Best of 2012: Bar With a Smokin' Patio

Seventeenth-century French playwright Molière was quoted as saying, "There's nothing quite like tobacco: it's the passion of decent folk, and whoever lives without tobacco doesn't deserve to live." Brutal, I know, but it helps explain a little of smokers' deep passion for their habit. Post-smoking ban, Oscar's owner Phil Duhon created a refuge for the black-lunged: Warmed by patio heaters and protected by plastic walls, his recently reorganized, "shabby chic, beach bar" patio now features a large flat-screen TV with the NFL package, and a killer sound system that enables plenty of live music plus the playing of "old-school MTV videos." The patio, Duhon estimates, now accounts for 40 percent of his overall business. — Matthew Schniper

Restaurant Details

Bites 2013: Oysters

When people think oysters, they think Oscar's — the bar that moves more of them than anyone in town. Fresh Chesapeake Bay oysters come in three times a week. Eat 'em raw with a squeeze of lemon juice, and a dollop of cocktail sauce and/or horseradish to add bite to your brine. Or get the flash-fried Oysters Oscar's plate wherein the gooey delights benefit from a Cajun cream sauce then a garnish of spinach, bacon, shrimp and crawfish bits. (market price, currently $14.95 half dozen)

Price: $$


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