There’s no place I’d rather set my GPS to in Baltimore than this big barn of a two-story restaurant in Clipper Mill. Legions of chefs have jumped aboard the farm-to-table bandwagon in recent years, but few offer as complete a package as Spike Gjerde. His billboard of a menu pays tribute to farmers and Charm City’s immigrant communities while hitting diners’ sweet spots.
My CliffsNotes version of a recent repast begins with a sausage and kale flatbread from the wood-burning hearth, continues with homey chicken and (amazingly light) dumplings and concludes with an ice cream sundae made wonderful with toasted marshmallow. Crab on toast? Check. Pork chop over grits? They’d be a shame to miss. Woodberry Kitchen’s elevated home cooking only gets better with a cocktail from one of the best bars in the state or wine from a list that embraces the world. All this, in a foundry-turned-farmhouse fashioned from brick, stacks of wood, abundant light, antiques — and servers who could model if they ditched their night job. The interior gets noisy. Joyous diners will do that to a restaurant.