The third time's the charm.
A little ways up Foster Avenue in the Canton/Highlandtown area, there used to be a bar called Crossroads, which was, to put it bluntly, absolutely terrible. There are cigarette laws now that prevent people from smoking in bars, but I'm pretty sure Crossroads just said, "The hell with it," and kept on operating as if it were 1965. But last year, Crossroads mercifully closed, and after months of remodeling, Adam's Eve took over.
Talk about a complete 180. The place went from the mother of all dives to an upscale gastropub in just a few months. But even though Adam's Eve had its moments, it was a bit uneven across the board. It didn't even last the year before a new ownership group assumed control, renaming the bar/restaurant The Chasseur, after an old Baltimore clipper that was dubbed the pride of Baltimore in 1815.
Now, this bar may or may not be the pride of Canton, but it's certainly off to a great, albeit quiet, start. The bartenders and servers are all experienced, local faces who know the area well. They're the type of first-name-basis, down-to-earth folks you can make friends with quickly.
A little story: After cashing out following a few heavy libations, I left the bar with my cell phone still on the bar top. I made it about half a block down the road before the bartender ran out with my phone and said, "Bro, I could have totally messed with your girl," before winking and handing the cell over.
Yeah, great service. But better yet, the staff knows the menu well, and mixes up some killer libations (try Mike's St. Germaine cocktail).
The menu, meanwhile, is focused and smart. Instead of overwhelming the clientele with a bunch of mediocre options, The Chasseur sticks to the basics -- burgers, sandwiches, salads -- and does them well. For example, you don't just get a side of fries. You get hand-cut, well-seasoned potatoes sliced perfectly, served in a small metal crate. You don't just order tater tots. You get duck fat-fried tots with aoli ranch dipping sauce on the side. The main entrees, meanwhile, are just as well prepared. The salmon is right up there with what most high-end restaurants serve, and the crab cakes are loaded with jumbo lump.
Another major plus is the beer selection. It's obvious that The Chasseur owners did their homework, because they feature all the nearby breweries -- Full Tilt, Flying Dog, Union, etc. -- on tap. Plus they offer terrific happy hour specials from 4-7 p.m., so it's worth it to stop by and have a couple Dogfish drafts after work. Not to mention there's a full cocktail list, and there are a few solid wines available as well.
Now, here's maybe the best part about The Chasseur: There are TVs all over the place. The bar is divided into a relatively quiet, attractive dining area and a rather expansive bar section, complete with a huge horseshoe bar that can comfortably fit upward of 30 people. In said bar area are high-definition televisions on every wall, all spewing out ESPN, Fox Sports, MASN, NBC Sports and the like. That means even if you're not hungry, you can have a great time hanging out with friends while grabbing a few beers and watching the game. And that's really what this dining blog is supposed to be about -- beers and sports.
With that said, take it from The Food Fan: The Chasseur is worth a long, hard look.
|The Box Score|
|Burgers & Booze or Wine & Cheese?||Burgers & Booze||* * *|
|Rowdy or Relaxed (atmosphere)?||Relaxed
||* * *|
|Conversational or Cold (service)?||Conversational||* * * 1/2|
|Pregame, Postgame or In-game?||In-game