It's interesting I had such a different experience there!
Didn't order a martini, though....
Yeah, it is a great space. I really had awesome service there, and I'm a writer and grad student, I've waited a few tables myself. We were totally coddled, but in an unobtrusive way.
I think it might have been that I had the audacity to ask for a tasting menu. This is something I usually ask for when going somewhere I'm spending more money than usual , and when in a town I don't know. It seems to work. It usually gets you extra attention, and whatever is best. Sometimes it backfires, and you get stuff that the chef wants to get rid of, but I think it is rare, one in ten.
I thought the food was great, as was the service. I do think my table might have been flagged, maybe they thought I was a critic? We certainly got a lot of attention.
Anyway I had a great dinner there. I'd put them up against some of our Philly greats like Le Bec Fin, I mean, not Morimoto, but what is?
Your Mileage May Indeed Vary :) I know for me it was a very nice night out.
I'll be back down in a month, maybe I'll try them again without the tasting menu thing. We'll see.
Will do, I knew Kip from Fergie's Pub, and I agree, he is the finest bartender in Philly!
Thanks FoiGras, and yes,it was a very positive experience all together.
The service there was first rate. They did draw up a tasting menu for us, and I swear, other than deciding on the wine, I barely noticed a server. Food, drink, water, bread, forks, etc.. just seemed to magically appear. This could perhaps have been as I was there with such a captivating young lady, but I do give a little credit to the staff :)
My girl's father lives in Baltimore over in Otterbein, and we were there for some job interviews, so I strongly suspect I'll be getting better acquainted with the area! Charlston, for instance is on my list as is Oregon Grill.
As to the wrong season, well you are right, there is no wrong season for such a nice restaurant. Now that being said, I really do want to come back when it is warmer so I can sit out on that patio and walk around Fells Point a bit after dinner!
I'll keep you all posted on our culinary adventures in Baltimore, plus my niece was just born, and I expect we'll be spending some time down in DC as well!
Oh, and if you ever come up to Philly, please take a look at Southwark and Restaurant Alba. These are also underrated gems (though to be honest Southwark is getting a lot of press) and each is even worth the couple hour drive up, I swear!
Cheers and happy dining.
Good afternoon all,
Not sure what the etiquette is on the boards for posting a review of a place I visited based on recommendations, in a previous thread, but I thought it better to post as a separate thread for clarity. Original thread was Romance -Baltimore.
I had asked the Collective Wisdom for a high-end, nice place for a romantic dinner with G/F, but that would not *totally* break the bank. Kali's Court came through as my favorite recommendation, after some research.
Making a reservation was quick and easy. I called early in the week for a Saturday night reservation, and didn't feel at all rushed or patronized on the phone. When I mentioned I was coming in from out of town, they offered a complimentary shuttle from major hotels. I was offered a range of time and seating choices.
I mentioned at this point, as I had never been to the restaurant, and was treating my G/F and did not want her to obsess over prices, about the possibility of a prix fixe tasting menu. I was incredibly impressed that, while this is not a service they normally offer!!!, they were willing to draw one up and also asked me what price point I'd find acceptable.
We decided on $70 per plate, without wine. This was about what I had budgeted for this "once every six months" treat.
We arrived by cab about a half hour early (I seriously overestimated the travel time, not having been to baltimore before.) However, we were greeted warmly, our coats were taken, and we were seated immediately.
The decor in this place is fabulous. First impressions, there are candles, lanterns, gaslamps, and fire all over the pace! Seriously, this restaurant could lose power halfway through service, and I bet only the staff would notice. It is dim, but in a nice way, and they provide a flashlight for the wine list (Ha! I brought my own! protip: fine dining? flashlight). After sitting down, lots of polished wood, tin ceilings, flowers, frosted glass partitions separating what (walking around nominally searching for restroom, which BTW was clearly marked) is a fairly large dining room, but seems like an intimate bistro. Our table was on a balcony overlooking the bar. My G/F was worried that there would be too much traffic, but was not the case. Either we got an excellent table or walk-through has been thought out very very carefully.
Service was excellent. They seem to me to use section service, we obviously had a waiter, a bus, a water and bread man, and runners from the kitchen.
Our Waiter was excellent, we had water and bread immediately after seating, and he inquired about drinks. We didn't plan on a cocktail, and really, were putting the money into the food on this trip, so I didn't have an immediate answer, so he left us with the wine list (and flashlight! I couldn't bear to tell him I brought him my own), he also affirmed that the kitchen had a tasting menu prepared, and then let us alone until we decided on a wine.
And the wine list was excellent. And, sadly much more than my budget. (There are wines down to $26 a bottle and wines by the glass on the list, but I didn't want to start matching wines to courses, I came for the food) I did find a bottle I knew well, A Perrin Cotes du Rhone, and ordered one. I think wine people might really love this place, the wine list looks serious enough, and there is a somolier, prowling about. I can't comment on that as our $30 bottle of Cotes du Rhone was pretty much all we needed. My girl and I aren't wine folks, more into the food and atmosphere. However, the service was impeccable formal, Once we ordered wine, it came before our first course, with some time to appreciate it, and the service was such that neither of us touched a bottle all night wine magically appeared in our glsses. I also don't think an empty plate was left on the table for seconds, nor did my my water class ever get more than a third empty.
OK, lets get us to bass tacks, eh? FOOD.
Here's where I fall apart in this review. I at this point was paying more attention to my girl than my food.
It is a compliment, though, the tasting menu flowed into itself very seamlessly, and the service never interrupted our conversation. It all kind of blurred together into a whole, and I was very happy with the food, as was my girl.
We began with an amuse bouch of tuna, on a fried chip, little bit of lime? Nice.
One of the hits of the night was a squid salad with a very light but acidic vinaigrette, It was tart, and the squid wasn't close to rubbery, with a smoky taste to it.
Then a lobster course, in a creme sauce, with chives, and something t thicken
A salad of tomato, cucumber, onions, mango (?), again a good dressing.
Main course was a sea bass, fillet combo, both perfectly cooked, Mushroom sauce, asparagus, and potatoes, and as a heavier dish, didn't seem overly heavy.
Dessert was a nice baklava. A well done touch, as I had specified, my G/F was allergic to chocolate.
I probably came in the wrong season to fully enjoy Kali's Court, I imagine in the Spring and the Summer, with Fells Point outside, the patio here is incredible.
I will be back. Frankly, the food was outstanding, particularly the seafood, the service was spot-on, caring, but unobtrusive, and they did draw up a tasting menu for me, on less than a week's notice!
Overall, this is an expensive place, but not as expensive as many I've researched in Baltimore. Customer service is obviously a priority, decor is fantastic, and food is excellent. If you have the werewhthal to shell out for a romantic dinner, this is a place to go.
Most highly recommended, and thanks all of you on Chowhound for steering me to this restaurant.
Cheers to that! Rusty Scupper is awesome.
I have my reservation at Kali's Court, but seriously thinking of staying an extra night to go to B &O.... I'll call them tonight, maybe I can get there early enough on Friday. TWO restaurant dinners, my g/f is going to think I'm made of money :)
Hey, all, new here, and already finding this community to be awesome with awesome sauce (recipe involves distilling said awesomess)
I got tons of great advice on where to go in Baltimore this weekend. Bringing it back to Philly, though, anyone out on the main line with some unheralded gems?
Saw Blackfish got a nod in Philly magazine. Go Blackfish! Love that place. I also adore Restaurant Alba near Malvern. The place to go after seeing a show at People's Light and Theater Co.
My question is, best food on the Main Line? Full disclosure, I used to work waitstaff in Wayne, it was some time ago, but I have been to George's :) and know some who have worked under Mr. Perrier.
Anyway, Ideas around Ardmore? I'm going to put in a plug for Yeats Tavern, Right here on Lancaster Ave, at the corner of Church Rd. Great ambiance and the food is very good. Not huge fine dining, but workmanlike interpretations of such as flatiron steak and pork chops.
So, would love, you folks who live to the west of City Line Ave, to hear your ideas!
Can I chime in and recommend Southwark on 4th and Baimbridge? Awesome food and very very excellent cocktails. Welcome back, hope you enjoy your visit.
I was going to scrape up my spare change, bite the bullet and splurge on Charleston, but, Oh Noes! Staff vacation until 1/11! Mayhaps next time?
I'm thinking of Kali's Court. Thank you all for the recommendations.
Try fergies pub, on sansom st. Very close, good food, drinks, etc.
You all are quick, and informative! Thank you so much.
I've been hearing so many nice things about Charleston, here and other places, worth the cost?
Oregon grille, also possible. Thoughts?
I am going to be down in Baltimore this weekend. I don't know the town well, but my g/f is going to be with me. Any ideas for a very very romantic dinner? Price is somewhat of a concern, not entire. I have some 'emergency romantic dinner savings' put aside. I just want it to be lovely. Baltimore folks, give me your best!
Your suggestions are welcome.