Baltimore’s newest neighborhood has recently welcomed Baltimore’s newest restaurant – Rye Street Tavern in Port Covington opened on September 12, 2017.  The New American restaurant is next to Sagamore Spirit distillery and boasts views of the Port Covington waterfront.  My first experience with Rye Street Tavern was during my visit to Sagamore Spirit’s “Whiskey On The Water” event.  The restaurant wasn’t open to the public yet, but they prepared and served a few entrees from their menu.  My recent visit was to dine and explore what the newly opened restaurant had to offer.

I visited on a Saturday evening around 6:00 pm. Some visitors were already enjoying their meal with a view in the outdoor seating area.  My friend and I decided to eat inside and we were escorted to seating near the kitchen area.  It’s always a plus when I get seated outside of the kitchen because I like to see and smell all the deliciousness coming out. The restaurant features an open-kitchen concept, though there is glass separating visitors from the kitchen, if you’re seated close by you can still see what’s going on.

These were our seats. Pretty cool, huh?!


We were greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable waitress who brought us some complimentary jalapeno cornbread and answered questions we had about the dinner and cocktail menus.  I was torn between two drinks and she convinced me to try the “Sagamore Swizzle”… great choice! My drink was a cross between a Mint Julep and a Dark and Stormy but with Chocolate Bitters and they were not skimpy on the Rye.  Once we finished our cornbread the waitress come to our table and cleared the plates and excess crumbs from the cornbread and gave us fresh plates and silverware.

My friend and I were curious about the Fried Popcorn Softshell Clams because we’d never had fried clams before, so of course that’s what we ordered for our appetizer. Soft texture and flavorful, they were amazing.  As soon as the plate hit our table we could smell the jalapeno and peppers on the plate, that’s how you know they have the freshest ingredients.   For the main courses I ordered the Wood-Grilled Maryland Rockfish, Shrimp and Grits with smoked tomato and my friend ordered Cornmeal-Crusted Wild Blue Catfish and Gumbo with Carolina Gold Rice.  The shrimp succulent, the grits were creamy and the rockfish was cooked to tender perfection with a crispy skin. I also liked the contrasting flavor of the smoked tomatoes.  The gumbo was seasoned well and the entrée included two healthy pieces of catfish. Everything about our meal was perfect, I have no complaints.

We decided to split a dessert. The waitress told us about the dessert special made with a rare fruit named “PawPaw” she explained that it’s a cross between a banana, mango, citrus fruit and it’s only in season for about 6-8 weeks. We decided to order it.  They prepared it as an ice cream and drizzled caramel sauce and pecans…delicious!

After our meal, we walked upstairs to see the rest of the restaurant… actually the restrooms were upstairs and that gave us the opportunity to explore.

Stairs to the upstairs dining area
One of the empty dining rooms upstairs
That’s me blending in with the décor…same colors, not planned.

Have you visited Rye Street Tavern? Or Sagamore Spirit Distillery?  Tell me about your experience.

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