Hot Spots: Woodberry Watering Hole

I think we’re all familiar with La Cuchara, the cavernous Spanish/Mediterranean-themed restaurant helmed by Chef Ben Lefenfeld.

Opened in 2015, it’s been a stunning success and a great addition to the neighborhood.

There’s so much to love—the expansive cheeseboard and charcuterie selections…

…the dramatic open kitchen with its open-flame spit…

…the large, comfortable bar area—even basic things like a free parking lot and outdoor seating in nice weather. I’ve come to appreciate it not only for the dependably excellent food and service, but for the bar program.

Helmed by a fleet of personable, knowledgeable bartenders, the bar here offers solid takes on age-old classic cocktails and creative spins on new ones, as well as a respectable beer list and a lengthy, interesting wine list. And the generous size of the bar area here really allows you to spread out and socialize with friends.

If, like me, you’re a fan of the ‘browns,” (bourbon, rye, and Scotch), La Cuchara offers one of the area’s larger selections of elixers. Whether you’re in a mood to sip and savor one neat, or have one mixed up in a perfect sazerac or Manhattan, you can’t go wrong here.

On my most recent visit, I shifted away from my cold-weather go-to, a Manhattan, into my summer season go-to, a vodka martini. Shaken icy-cold with Tito’s American craft vodka and a touch of dry vermouth, and garnished with three plump, briney olives, for me, it’s summertime in a glass.

{La Cuchara, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Hampden-Woodberry}

About Brian Michael Lawrence

Brian Michael Lawrence is one of THE Baltimore style experts. After all, he was the longtime editor-in-chief at STYLE Magazine, which specialized in covering everything stylish around the Baltimore area. Brian also served as editorial director for the digital division at Sinclair Broadcasting, and creative director at Blue Sky Design. Currently, he oversees communications & marketing for the department of Tourism, Film & the Arts at Maryland’s Commerce Department.  In his bi-weekly column, you’ll get to see what cool hotspots are piquing the interest of this Baltimore style maven and why - whether it's the fabulous food, cool cocktails or elegant environs.

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