Open late Fri.-Sat.
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The Nickel Taphouse Restaurant Review: Most Baltimoreans know little about the cuisine of Buffalo, New York, except, of course, those famous spicy chicken wings. Robbin Haas aims to change this with The Nickel Taphouse, a tribute to his hometown’s working-class taverns. And Baltimore is learning fast; thanks to the popularity of his pizza-and-beer-centric Birroteca, the Taphouse arrived with a built-in fan base. The space, in Mt. Washington Village, is cool, if not exactly proletarian, with chocolate-hued walls hung with local art, banquettes, and interesting decorative use made of barrels and bull horns. Among the menu specialties are roasted oysters, mussels, burgers in both “nickel” and “dime” sizes, and such locally sourced American entrées as slow-roasted half chicken with caraway carrots, Rettland Farm pork chops, and wild catfish filet with savory hot slaw. Buffalo-isms include smoked whitefish spread and “beef on weck,” a rare roast beef sandwich featuring a caraway-studded kimmelweck roll. (No wings, though.) As at Birroteca, the beer list emphasizes local craft brews. This place gets packed, so definitely get a reservation, and don’t plan to linger, however much you’d like to.