A 5-inch Recommendation: 13.5

You could call it a hipster haven, but then you disregard the actual quality of the place. 13.5 is on the Avenue in Hampden and it’s fabulous! Not the boring Baltimore fare and flare Cafe Hon serves up, but a refreshing East Coast meets Provence texture of small plates, perfected selection of wine and well imagined martini and cocktail menu.

A very swank and hip mid century feel with exposed brick, the restaurant is at once cool and laid back; you will eye up the other patrons who were able to snag the tables with the deep comfy leather chairs or the love seat in the back. Though the austere straight back leather chairs are not uncomfortable. I do lament the bar stools are stools with low backs, very low backs, more like lips, rather than a full back. You never really get to lounge in that sort of bar stool. But, it does offer for better socializing with those around you; and 13.5 is the sort of place that encourages you to socialize with your neighbor. It is a great place to make a complete stranger your next pal.

Certainly go for a cheese selection for your first visit. The wait staff is well trained in the cheeses served, which change on a daily basis; and they pair well with the charcuterie. The margarita pizza is to die for. It’s almost dessert, and you find yourself ordering a second at the first bite! They generally prepare duck exceptionally, but if it’s towards closing, skip it. The menu changes often, so if there is something adventurous on there, go for it. The chef likes to have fun, and is successful with his concoctions. After a day of strolling the Avenue, 13.5 is the perfect place to relax for a moment, before perusing the other side of the street!

From Zagat

From Zagat

http://13.5winebar.com/

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