Charleston (Baltimore, Md.; tel. 410/332-7373): Southern cuisine takes center stage at this restaurant in the trendy Harbor East neighborhood. Expect to be treated like royalty as the waitstaff serves your grilled yellowfin tuna with andouille sausage, and a perfect crème brûlée.
The Prime Rib (Baltimore, Md.; tel. 410/539-1804): Where Baltimore has gone to celebrate mergers and engagements for decades. It's swank, romantic, and serves perfect classic steakhouse fare.
Carrol's Creek (Annapolis, Md.; tel. 410/263-8102): The best views of the waterfront and Annapolis's skyline are paired with imaginative food here. Dine indoors or on the porch, from a seasonally changing menu. The cream of crab soup is always a winner.
Green Room (Wilmington, Del.; tel. 302/594-3154): Delaware's top restaurant wows diners the minute they see the impressive decor. But the real star here is the food: classic sauces, perfectly cooked entrees, and desserts prepared as art.
Krazy Kat's (Wilmington, Del.; tel. 302/888-4200): The Brandywine Valley's finest inn also has the finest classic dining. Enjoy a leisurely meal of exceptionally prepared food in the cozy candlelit dining rooms.
The Hobbit (Ocean City, Md.; tel. 410/524-8100): How we missed the charming Hobbit during its reconstruction. And how much we love the sleek, modern Hobbit, with its water views, cold martinis, and rich seafood dishes.
The Buttery (Lewes, Del.; tel. 302/645-7755): For sheer romance and excellent French-inspired food and wine, stop at this bistro set inside a Victorian mansion. The porch is lovely when the weather's warm; the softly lit dining rooms are warm when the weather's cold.
The Best Affordable Dining
Sabatino's Italian Restaurant (Baltimore, Md.; tel. 410/727-9414): Good food at reasonable prices is the norm at most of Little Italy's restaurants. But Sabatino's also offers cozy dining rooms, an attentive waitstaff, and dinner served late into the night.
Gertrude's (Baltimore, Md.; tel. 410/889-3399): This restaurant in the Baltimore Museum of Art goes perfectly with a trip to view the exhibits or as a destination in itself. Gertrude's (as in Gertrude Stein) boasts artfully prepared food and outdoor dining (in season) with beautiful views.
Celsius (Rehoboth, Md.; tel. 302/227-5767): Fill your pockets with cash and come early for Mediterranean-inspired seafood and Asian dishes. Prix-fixe menus and early bird specials make this lovely spot at the beach a good value.
Harpoon Hanna's (Fenwick Island, Del.; tel. 800/227-0525): The food is good; the fresh breads and muffins are outstanding. For a beach restaurant, this one is worth the trip. Set on a canal, its big windows let the sunset in. The fish is fresh, the staff hardworking, and children are always welcome. Come early or be prepared for a substantial wait.
Mountain State Brewing Company (McHenry, Md.; tel. 301/387-3360): Pizza from a wood-fire oven and locally produced brews, all in a relaxed atmosphere with mountain views.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.