The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2016 Fall Dining Guide.

Chef Spike Gjerde is a purist who pledges allegiance to a region and can’t seem to serve an inferior dish. (Sarah L. Voisin/Post)

Woodberry Kitchen


Spike Gjerde is to Baltimore what Alice Waters is to California: a purist who pledges allegiance to a region and can’t seem to serve an inferior dish. Smoked fluke dip served with spelt crackers, a chopped salad rethought with scrapple croutons, egg noodles draped with slow-cooked lamb and pretty-as-a-peach peach pie all taste like blue-ribbon winners. Is it my imagination, or does the entire wait staff shop at the same cool thrift shop? A fetching barn of a restaurant, Woodberry Kitchen sweats the small stuff. A query about local wines has me falling for a syrah from Maryland. And a visit to the restroom finds the walls papered in old Gourmet features celebrating the Mid-Atlantic.

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3 stars

Woodberry Kitchen: 2010 Clipper Park Rd., Baltimore. 410-464-8000. .

Prices: Entrees $18-$48.

Sound check: 82 decibels / Extremely loud.


The following review appeared in The Washington Post’s 2015 Fall Dining Guide.

Skirt steak and sunchokes at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Woodberry Kitchen

The man at the bar is flummoxed. “No twist for my cocktail?” he asks. “Citrus isn’t local,” a server replies. “We’re keeping money in Maryland.” You have to hand it to Spike Gjerde. The guy maintains standards, not to mention a menu the size of a poster with enough area suppliers to rival a Broadway playbill. The choices revel in the local, and anything from the water is a strong suit. Crab cakes and barbecue-seasoned swordfish “out of the oven” acknowledge the wood fire in the big open kitchen. Expect flatbreads with goat sausage and ricotta, and twists, like scrapple croutons in a chicory salad or a rye crust for a blue crab tart, that put this restaurant in a class of one. Dessert tends to be familiar and fabulous. Say hello to buttermilk pie and butterscotch pudding. Every seat in the one-time factory gives you something to see, although the prime tables ring the balcony, affording a bird’s-eye view of Baltimore’s best.