“They taste like pretzels, salty and crunchy,” says our server at PABU, a Japanese restaurant adjacent to the Four Seasons in Baltimore’s Harbor East neighborhood. I absentmindedly reach out to try the dish, too distracted by my chopsticks to really process what I’m about to eat.
And then I see the eyes -- tiny eyes on tiny minnows that look more like tiny noodles than tiny fish -- and I put down my chopsticks, not quite brave enough to try them.
My friend, Lara, however, has no fear -- and no trouble with chopsticks, either. She takes a bite and nods in agreement of our server’s description.
I'm beginning to realize I'm not quite the adventurous eater I think I am.
Lara encourages me to try a sip of sake. I'm wary because I think it might taste like medicine. Instead, I’m surprised by how smooth the sake is and how similar the experience is to drinking wine.
Even more impressive is PABU’s extensive sake menu; there are more than 100 different varieties.
We remark to our server that we had no idea there were so many varieties. We thought sake was sake.
Apparently, this is a common assumption.
Fortunately for us novices, PABU offers Sake 101 classes on the second Saturday of the month from 4:30-5:30 p.m. through October. The next class will be held Saturday, August 11. PABU also offers Sake Dinners on the following Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Sake 101 classes are $25.00 per person. Seats for the Tuesday Sake Dinners are $75.00 per person. Guests who book both will receive a special packaged price of $90.00 per person. Prices excludes tax and gratuity.
To reserve your spot, email Faith Serrano (Faith.Serrano@fourseasons.com) or call 410-223–1460.
PABU is located at 725 Aliceanna Street in Baltimore.
Maryland Life dined at PABU as guests of the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore. We have not experienced Sake 101 but think it sounds like a lot of fun. Opinions expressed are those of the writer.