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Minnow - local seafood in South Baltimore

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Minnow is probably closer to Coastal Flats than fine dining, not that there's anything wrong with that. Pros are free valet parking (a necessity in this neighborhood), a bustling environment, and helpful staff. Food is fairly priced and mostly executed well. Cocktails are strong, including an Old Fashioned that comes inside a smoking chamber. A few dishes stand out, like crispy tofu with great flavor, texture, and heat, or pickled mackerel with creme fraiche on a slice of pumpernickel bread (a steal at $5). Others are forgettable, like crispy oysters 3-all-too-similar-ways, or beet carpaccio that failed to excite in appearance or taste. Entrees felt like they were trying to make sure each protein had enough veggies for a balanced diet, rather than using them to enhance the dish. For example, a solid lobster quiche (slightly lacking in lobster flavor) was paired safely with some salad greens, and an oversalted but otherwise well-cooked merluza filet with an excellent black garlic & turnip puree was coupled with overly acidic broccoli that subtracted from the dish if anything. A burger with squid ink bun was just that, although we just wanted a burger and were satisfied.

If I sound pessimistic, it's because I too had heard lots of good things about Minnow and was hoping it would be a neighborhood gem. Minnow is a place I'd be happy to take family and friends for a nice meal, but not necessarily to showcase Baltimore's culinary talent.

Some pics here (ooh, fancy new embed feature): 


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