Open late Fri.-Sat.
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The Food Market Restaurant Review: Hampden, long the funkiest blue-collar burg in all of Baltimore, has flexed its high-fashion muscles. While workingman’s taverns and mom-and-pop luncheonettes can still be found, the latest arrivals often look fresh from SoHo. Newcomers that work best, though, combine big-city edge with the friendly, often eccentric, character for which Hampden is known. So it was with The Food Market. Located in a former grocery store, this restaurant, masterminded by City Café’s Chad Gauss, serves stylish renditions of pubby comfort food --- truffle Parmesan fries says it all. For the most part, portions are smallish, but the flavors are huge; steak frites or bread-and-butter-crusted sea bass are among standout entrées. Make a special evening with friends and buy into the private chef’s kitchen in the basement for a prix-fixe or tasting menu limited to 12 guests. Industrial-chic design, with whitewashed brick walls, aluminum chairs and an open kitchen, looks great, but has an unfortunate side effect: the din. Until this is fixed, be prepared to shout.