Zagat Ratings Released for Harford County Restaurants

From Harford County government:

Zagat guides have been around since 1979, aggregating millions of diner’s opinions in destinations worldwide. Diners complete questionnaires about restaurants they’ve experienced, rating food, décor, service and cost, and add their comments. The scores are averaged on a 1-30 scale and editors select pithy comments. Several Harford County restaurants have achieved Zagat ratings and can be viewed on the website.

Among those Harford County restaurants that stand out with their ratings is Pairings Bistro in Bel Air who made the top list for Romantic Tops. More than 30 people submitted ratings and described it as unique to Bel Air with attentive staff. Brooms Bloom Dairy of Bel Air made the top list for Desserts Specialists Restaurant Spotlight.

Two Harford County restaurants made the top list for Brunch Restaurant Spotlight. Josef’s Country Inn of Fallston and Open Door Café of Bel Air made this list. Tidewater Grille of Havre de Grace made the top list for Views Tops.

Additional restaurants who achieved 2011 Zagat ratings include Bertucci’s, Liberatore’s and Baja Fresh Mexican Grill of Bel Air, Mamie’s Café of Aberdeen and Laurrapin Grill of Havre de Grace.

Zagat guides can be purchased at local book retailers. Harford County celebrated its first Restaurant Week in June 2010 with over 40 participating restaurants.


  1. Todd Holden says

    major screw up on Zagat…lost a lot of credibility w/me…Olive Tree on Beard’s Hill road is a top notch bar and restaurant…great opening house salad…dressing…and a kitchen that makes veal, chicken and pasta worth living for.
    Also….Mountain Branch offers a better brunch than Josef’s which is way overrated with the clique that swears by it.

    end result…Zagat don’t know shit…I listened to an interview with Tim Zagat…on WBAL…he said how they go about their work…if such is the case…how did they miss the winners and praise the losers?


    • E. L. Lipsis says

      Which restaurant… would win the award… for most ellipses… in their menu?

      I suppose that whichever one it is… it would be your favorite… since your posts have more periods… than an all-girls high school…

  2. Jimmy Stillwells says

    Obviously none of these idiots have tried the Olive Tree on Beard’s Hill Road in Aberdeen. It’s the best bar none.
    They start you off with all you can eat salad in a bowl with garlic bread and you’re off to the races.

  3. Not from Here says

    Pairings? Romantic? The tables are way too close together. The last time I was in there, a woman at the next table’s cell phone rang. She asked her companion if he minded if she took the call. I wanted to say, “I mind.” I could hear every word and tried not to hear.

  4. contrarian says

    Not from Here..but the food is so good at Pairings! I agree that the space is very, very limited.

  5. smiley says

    Zagat Ratings are determined through surveys that are given out to its members. Join zagat and participate in surveys yourself instead of bitching about it on here.

    • Not from Here says

      Lighten up. We don’t really care what Zagat says–certainly not enough to sign up to take a survey!

      • Larraine says

        First of all, what’s with all the “love” of the Olive Tree? That place is third rate at BEST. I come from an Italian family and that restaurant is to Italian as chow mein is to Chinese Food. As for the lack of Zagat ratings – I’m not in the least surprised at the number of restaurants that made the ratings. You have to look at what Zagat ratings are all about: quality food. Too many “restaurants” don’t really serve fresh, quality food. Zagat reflects that.

  6. Jimmy Stillwells says

    Larraine….get it…no one is touting Olive Tree as ‘italian’…just a good restaurant…great salads and neat service
    Chiparelli’s in HdG is a joke
    we’re just looking for good places to dine with good service and good food
    i guess you’d find fault with the late great Baccachio’s in little italy

    • Larraine says

      Considering they bill themselves as Harford County’s best Italian….. I’ve had far better salads elsewhere than the Olive Tree. Their salad tends to be swimming in dressing. Forget it…. I’ve never eaten at the Havre De Grace Chiaperelli’s. I ate at the one in Little Italy and was underwhelmed. Too much heavy red sauce. My family came from Southern Italy. We didn’t do heavy tomato-paste filled red sauce. We use tomato paste but not as the main ingredient! If I’m going to eat out – not something I do that much -it’s going to be worthwhile. If I want to go to Aberdeen, I’ll go to Mame’s. However, our new fave is Laurrapin Grille. That place is amazing!

  7. mac says

    never heard of pairings in belair
    and mamies is dull bland food unless they have changed greatly in the past year

  8. Jimmy Stillwells says

    all in all for a great meal with great service at friendly atmosphere where you just might run into a friend you havent’ seen in years personally I like the Bayou in HdG
    Lou Ward and his wife and staff have provided quality at a reasonable price for many years
    sure it’s not trendy or big profile but when it comes to a nice meal priced fairly with the bestest servers around my vote goes to Bayou

  9. Todd Holden says

    they say ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ but most these days costs between $10 and $12
    such is not the case at Geneva Farms or the Delta Family Restaurants
    sure if you don’t live or visit up that way it might be a drag but once you try the value and service you’ll likely go back.
    other places for that first meal just charge too much
    if you know of another breakfast spot that might be covered by a $10 spot including tip let us know

  10. Just eating says

    A good spot for breakfast…… Bagel Werks in Bel Air, near the fire department. Great food, great coffee and friendly fast service. A nice homey atmosphere too!

    • Not from Here says

      Second Bagel Works. It has really nice coffee.

      Open Door has nice breakfasts as well.

  11. says

    Most of us love to eat…and just like there are those who admit that Velveeta isn’t real cheese, nor is Miracle Whip close to Helman’s Mayonnaise…. it boils down to personal taste – just like art!

    Thus the best response for me to give when asked about best or favorites in Havre de Grace is:

    I don’t have a favorite restaurant – I have a favorite at every restaurant.

    Bon appetit! Enjoy and savor!

  12. L. Thompson says

    Open Doors got top ranking?? Are you serious? When the place first opened, it was a nice little stop for the workforce in Town who wanted to get away from the office and not see anybody they knew. I’ve been there 3 times and the last time, I said, I would never go back. My office did a small get-together for the staff – someone was leaving. I ordered a chicken salad sandwich on white toast and lettuce. I’m not too picky. After waiting nearly an hour for our meals, my came. It showed up on rye bread, no lettuce, but the worst was I have never had chicken salad that was nothing both boiled, unseasoned, unflavored chicken and no mayo. It wasn’t chicken salad by any stretch of the imagination. Because we were out of time (our lunch hour is 1 hour long and it was going on 1 and a half), I hurried up, sucked it down and paid $8.00 for that sandwich and a glass of iced tea. All of us agreed – we would never go back.

    I do like me some Italian food and I’m not dissing Olive Tree but Libertore’s is one of my favorite places. Excellent food, good service and they have a lunch buffet for $6.99 during the week. I think they should get high marks.