French

Photo courtesy of Tamar Aleia Fleishman
Photo courtesy of McCormick & Schmick's
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

At 10Best, we're always on the lookout for Baltimore's best restaurants, and while we appreciate places that have a broad culinary range, we can't help but adore restaurants that specialize in a given cuisine. When we're in the mood for French food in Baltimore, we head to Tio Pepe - a reader favorite - or we count on The Prime Rib's solid track record and consistently great dishes. You'll find these places - and any of the restaurants on our list - to be fantastic options for French cuisine, and if you're looking to concentrate your efforts, start with the vibrant Downtown area.

5. The Prime Rib
Photo courtesy of Tamar Aleia Fleishman

This retro-hip steakhouse has a swingin' kind of atmosphere that makes you think you might spot Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack hanging out at a back table. A recent Baltimore poll named the sophisticated spot the most popular restaurant in the city, and it's easy to see why. Dark woods, animal prints, and dim lighting lend a stylishly romantic vibe; plus, martinis are well-mixed and steaks are superb. Try filet mignon, melt-in-your-mouth prime rib, and bourbon bread pudding as a grand finale. Enjoy jazzy live music played on the shiny white piano.

4. Tio Pepe

Spanish candlelit dining at its very best. Enjoy "Paella a' la Valenciana" (known in English as chicken, sausage, shrimp, clams, mussels, and saffron rice). The potato puffs are great too. This is a cellar-level dining room, but don't let that fool you. Smoking areas available. Jackets requested for gentlemen. Take out is available. Reservations requested on weekends. Best Sangria in Baltimore!

3. McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant
Photo courtesy of McCormick & Schmick's

McCormick & Schmick's has been serving hungry seafood lovers at Pier 5 near the Inner Harbor since 1998. When the weather is warm, patrons have access to outdoor dining on a first come, first serve basis. The menu changes regularly and the “Fresh List”, which highlights fresh catches, changes daily. For the budget conscious, lunch is a viable option with 10 entree offerings for $10 each. The seafood selection is fresh and extensive with over 30 selections of fish ranging from Virginia Chincoteague oysters to Tocumen, Panama yellowfin tuna.

2. Louisiana

Classy dining room provides the perfect atmosphere for a decadent Southern Creole dinner.

1. Petit Louis Bistro
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman

Housed in a charming Tudor style building in Roland Park, this delightful bistro impresses even the most persnickety clientele. The talented kitchen staff produces delicacies such as roasted steak in mushroom Madeira and coquilles St. Jacques (sea scallops) with roasted tomatoes and spinach. The well-considered selection of French wine complements the fare. Three-course prix fixe lunch $20-26.