I drove down to Baltimore yesterday to catch up with some friends and attend a Michael Pollan lecture at Goucher College. I’m still mulling over the lecture and deciding what I want to tell you about it, but until then, I thought I’d let you know about the restaurant where my friend Susan and I ate lunch.

The Black Olive is a seafood focused Greek restaurant in a renovated row home in historic Fell’s Point in Baltimore. The restaurant has an impressive wine list and has been named one of America’s 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences by Food & Wine. It’s obvious that wine is important at The Black Olive when you look at the shelves of well-worn wine books that are by the bar.

The Black Olive also sources sustainable, organic and local foods, and this was my draw to the restaurant. We only had a small sampling from the wine and lunch menu, but if what we had is indicative of the rest of the restaurant’s offerings, I’ll be returning to the establishment the next time I’m in Baltimore.

We both ordered a glass of wine from the “by the glass” offerings. There were one or two organic wines offered. Several wines also had a ladybug next to them on the menu. The ladybug indicated that the wines came from sustainable wineries, and we picked ladybug wines. I chose a 2008 Yalumba ‘Y Series’ Pinot Grigio from Eden Valley in Australia ($7). It was nice light, slightly fruity but not too sweet Pinot Grigio that I enjoyed immensely. Susan chose a 2008 Domaine Sigalas Asirtiko/Athiri – a Greek white that was terrifically earthy and citrusy. It’s a wine I’ll be hunting down to drink again.

Susan had an orzo pasta ($14) topped with feta cheese and two sauced large, meaty shrimp. The orzo was fluffy and the feta was a nice complement. She mentioned that her shrimp was cooked perfectly and that she really appreciated that it was cleaned and ready to eat. I took a bite of the orzo and feta, and it was very tasty.


I chose the Greek Village Pie ($14) - spinach, red Swiss chard, leeks, and sheep’s milk cheeses in a homemade filo – kind of a Greek take on quiche. It was accompanied by a side of cold cous cous. The Greek Pie was delicious blend of the vegetables and cheeses. The cous cous was surprisingly a bit sweet, but very good. I enjoyed every bite.

Nearby, the owners are working on The Inn At The Black Olive that will have 12 eco-friendly guest suites, a market selling sustainable fresh fruits, vegetables, wine, seafood and prepared foods, a bakery, and a rooftop café and wine bar. Sounds like a place I’d love to stay. They are seeking LEED certification for the building.

If you’re near Baltimore or planning a visit there anytime soon, I’d recommend trying The Black Olive. The restaurant is located at 814 S. Bond Street and is open for lunch and dinner daily.  

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