I am sure I would be in her camp.

                                                            1. re: ktmoomau

                                                              Went with three friends March 7. The place was hard to find but beautiful inside. Frankly I thought they were pricy. My kitchen burger was dry and salty. The others were not that impressed either - couldn't hear their comments (very loud there) but they were making faces. The tables were too close together. Our waiter while very nice and knowlegable would have been better off with a bullhorn. We could not hear him.

                                                          2. I'm going there tonight and will definitely provide my two cents tomorrow.

                                                            Question for those who have been recently: is their menu the same one that is online? The one on their website is VERY autumnal and I was wondering if they have moved onto more wintry/early spring things.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: scarlet starlet

                                                              Just took a look at the online menu as I was there last night. Looks about the same. Their big thing is keeping things seasonal, like no tomatoes or strawberries since they're not in-season and fresh. From what I've heard, the menu will probably undergo a radical change as the seasons change into spring and summer and the harvest starts to come in from the fields.

                                                              1. re: scarlet starlet

                                                                Here's my review - be warned that it is LONG!

                                                                We were seated upstairs, which we liked, as it made us feel a little secluded from the noise and hubbub of the downstairs area. Right off the bat, the service was great. A waitress brought us our menus, the wine list, and the specials menu, and shortly thereafter, we were brought a carafe of water. Our waitress showed up a little while after that to take our order (we weren’t ready, so she came back again shortly thereafter). I should point out that it was COLD upstairs. I wish I had worn longer sleeves but alas I hadn't. (A glass of wine warmed me right up.)

                                                                We decided to start with the fried hominy with chile mayo, the Eastern Shore popcorn, and the flatbread with chevre, potatoes, and capers (on the specials menu). The hominy was still warm and came on a little plate with large toothpicks with which we could spear them and dip them into the mayo. I’m a huge fan of mayonnaise as a dip and I like corn, so I really liked this, but I recognize that it wasn’t all that amazing in the grand scheme of things. The Eastern Shore popcorn was a dud. It tasted like old movie theatre popcorn and the only thing that separated it from that was the lack of the fake yellow color. The popcorn was cold, not in the slightest bit crunchy or light, and there was too much butter and salt on it. Thankfully I only spent $1 on this. The flatbread, on the other hand, was wonderful. It was basically a small pizza bianca that was topped with small mounds of mild Chevre (goat cheese), chunks of roasted purple potatoes, capers, and a drizzle of olive oil. The crust was the perfect thickness (not too thick) and was perfectly chewy and crisp, and the toppings worked together wonderfully.

                                                                For our entrees, my bf ordered the Cider-Brined Pork Chop - Braised, with greens, tomatoes, new potatoes and I ordered the Autumn Vegetables - Cheddar dumplings, sage, MD white wine, butter.

                                                                The bf found his dish unremarkable. While the meat was good, he said there was no discernible cider flavor and that the braise competed with the meat. (I dipped my fork into the sauce on his plate and it was very earthy and mushroomy tasting; it was slightly acidic but barely so.)

                                                                I was very disappointed with my entrée. I was presented with a plate of shredded carrots, slices of celery and red onion, chunks of butternut squash, a few slices of Granny Smith apples, and a good amount of French gnocchi-looking dumplings swimming in an orange sauce. This was NOT what I was expecting. Where were the autumn vegetables? The only autumn vegetables I could discern were the squash and the apples (not even a vegetable). The rest of the stuff – carrots, onion, celery – was just filler. The carrots were also very annoying to eat because they couldn’t be speared and so I had to scoop of forkfuls of them, which resulted in the sauce dripping all over the place. The dumplings were subpar. They were very soft, but not in a good way, more like in a doughy way. Furthermore, they were completely bland – no cheddar cheese, no sage flavor (even though I could see specks of sage in it), and no salt. The sauce was fine, but, again, not what I expected. It seemed to be a thin tomato sauce that was cooked down with wine, butter, and salt, and it didn’t really seem to go with the other components of the dish. The dish was weak and, even though I ate most of it (I was hungry!), I was very disappointed by it. Of course, had I taken the time to read Elizabeth Large's review in the Sun from two months ago, I would have known to steer clear of this dish. (Her thoughts on it: "Autumn vegetables with delicate little cheese dumplings should be a knockout, and the fingernail-size dumplings are. But the autumn vegetables include apple slices, carrots and celery; the kitchen could do better.")

                                                                I had read rave reviews of their ice creams on here, so we opted to get those instead of one of their plated desserts (none of which appealed to me – among our options were apples with toffee, a coffee crème brulee, and a flourless chocolate cake). The ice cream flavors for the night were apple pie, café au lait, vanilla, toffee, and an Earl Grey tea and pear sorbet. We went with the apple pie ice cream and the Earl Grey tea-pear sorbet. The ice cream was served WAY too cold, so we let it sit for a few minutes while we devoured the sorbet. The sorbet was perfect – the Earl Grey tea and pear complemented each other perfectly and both flavors were very present. It was clear that they used a good amount of pear puree in the sorbet, as the grittiness of the pears came through every now and then (and not in a bad way). The texture of the sorbet was perfect – it was very fine and smooth and not at all icy, as many sorbets tend to be. We attacked the ice cream after it had warned up a bit. Its texture wasn’t as good as the sorbet’s – it was in fact a little bit icy. However, the mildness and complexity of its flavor more than made up for it. The ice cream base was vanilla (lots of specks of vanilla bean throughout) and was barely sweet – just the way I like it. The ice cream was copiously studded with chunks of a streusel-like substance as well as with chunks of cinnamon-laced cooked apples. The combination was perfect.

                                                                Although I did enjoy our experience (courtesy of the ambience and excellent service), the food was, on the whole, mediocre, and not worth the high price tag that accompanied it. I wanted to fall in love with Woodberry Kitchen, and I am sad to report that I did not.

                                                                1. re: scarlet starlet

                                                                  Top-notch review, madame. Thank you for taking the time to share everything in such detail. You are definitely an asset to the Balto restaurant scene!

                                                                  1. re: venera

                                                                    Went last night (Friday). Had a 7:30 reservation, which Woodberry K confirmed by email. Had to wait until 8 for the table. The good news is that the brick walls and facade are visually attractive. The bad news is that there is nothing to absorb sound, so that it is one heck of a noisy place. Quite difficult to hear. The menu is interesting and is well described above by others. I liked the wine list. The waiter was attentive, although it did take 2 requests for bread to be brought to the table. Beef short ribs were falling off the bone, soup was excellent, flatbread was pizzalike, and salad was nice. No complaint about the food.
                                                                    But, boy, was it loud in there. I don't see a solution for that--just be prepared to yell across the table and say, "What?" a few times.

                                                              2. Any comments about the specialty coffee service at Woodberry Kitchen? Current World Barista Champion James Hoffman blogged http://www.jimseven.com/2008/03/09/ea... that the espresso pulled by Mischa at WK was the best espresso he has ever had at a restaurant. He wrote "I was impressed and for once a great meal was improved and not ruined by the coffee."

                                                                I hope dedicated barista service and fine specialty coffees will become an enduring feature of better restaurants. I will make my way to Woodberry Kitchen for their coffee — and their food — very soon.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: Treva

                                                                  While I like the espresso and coffee service at WK, James Hoffmann's comments were very "safe" because it does not take much to serve coffee/espresso that is better than 98% of all restaurants. WK uses very good beans sourced by Counter Culture and grinds the beans for each order...already more than half the battle.

                                                                  The skill of the barista is VERY important too. I have had great espresso at WK. I have also had less than stellar espresso at WK. The bottom line is that the "less than stellar" espresso at WK is at least 10 times better than espresso at the majority of restaurants.

                                                                  1. re: smt

                                                                    My wife and two kids went there recently and we had a good experience. We got a lot of little plates, all tasty food. The wine and beer selection was good, but over priced. My glass of Pinot was a strict pour, only a fraction of a glass at $10 a pop. (I just don't think that's allowed in Baltimore.)

                                                                    I felt like many of the dishes could have had a little more pizzazz given the price tag. The beets were delicious, but plain and unadorned. The sizzling cheese plate was inventive, but very small and appeared thrown together. There was not enough toast for the cheese and I had to ask for more. The pizza was very dry. I had to ask for olive oil to drizzle over it.

                                                                    The kids pizza had a fresh herb on it that a child's palate could not appreciate. We had to order another without the herb. It just seems like common sense to me to have a simple child's meal with plain tomato sauce and lots of cheese. Little obvious touches seem to be lacking in this restaurant, but those will be worked out as they continue.

                                                                    The desserts were fantastic! We loved all of the ice cream and other creations we tried. I had an espresso with ice cream that was a tiny piece of paradise.

                                                                    I love the sustainable local food focus. Our waiter Tony was also very attentive and pleasant. I hope they can keep a lot of their employees because they lend a lot of personality to the place. There is a family vibe there which really gives it a comfortable feeling.

                                                                    One major complaint is that the crowd was very homogeneous, loud, and a little pretentious. Too many sort of typical socialite white people in one room for my taste. I feel like conversation was loud and aggressive, often bordering on offensive. I was very happy we were at a table in front and to the side, away from the madness.

                                                                    Overall a great place. Bring your wallet, cause you are going to pay. My suggestion is to take full advantage and experience it all. Start at the bar with a few drinks and arrive early. Move to a table with friends and taste all kinds of foods. Definitely get the desserts and a lot of them! Kudos to Spike for creating such a beautiful space in Baltimore.

                                                                    1. re: mjhchow

                                                                      Had my first meal at WK tonight. Very nice place. Baltimore needs more like this. Service is not terribly refined, but not necessarily in a bad way. Food was all good, very good, or excellent. No disappointments. Oysters were very nice. Entrees were all very good or excellent as were deserts. I've lived in Baltimore for 6 years now and have always thought that I had to go to DC, NYC for a dinner experience like this, but am very happy to have a little local place that while not perfect is a lot of fun. I know we have Charleston and such, but who wants to pay that kind of $$$. Dinner for 4 including tip was right about $200. ENjoyed it a lot.

                                                                      1. re: baltymoron

                                                                        Wow. I feel honored. I hadn't even seen James Hoffman's post and came up with essentially the same conclusion (http://manseekingcoffee.wordpress.com...). I agree that it doesn't take much to be better than most restaurants, but Woodberry does do particularly well by their coffee, better than most cafes and leaps and bounds better than most restaurants. And supposedly their cafe, Artifact will be re-opening again soon so there will once again be the ability to get their coffee at anytime of the day!

                                                                        Here are my thoughts on the restaurant. Not amazing, but very good, and I doubt you'll find that level of effort given to local/organic/sustainable cuisine at too many other Baltimore spots. I disagree about the Ribeye. I thought it was really fantastic, even if it wasn't served with a vegetable. The deserts were good but I probably could have skipped them. The flatbreads on the other hand really made the meal.

                                                                        I'm not sure what the situation was a while back, but we had no problem getting a last minute, Thursday night reservation around 7 (for 3). It could have been because of the availability of outdoor seating. As far as parking, I'm not sure what folks are complaining about. The vallet parking was free (obviously tip them well)! Coming from the Bay Area, that's simply unheard of.

                                                                2. Had dinner for the first time at WK this weekend, and overall had an excellent evening.

                                                                  Things got off to an inauspicious start for my wife and I when we were seated right by the door (practically in the doorway) of the main entrance.
                                                                  The place was already packed at 6:15 and it looked like there would be nowhere else to sit. Between the humidity, the constant door swinging, and all the people crowded around the hostess station, I knew we wouldn't be able to properly enjoy our meal. It was almost panic inducing.
                                                                  The hostess was very gracious and understanding when I approached her, and she moved us upstairs without question.

                                                                  Now seated upstairs and comfortably, we were able to survey the space, which is not quite what I expected. I don't know if it was the early evening light, but it certainly didn't seem as cozy and rustic as in the photos I had seen online. The light gave the place more of an eatery or cafeteria feel. Plus, the tables are very close together and the restaurant was obviously at full capacity. I especially feel sorry for those with tables at the bar, as there is so little space that people we're eating and drinking on top of each other. Maybe later in the evening with dimmer lighting the atmosphere may be more welcoming. Overall it was nice, but not spectacular.

                                                                  Service was very good, if a little chatty. When I obviously know exactly what bottle of wine I want (Robert Sinskey Abraxas, love it!), I don't need to know every other bottle of wine that we could have ordered, and your opinions on each of them. Otherwise though, service was informative an attentive, especially considering the crowd.

                                                                  The food itself was memorable and really some of the best I've had in Baltimore (I'm a native, btw). We started with oysters on the half-shell, which we're incredible. Really big, ice-cold, perfectly presented in their own water with a nice mignonette and some cocktail on the side. Super clean taste. No grit. Just wonderful. Wish I could remember what river they came from. I know they rotate where they get their oysters.

                                                                  The flatbread (pickled mushrooms, gooseberry, pesto, goat's cheese), was excellent if only for the goats cheese. Mushrooms were good but unremarkable, and the gooseberries were either forgotten or just 86ed. The bread itself I could have eaten plain.

                                                                  For entrees, my wife got the Md Rockfish with summer vegetables which she thought was great (as did I from my one bite). The summer squash was ripe and crunchy, and the fish itself was perfectly cooked. Not much else to say about that dish since it was very minimal in nature, but like everything else so far, very fresh and very well prepared.

                                                                  I got the Soft Crabs (both of our entrees were specials). I have to say they were the best soft crabs in recent memory. There was a cocktail type sauce on the side which was completely unnecessary. They were perfect just as they were. Again, a very minimal dish that was just perfectly executed and really showed off the quality and freshness of the ingredients. An ice cold slice of plum with more of that wonderful goat's cheese on the side was a perfect compliment.

                                                                  Dessert came in the form of Summer pudding. A ice cold crimson thing filled with with berries (is that where my gooseberries went?) and topped with crème fraiche. I hate super sweet desserts, but like everything else in this meal, it was fresh, refreshing, and just cold and great. A perfect end to an excellent meal. Well, along with a great Cuban coffee.

                                                                  Overall, I'd definitely go back, and I'll stick with the specials, since nothing on the main menu really caught my eye, and the specials turned out so well. I'm really happy to see a place like this in BMore. It's not without flaws, but I haven't found a place that focuses so much on local, organic, quality ingredients and executes it so well that you feel like you might be on the west coast.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: WilliamKH

                                                                    Nice detailed review - I haven't been to WK but appreciate the quality of your review so I'm eager to check it out now!

                                                                    1. re: bluepig1

                                                                      Interesting how many reviews of WK are so detailed and have a mention of Artifact reopening. When I visit, the place is loud and uncomfortably crowded with parking inconvenient, as is the valet. Comparatively, for this amount of money, time, hustle and hassle, Dogwood looks like calm locavore foodie heaven.

                                                                  2. This is a long post. We went on July 5th. This was a first visit and I hadn't read any reviews so as to keep an open mind.

                                                                    Service, with a couple of small exceptions, was perfect. We were seated upstairs. Very loud on a Saturday night. If you're seeking a romantic place for a quiet dinner and intimate conversation, this might not be the place for you.

                                                                    The two-top table was quite small and when the server delivered bread, drinks, a bottle of water, a salad and two appetizers at the same time, there simply wasn't room enough for everything.

                                                                    The salad looked very nice. I think it had nuts and blue cheese, but I've forgotten by now. The pork buns were a surprise as being a Seattle transplant, I was thinking of a hum bow and when the buns arrived was pleasantly surprised to find them to be pulled pork, served on a choux paste bun. They were good. The steamed clams (a special) however, were a disaster. Served with eight or nine in the bowl, six of them were HUGE, and clearly not a steaming clam, but meant to be fried. Chewy and rubbery and to make a bad situation worse, it was clear that the kitchen soaked them in fresh water to make them spit their sand. Cooking in fresh, unsalted water, serving with unsalted butter and the unsalted cooking "broth" rendered them completely devoid of any flavor. Shame on the vendor for providing frying-sized clams as steamers, but I'd think that the kitchen staff might have known better. That made me wonder if the kitchen knew, or if they didn't care. Either way, I'd suggest passing on the clams if the are available.

                                                                    Gretchen ordered the shortribs and I tried the strip steak. I know, who orders steak when they go out? My theory is if a restaurant can do something simple, well, then odds are they're able to execute a more complicated dish well also. Besides, the menu didn't do much to excite me.

                                                                    I'm not sure I needed the server's blessing on my entree choice, but he felt compelled to tell me that ordinarily, he'd suggest the ribeye, but tonight he felt the strip was a good choice. I suspect the $35 price tag had something to do with his enthusiasm.

                                                                    Shortribs were great, served with a polenta that had been fried and was quite greasy. Green beans (or peas, I can't recall) were fine as well. The strip steak, ordered medium rare, which to me means a warm, pink center,arrived what I'd call "black and blue", seared on the outsides and a cold, purple inside. I wasn't bothered by it, but Gretchen was a little grossed out. Good flavor, but pretty chewy. It was bone in so good news for the dog. The mashed potatoes were leaden and seemed more like mortar than a starch. The vegetable was rocket which appeared to be similar in look and taste to baby spinach leaves. They were served raw with a spritz of oil.

                                                                    We passed on dessert as this was a b-day celebration and cake was waiting at home. Cappacinno, although served as a latte, was easily the best coffee I've found in Baltimore. The "special" coffee, billed as a Kenyan blend with floral and chocolate tones, was, for $5.50, not much more than coffee-colored liquid. Gretchen liked it but I thought it VERY weak.

                                                                    I was slightly disappointed in the vegetable offerings and wished that a choice was offered to diners. This was my first time eating rocket and I guess I wouldn't ever request it if offered. No offense meant to the rocket growers.

                                                                    We'll try here again in the fall to see if the kitchen staff adds a bigger veggie selection. It wasn't outstanding, but then again, wasn't terrible. An average resturant meal, I guess. Gretchen rated our dining experience a 7, I gave it a 6, the dog gave the bone a 10. Parking was not an issue and we didn't use the valet service.

                                                                    I'd say give this place a try and form your own opinion.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: tbw

                                                                      that's unfortunate about your experience. I love Woodberry and have always found it consistently good. And I never miss dessert there, with the likes of chocolate pudding and this great french style dessert, almond macaroons with mint ice cream, perfect ending. And rocket is actually just another term for arugula, though I don't usually like it raw either; slightly wilted is preferred.

                                                                      1. re: tbw

                                                                        There are a couple of principles at work at Woodberry that diners would do well to recognize, as they can have an impact on expectations.

                                                                        In this instance, it is that the focus of the cooking is on local, sustainable ingredients. They deal with a small cadre of local farmers, many of whom are organic to boot. And they won't typically buy anything from beyond a 100 mile radius of Baltimore. This affected your dinner in a couple of ways. First, that steak was free-range and grass fed, which does make for a chewier chunk. Second, the veg offerings are REALLY sensitive to the growing season. May be the case they just couldn't get much that day.
                                                                        It doesn't excuse the mashed potatoes or the seafood problems, though.

                                                                        1. re: pleiades

                                                                          I have dinned several times here, and really enjoyed it. But for whatever reason have never dinned downstairs in the main room. I have dinned a couple of times upstairs, which provided a nice view of everything, although I thought the service was off one time up there. And of course in the separate room, which is nice b/c it is quite, and I've actually had the best service there.

                                                                          My question is, what is the experience like downstairs in the main room? I'm having a birthday there (party of 5) and thought it might be fun to dine there, but im worried about it being too loud for conversation. I'm in my 20s and dont mind noise too much, but would be worried about my folks. So any experiences in any section would be greatly appreciated.


                                                                          1. re: ingramcol

                                                                            We dined there last weekend - on 7/4- and sat outside on their patio which was simply lovely. We did not feel crowded or rushed and enjoyed our meal completely.
                                                                            We dined last Christmas in the lower level dining room and found it to be WAY to loud. Especially since we were looking for a quiet evening prior to the start of our family holiday festivities and the noise level was enough to have us feeling rattled when we left- the opposite of the experience we were looking for. Depending on when your birthday party is to take place, I would highly recommend you dine al fresco on their patio if your parents are in attendance.

                                                                            1. re: maddogg280

                                                                              thanks for input.

                                                                              I had brunch al fresco last weekend and really enjoyed it. For some reason I didnt think about that for dinner, hmmm, as long as the weather holds up I guess.

                                                                              Yeah, I was afraid the downstairs would be too loud. And conversation really is where its at for these kind of things.

                                                                              1. re: ingramcol

                                                                                Family celebration on Saturday night, July 25. Started outside, but the impromptu thunderstorm caused a major rush inside. The staff did an exceptional job to get every outdoor table reset in the side dining room, offered to refire any meal that we thought had gotten cold in the transition, and comped dessert (that may have been the multiple celebrations or the weather issue). Cocktails were unique and tasty, oysters on the half shell were a great start, soft shell crab special was outstanding, side of cheesy potatoes decadent, and the malt ice cream was to die for. All in all, it was a wonderful evening for food and service.

                                                                      2. Hubby and & I went this past wknd with another couple. I had heard so much about WK and we happily support local farmers ourselves, and I was familiar with Spike's earlier restaurants, so I was prepared to fall in love with the place. Not so.
                                                                        Lovely dining on the patio, but the food was surprisingly mediocre. The kitchen pickles and olives were delicious--very nice variety of veggies, including watermelon! and various pickling flavors. Deviled eggs were a hit. The fresh heirloom tomatoes were served in a rather lackluster presentation with little taste aside from the jalapeno oil that accompanied them. Good coarse salt and a chiffonade of basil could have brought out the flavor more. Two ordered the shortribs and found them very fatty, almost too greasy to enjoy. Hubby left most of his, and he's a big beef enthusiast, so that was disappointing.
                                                                        I ordered the European striped bass with grilled eggplant. Expecting a filet, I was very surprised to be served a whole fish, slit and grilled. Looked lovely. But because we were dining by the light of a small candle, it was very difficult to see the fish, and it had not been boned, so I had to hunt and peck my way through it. In addition, sadly, the fish was not fresh, it was extremely fishy and the smell lingered on my hands and at the table for quite a while. (Yes, I know that striped bass/rockfish is a strong, gamey fish. But this fish was just "off". ) The eggplant were very plain and looked just...dry, brown, and wrinkled, and had little flavor; not as sweet as they can be when grilled correctly. The 4th of our party ordered the seared tuna, which he declared delicious, and cooked exactly as he requested.
                                                                        The service was strange. Our waitress had NO sense of humor (it was not terribly busy when we arrived, so she didn't appear overworked), so that put a little damper on the evening, and she was not terribly attentive. Much needless ado over the coffee service, with 4 different orders placed in front of the wrong orderer. The French-press coffee was indeed spectacular, but my espresso was highly bitter and hubby's capuccino was lukewarm by the time it arrived. We finally settled in to dessert. The flourless chocolate cake was "so-so," according to the two chocoholics in our group. My double-crusted blueberry pie was lovely and the crust was perfect, yet I was surprised to find myself thinking "is this canned blueberry pie filling in here?"
                                                                        All in all, we were just....kinda...disappointed---the experience left us with an "eh?" feeling, so we won't rush to go back. We might try again in the fall, and see how they do with autumn fare.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: mededitor

                                                                          Wow-- this sounds awful. A one time event, or is Woodberry Kitchen slipping? hope you sent the fish back

                                                                        2. always thought this restaurant was over hyped. the food is mediocre at best. It is a place to see and be seen

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: pamd

                                                                              "new" restaurant that opened in 2007.

                                                                              Nonetheless, Ive been many times since it opened -- I definitely think the apps and small plates are better than entrees -- two small plates, a cocktail, dessert and coffee is a good way to go.

                                                                              As someone said way back in 2007, the only bad part about WK I find, are the other customers.

                                                                              1. re: Turkeybone

                                                                                I'm surprised by the comments about WK's customers. Maybe it's the hour you go. I always sit down by 6 and the crowd is fairly old (like me), often academic (like me), and fairly knowlegeable about food from what I overhear. bar scene is a bit more hip at that hour, but not much so. At 7.30 the place begins to fill up and get very noisy. Perhaps that's when the hip people show up.

                                                                                1. re: tartuffe

                                                                                  Let's talk turkey: this place is dining theater. Yes, the food can be good, but it's a small piece of the whole. The overarching reality there may appeal to some, but deter others.

                                                                                  1. re: chowsearch

                                                                                    I tend to pay more attention to the food than the crowd when I go to a restaurant. I've been to Woodberry about a dozen time and rarely had anything less than excellent food and service. I always take out of town guests there and they all rave about the food. Now they all expect to go every time they come. There is one particular server who just doesn't have a personality, but the rest seem to be really passionate about the restaurant and its goal of local sourcing. One thing that amazes me is how much of the staff has been there since they opened. As far as the crowd goes, I have found fellow diners to be as friendly and welcoming as the restaurant and staff. On several occasions we have ended up having conversations with adjacent tables and in a couple of case shared food with other tables. Maybe its just that I go there with a different attitude than others.

                                                                                    1. re: otter69

                                                                                      Yeah that "grizzly Jim" lookin dude has been workin the hot line since the beginning and seems to be there every night I go!

                                                                          1. I had my graduation meal here, it was fantastic! They served me a wonderful dessert on the house and took a photo of my entire party and printed it out for me. My sister had the shrimp with noodles and still talks about it 2 months later. I had the pork buns which were just wonderful. The setting was fantastic, maybe a little tight, but just beautiful. This was one of the best dining experiences I had during my 4 years in Baltimore.

                                                                            1. Courtney and I finally tried this place out last night. It seems to get some mixed reviews, but for us it was very good, even if we did overeat.

                                                                              When we got there 15 minutes before our reservation there was a mob in the foyer. I told Courtney that it didn't look like we'd get seated by our 9 pm reservation. I got her a martini and myself a sazerac from the bar and we prepared to stand around for a while. However, right at 9 we were led to a table upstairs before we even had a chance to really start on our drinks.

                                                                              For starters we ordered pickles and olives, deviled eggs and the charcuterie plate (called the hunter's plate or something like that). The deviled eggs were particularly good -- I thought I detected a hint of anchovy in them. The best parts of the charcuterie were an outstanding crispy pork belly and a chicken galantine.

                                                                              There were a lot of entree choices that looked appealing and some that might have shown off the kitchen more, but my eye kept coming back to a Springfield Farm ribeye. I'm a huge fan of their beef (I swear it has crack in it or something) so I went for that. Perfectly cooked medium rare, it was every bit as good as I hoped. It came with a delicious potato gratin. Courtney had the sucking pig -- a big chunk of pork served with crispy skin on top with tortellini. These aren't precious portions -- it was an enormous amount of food.

                                                                              For dessert we shared an apple pie -- a doughnut sized and shaped portion with ice cream.

                                                                              This was an excellent meal and an excellent value for the price. Woodberry Kitchen may have its detractors, but I'm not one of them. Service was polished, attentive and professional, and the food was very well prepared even though every table was filled through our entire stay.

                                                                              We look forward to returning to explore more of the menu.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: JonParker

                                                                                I wish this place was closer to DC/bethesda. I love the menu-it sounds great!

                                                                                1. re: JonParker

                                                                                  So glad you two had a great meal on your IIovecourtneytodeathaversary!!!!

                                                                                  1. re: JonParker

                                                                                    I need to get back to this place, great review Jon!

                                                                                  2. Going to WK tonight, anyone been recently who can recommend a few specific dishes? Thanks!

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: nyc dude

                                                                                      I went earlier this week. The pork buns, sizzling shrimp, and sweet potato pie were the favorite dishes of the table. Enjoy!

                                                                                      1. re: laurita

                                                                                        I really enjoyed a flatbread topped with their housemade sauerkraut. Also, roasted oysters with pork belly & daikon. Probably the best oyster dish I've had there.