That Baltimore Harbor East is really making my heart flutter with all the new restaurant additions they’ve introduced within the last two years.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the neighborhood hidden gem known as Ten Ten American Bistro (1010 Fleet Street, Baltimore, MD). The restaurant is located in the Historic Bagby Furniture Building on Fleet St. adjacent to the Whole Foods Market. I call it a “Hidden Gem” because it’s literally hidden – pull up to the valet, get out of your car, hang a quick right, walk between Fleet Street Kitchen and Bagby’s Pizza Co., through a pedestrian
alley courtyard, and there you will find the restaurant… hidden. I’m not complaining because valet was free and a minor detour sure beats circling the block three times and walking five minutes to the restaurant with the wind beating my face.
The restaurant decor is like most in that area with hardwood floors, exposed brick, and leather seating. The restaurant seats about 75 people comfortably and maybe six more at the bar area. The floor plan is split level with a sheer veil-like partition and three steps separating the main level and upper level.
The upper level features a corner wall with built-in wine storage, more seating, and a large corner booth that my eight friends and I had the pleasure of filling. Bagby’s does branding well with signature wine glasses on the table etched with the “TenTen” logo. The entrée menu features the traditional American restaurant fare with flair, items such as crab cakes, fish, chicken, shrimp & grits, pork ribs, and steak. These items are paired with non-traditional ingredients such as duck cracklings, sunchoke puree and quail egg. I will say, even though the items are traditional, the taste is exceptional. I decided on the barbecue pork ribs served with cornbread and greens. The ribs were slow-cooked and tender, a nice compliment to the sweet and sticky barbecue sauce.
But as always, I had food envy when three of my friends ordered the chicken breast topped with a fried quail egg with a side of sweet potatoes. Eggs are the one thing I know how to cook and when I make them at home I always opt for sunny-side up. One bite of that seasoned chicken with egg and I wanted more. I was slightly disappointed when all my friends removed the egg from the chicken and ate their chicken without it – where’s the fun in that? The entrées are reasonably priced between $18.00 and $25.00.
No desert for us because we were still celebrating a birthday and brought our own cake to enjoy with our meal. After the birthday song concluded and the cake was cut, the manager came over to our table and advised us that the restaurant normally charges a fee to customers to customers for bringing their own cake, but I guess we were having such a good time he didn’t charge us.
The Bagby Restaurant Group also includes the aforementioned Fleet Street Kitchen and Bagby Pizza Co. I look forward to visiting both in the near future.