Chef Cindy Wolf opened Charleston’s award-winning dining space in 1997 in the Harbor East neighborhood and was subsequently nominated for multiple James Beard Awards. This establishment focuses on seasonal dishes in an elegant setting, says Gayot. Fine dining isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth grabbing a drink if sitting in a dining room isn’t your goal. Head to the bar for cocktails and harbor views with your date, says Forbes Travel Guide. The luxury travel guide recommends ordering one of the signature cocktails if sounding “the fanciest, tastiest, most decadent version of Tang you could imagine” sounds like your idea of a good time.
Honorable mention for Nihao Baltimore, a contemporary Chinese restaurant, in the Canton district, for its Baiju spirit program. Baiju is “the best-selling spirit in the world,” making it a great cocktail for the uninitiated, says VinePair. The restaurant is run by Lydia Chang, daughter of eminent chef and restaurateur Peter Chang, and offers bar seating for anyone looking to impress a date with their knowledge of spirits.
Baltimore also offers a low-key Serenity Wine Cafe, where you can act as your own bartender at the self-service wine bar. Baltimore Magazine calls the wine coffee ideal for trying different varieties in one-, three-, and six-ounce pours.