I just got around to noticing that Victoria Gastro Pub had a recent (12/08) full review in the Baltimore City Paper. Have a look if you haven't seen it.
I think the reviewer's a little unfair to judge the restaurant only on the basis of one visit on a crowded Saturday night, but she does get some things right. Sometimes the throngs at Victoria's can overwhelm the kitchen, and some of the dishes can get a little too trendy for their own good. I've enjoyed trying many of the different menu items, but haven't yet found ones that really knocked my socks off...though the burgers and fries are mighty good, now that I think about it.
But overall, and especially at less busy times, Victoria's offers food, drinks and atmosphere that are far above the Howard County average. Maybe Victoria's doesn't warrant a drive from Baltimore for the City Paper crowd, but from my perspective it means not having to travel all that far for innovative and fun food and spirits.
I do give a positive nod to the City Paper's Eats+Drinks web site. It's an easy to search and browse listing of restaurants in our area. Just "Browse by City" for Ellicott City, Columbia or others to see snapshots and archived reviews of other local spots. Local restaurant owners can enter information directly in the database, and I encourage them to do so.
Victoria Gastro Pub is on our list of Howard County's Best Restaurants.
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