There is a new Fells Point restaurant coming in the form of fine dining restaurant called Mare Nostrum. It arrived in Fells Point without too much publicity. This food place mainly services simple but wonderfully delectable food meals in a peaceful and comfortable setting.
The gastronomic pleasures of a meal at Mare Nostrum are simple and straightforward. The only complicated thing about this place is its name, Mare Nostrum- which is Latin for “the sea.” This term was used by the Ancient Romans when they referred to the Mediterranean. The restaurant staff pronounced the first word, Ma-ray, but you can pronounce it in any way you want. The food is delicious and that’s all that matters.
Murat Mercan and Merter Akbay are the two Turkish who own Mare Nostrum. Their goal in building the restaurant was to show diners the importance of seafood in Turkish Cuisine. They want to showcase that seafood items are just as important and delicious as popular Turkish diseases such as grilled meats and savory dips. The restaurant is currently located in Baltimore’s historic waterfront area. This was meant to reinforce the association of the sea to their food offerings.
The interiors of the restaurant are short of amazing. The dark wood and stucco walls are minimally decorated. The furniture on the other hand is elegantly simple. Most of the seating is placed at marble-topped tables. There is a bit of dazzle as evidenced by the mesmerizing window display- an amazing optical illusion of candles created by double mirrors.
The location was once a sub shop, thus adding to the personal feel to the ambience. The marble table tops were created by Akbay, and so were the marble shelving for the carts that holds the wide selection of Mare Nostrum’s cold appetizers or mezze.
The cart is just full of delicious surprises and is considered to be the best and most convenient accessories that you can find in a Baltimore restaurant. The cart holds up to two plates of 20-some cold mezze selections that are also listed on the menu. The plates are served from the cart, similar to that when serving dim sum. They are constantly replenished which makes choosing between mezze both tempting and difficult.
Ideally, you start wit saksuka, a sautéed medley of crispy fried eggplant slices, peppers, and tomatoes. Highly recommended mezze is called mucver, a delightfully light and crispy Turkish fritter made from shredded zucchini and carrots that are seasoned with dill and topped with homemade yogurt.
As all Turkish restaurants do, the place also has a good selection of meatbased dishes such as kebabs either served in skewers or in a platter.