About a week ago, my husband and I decided to make a quick overnight trip to our favorite city in the world, Baltimore, MD, for a weekend getaway. Friday morning, I found myself in the mood to get gussied up, and venture out for a nice dinner, so we did just that.
We arrived at our hotel, and were left with the impossible process of elimination task to decide exactly what type of food faire we would be indulging in that evening. And what do we do as a society when we have no idea where to go, what to eat, or where to get it? We bring out our phones, and utilize the magnificent invention that is called: “Google Search”. -I’m a millennial, it’s what we do. I’m fairly certain that the exact search we used was: “Fancy-Restaurants-Near-Me”.
As I stood in the bathroom, powdering my nose, putting on my (very) high heels, and slipping into a dress that you can only get into if you fully coat yourself in Vaseline and an entire roll of Saran Wrap, my husband began reading out the descriptions of the restaurants that fit said search criteria above. “Japanese?”….no, I don’t feel like raw fish tonight (and if we are getting drinks after dinner, that could end up falling under the category of “Poor Life Choices”). “Irish Pub Faire?”….Are you serious?! It’s 95 degrees outside! No one wants Fish and Chips! “Traditional Modern American Seafood?”….YES! We have a winner! (Because when you are in Baltimore, MD, YOU. EAT. SEAFOOD!)
After deciding on our newly discovered “delicious destination”- Wit & Wisdom, we jetted out of our beautiful overnight accommodations at Homewood Suites Hotel by Hilton Baltimore and began the two block walk to the restaurant. Now, lets be honest ladies, when you are rocking 5 inch stilettos, and you have to walk for your food, you have about a 5 block radius before you have to rip off your heels and hoof it flatfoot the rest of the way. My husband knows this, but still sees fit to remind me each and every time I put them on- “if you would only wear practical shoes….” (an irritated and evil glare in his general direction typically ends that sentence for him).
When we arrived to the restaurant, we ended up entering through the back outdoor patio area, due to the lack of informative signage at the front of the 4 Seasons Hotel, stating where the main entrance to the restaurant was. We were pointed in the general direction of the hostess stand, and were apprised of the 30 minute wait we had until our table would be ready. (*side note: we arrived around 6:05 PM on a Friday, so if you would like to eat at this restaurant CALL AHEAD, because they do get busy). No problem though. We filled our time by taking a seat at the bar and ordering a round of adult beverages. NOW! Let’s just take a moment and talk about the bar.
The bar area is STUNNING! It is something right out of a “modern day” episode of Mad Men. The bar area is in the shape of an oval, that takes up most of the immediate space in the center, front section of the restaurant. It is a stand alone bar, that has a dropped ceiling above it where a few Tv’s are mounted and they stash the extra liquors. It is painted with warm tones, that becomes absolutely breathe taking as the sun begins to set over the harbor. With an atmosphere like this, I couldn’t help but order a Dirty Grey Goose Martini. (*Shaken not stirred*)
At this point I feel like it is only fair that I give a shout out to the bartender, who, when she saw I had my phone out and was snapping pictures of my drink and the bar, grabbed a branded Wit & Wisdom coaster, repositioned the olives that had sunk to the bottom of my glass and were looking slightly sad, and full on staged a photo shoot for me. (They care about their customer service here). I also feel that is necessary to say that since I have begun posting photos from our travels and food discoveries on my personal Instagram (@kelsey_stephens1989), while out with my husband, he has been trained to know the photography procedure that has one solitary rule: DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING (FOOD OR DRINK RELATED) UNTIL IT HAS BEEN FULLY DOCUMENTED TO MY SATISFACTION! At this point while the bartender is working away on staging this beautiful photo (above), I am looking over at my husband who was quick to wipe the amused smirk off his face when I said, “see, it’s not just me!”
Directly behind us, to the left of the bar, was a nice lounge area, where you could sit on comfortable couches and high back chairs, if your thing is not high bar stools that position you directly across from a perfect stranger that you have to awkwardly avoid eye contact with for the duration of your evening.
When our table was ready, we were notified by the hostess, who then escorted us to our seats.
We were seated in area by the open kitchen, where patrons could watch certain menu items being prepared by some of the chefs. Also to my right, was a large fire place and some more of the gorgeous high back lounge chairs that had been present previously in the bar lounge. At the center of each table was a single Tea Light Candle that danced and flickered it’s light off of the beautiful glasses and silverware that were laid out perfectly, on the tables.
Overhead, large, contemporary glass lights, lit the room up as the sun began to set. As that happened, we began to notice that the shades on the large floor to ceiling windows, began to automatically retract so that you could get a perfect view of the sunset taking place over the entire harbor.
It proved to be just the restaurant we were looking for: “Fancy-Restaurants-Near-Me”.
*The next post will talk about the amazing food and drinks they had. Stay tuned!*
I love downtown Lancaster, PA, and I love craft beer. Until a little over a week ago, I had no clue that one of my absolute favorite craft beer companies, had their brew house in downtown Lancaster…. *MIND BLOWN* (insert head exploding emoji here).
Springhouse Taproom is located at 25 W. King Street in the gorgeous restaurant/arts district of downtown Lancaster, PA. Now, for those of you who are not familiar with Lancaster County, at all, King street is the main drag for the City. It is the equivalent of Broad Street in Philadelphia, and 5th Ave in New York. AKA- it’s the main vein for the city.
When you first enter, you notice the large windows that make up 2 of the 4 walls of the taproom. They are massive (almost floor to ceiling). On a perfect sunny, summer day, right outside of the front windows, you can find out door seating where you can grab a drink and watch the every day King street flow.
The taproom itself, has a very rustic, but with an artistically edgy appearance, and hand painted murals that match their beer labels, running along the entire top section of the interior walls. **Lets just say that one of the things that drew me to this company was their attention to detail and their seriously awesome bottle label designs.** The labels themselves have a very silkscreen appearance, and is an esthetic I am extremely drawn to, as a printmaker, myself. (See The She-Monster Poster above)
The main focal point inside the taproom is the large, bar that fills most of the space (shown above). Multiple Tv’s line the walls, that during my visit, were broadcasting the World Cup: France vs. Croatia.
It’s a a gorgeous taproom. If you are planning to visit Lancaster, PA, and you are a craft beer fan, you need to make this one of your stops. Try the “Big Gruesome”. IT’S AMAZING! The bar tenders are friendly, the beer is out of this world, and the atmosphere is that of “a small city that’s bursting with a strong sense of community and a burgeoning beer scene”. – credit to Springhouse website