There's never a dull moment in the ever-changing local restaurant scene. We're breathless from trying to keep up. Here are some recent openings and in-the-works projects that should be on your radar:
SIP Kitchen & Wine Bar: In a world where it seems like happy hour can't ever come soon enough, it's nice to know that there are plenty of local options for post-workday bites and drinks. Joining the ranks of other trendy tapas style spots is SIP Kitchen & Wine Bar, located at the swanky Ritz-Carlton Residences in the Inner Harbor. The restaurant celebrated its grand opening several weeks ago, and highlights a wide variety of wines available by the bottle, glass, or a one-ounce sample known as a "sip." Small plates and dishes to be shared are featured on the menu, with options ranging from panko-crusted avocado with apricot chile sauce, to pork carnitas tacos and Maryland blue crab risotto. Drink up! 807 Key Highway, 667-239-3105.
1157 Bar and Kitchen: Locust Point recently welcomed this quaint restaurant-bar from chef Jason Ambrose of Fells Point's Salt. This neighborhood tavern serves small plates and sandwiches with a focus on beer pairings. Satisfying drink specials combined with sophisticated dishes like Korean-style chicken wings, white bean hummus with focaccia toast, and wild-boar pasta, make this spot a definite candidate for one of the neighborhood's most popular haunts in 2015. 1157 Haubert St. 443-449-5525.
Argosy Cafe: If you made a New Year's resolution to pack lunch more often to prevent excess spending on your mid-day break, prepare to be tempted by this new cafe opening in the Munsey building on the corner of Calvert and Fayette streets. Father-son duo Jay and James Shaffer will soon open Argosy Cafe in the former Roly Poly Sandwich space in hopes of diversifying the lunch options for Charm City's central business district. Although the menu isn't set in stone yet, look for affordable specialty-brewed coffee, grab-and-go soups, salads, and sandwiches, and small plates and cut-rate cocktails during happy hour. 7 N. Calvert St., 410-685-7659.
The Brass Elephant: Many moons ago this breathtakingly elegant special occasion restaurant boasted glimmering chandeliers and carved moldings. Since closing in 2009, the beautiful mansion turned restaurant hasn't been home to a long-term project in a while, but the property was recently sold to Mt. Vernon business owners Steven and Linda Rivelis, who plan to restore this grande dame back to its former glory. Although the details of the space's fate are still under wraps, we hear that the couple was married at the former Brass Elephant in the '80s, so we know that whatever the new owners decide to do will be special. 924 N. Charles St.