Shiso Tavern

by Liz Rapoport on Aug 27, 2012 in Culture for Shiso Tavern
Shiso Tavern

With the introduction of Shiso Tavern to Baltimore, a void has been filled on Canton Square: the availability of sushi and sake. In the location that was home to Cosmopolitan and the short-lived Te Amo, this new restaurant and bar from the proprietors of Blue Hill Tavern and Tavern on the Square hits all the right notes with its infused drinks and high quality food.

Infusion is the name of the game at Shiso. The beverage program was created by Dana Morris, who experimented extensively with vodka, rum and sake. The featured Sake Sampler presents her favorite four shots of fruit- or candy-infused sake, displayed beautifully along with pieces of each candy or fruit. The Candy Sampler featuresrice wine with Swedish Fish, Lemon Heads, bubble gum, and our favorite, Red Hots, which have just enough fire to be enjoyable as a cocktail. Fruit-infused sakes include peach, pineapple, strawberry lemongrass and rambutan.

In the case that sake isn't your favorite, you can't go wrong with any of the specialty cocktails on the list. The Green Tea Palmer (green tea infused vodka, lemonade, honey; $8) is a classy, crisp, not-too-sweet option, and the Praying Mantis (gin, strawberry, basil lemonade, club soda; $8) tips the scale to the other side with a deliciously sweet, summery taste.

Shiso also has quickly risen to the top of our list for quality happy hour specials. From 4–6 PM, Tuesday–Sunday, all specialty cocktails and glasses of wine are $5, select beers are $3 and carafes of sake go for $2. To munch on, enjoy wok dishes for $9 each. The cocktails are large and the food is top-quality, so these deals are worth trying and returning to.

Managing partner Tim Ernst has joined forces with three others, all of whom also have ownership in Blue Hill Tavern and Tavern on the Square. The experience of the team combines with an well-credentialed pair of executive chefs — Daniel Binghak, formerly of Morimoto in New York City and Brendan Thorp, a Blue Hill Tavern veteran — and experienced bartender Dana Morris to create a force to be reckoned with on the Square.

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