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Something new in Bmore for Friday?

Hi all - we spend our weeekends eating out in Baltimore. We enjoy Bluegrass, Blue Hill, B&O Brasserie, etc. We are looking to spend $50-75/pp which includes alcohol. We'd like a place that is fun and bustling. Neighborhood does not matter. We'll even go outside the city. A place we like outside the city is Iron Bridge. In regards to 'new' we'd like a place that's been open < 12 months. Does that help? We're trying to broaden our horizons and not keep going to back the same places. Thanks so much!

Feb 24, 2011
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Something new in Bmore for Friday?

Heading out to dinner Friday night and looking to try something new and exciting. I have not been to Alewife yet so that is under consideration. I would love other suggestions, as well as someone to weigh in on Alewife. We will be a party of four and just looking to eat great food.

Feb 21, 2011
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Suggestions for B & B replacement?

Thank you so much for the suggestions! I have some drinking to do :-)

Nov 19, 2009
SGI in Spirits

Suggestions for B & B replacement?

I am a fan of drinking B & B on the rocks but am looking to expand my horizons. Any suggestions for a drink that shares some similarities but would help me branch out?

Nov 18, 2009
SGI in Spirits

Baltimore -- what do you think of my choices? Or can you suggest something else?

Hi Disneyfreak,

Looks like you have a really good list to choose from along with the suggestions from Chowhounders. Given that you only have three nights for dinners, I recommend the following:

1) Charleston over Pazo or Cinghiale. Get the prix fixe to stay within your $60 budget.

2) Bicycle - you'll get a good feel of a local favorite and head out into the Federal Hill neighborhood without venturing too far off the beaten path.

3) Brewer's Art - awesome food and beer in a cool space. It gives you a different perspective of Baltimore and another neighborhood that is still easy to access from Baltimore proper.

If you really are up for heading outside the city, Jordan's is in a really great area. I think both the food and service are outstanding but caution that it may be too far for a business dinner after a long day of meetings. If you're hankering for a steak in a steak house atmosphere within the city, head to the Prime Rib.

Jun 08, 2009
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

3 dinners in baltimore

Hmmm...public transport definitely changes the recs. Head to Penn Station from BWI, turn right on Charles St. and head to Tapas Teatro. Sit outdoors if the weather is nice. For another dinner, turn left on Charles St. and eat at Sammy's Trattoria for Italian or Brewer's Art for upscale American food and locally brewed beer. Finally, turn left down Charles St. and keep walking past Sammy's and Brewer's Art to check out gregb's recommendation for The Helmand.

http://tapasteatro.com/

http://www.sammystrattoria.com/

http://www.thebrewersart.com/

http://www.helmand.com/

May 06, 2009
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

3 dinners in baltimore

G & M is right by the airport, in the "cheap" category but lacks atmosphere as a result, and is arguably one of the favorite Baltimore-area restaurants for crab cakes. Consider it for lunch and save some of the nicer recs for dinner.

http://www.gandmcrabcakes.com/

My go to weekday dinner recommendation is Cinghiale in Harbor East. Go on a Tuesday (assuming you will be in town during the week) - half price bottles of wine from 5 to 7 pm - and then eat small plates in the Enoteca to keep the bill within reasonable limits. It's owned by the Baltimore's restaurant power couple Chef Cindy Wolf and her husband Tony Foreman.

http://www.cinghiale-osteria.com/

The Hampden neighborhood will be somewhat of a distance from the airport - 30 + minutes - but is a beloved neighborhood in Baltimore made famous by John Waters films. Stroll down The Avenue, window shop and then grab dinner at either Dogwood or Rocket to Venus.

http://www.dogwoodbaltimore.com/

http://www.rockettovenus.com/

Also consider going to Fell's Point one night. There are a lot of places to eat, but I would consider Kali's Mezze or Peter's Inn. They are two very different places so take a look at the menus and go from there. Peter's Inn is quaint, intimate and unique whereas Mezze is somewhat trendy. Again, take time to stroll before or after dinner.

http://www.petersinn.com/

http://www.kalismezze.com/

May 06, 2009
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Gena Cantina?

Gina's is ok, but I would go to Rams Head if there's a choice between the two. There's also Hella's on Veterans Hwy.

Apr 24, 2009
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Inner Harbor Restaurants?

Go with bordeauxfan's recommendation and head to Harbor East. It's an easy walk ( < 10 min.) by heading east on Pratt St, right on President St. until it dead ends on Lancaster. The walk will be no problem during the late afternoon/early evening. You can also cut through the back of the Inner Harbor along the water which will make the walk more pleasant. Since you'll be there May 5, I recommend going to Cinghiale for the Tuesday 1/2 price bottles of wine from 5- 7 PM. It's a steal for a restaurant with such a great wine list! You may also want to consider walking to Little Italy one night (maybe Monday). Another very easy walk from the Inner Harbor - stroll east on Pratt St., right down President and left on Eastern.

If you're up for drinks after dinner, continue walking along the water to Fell's Point (east <left> on Lancaster) and hit some bars. I did this very thing a few weeks ago when we had nice weather. First, I had a great dinner at Lebanese Taverna in Harbor East and then walked to Fell's and sat at the outside chairs in front of Duclaw.

Apr 20, 2009
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Soft Shell Crabs Yet?

I went to Catonsville Gourmet on Saturday, April 11 and my table was informed it was the restaurant's first day offering them. One diner at the table ordered them and said they were amazing. Go get 'em!

Apr 20, 2009
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Two lunches and one dinner in Philly

Hi everyone - so, we ended up with two lunches and no dinner because we had such a late lunch our first day. We were actually there Wednesday and Thursday (sorry, my post had stated Tuesday). It rained ALL DAY Wednesday which ruined the opportunity to stroll around the neighborhood. Initially, we tried to eat at Tria and then Vintage but both were closed during lunch hours. Therefore, we ducked into El Vez which turned out to be good. Although we didn't get a great bottle of wine, we still enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. We shared the Bazooka guacamole which we loved and I had the black bean enchiladas which were delicious but I had filled up so much on chips that I couldn't finish my meal. We lingered for a few hours and really enjoyed ourselves.

We had lunch at Parc Thursday afternoon. Great recommendation! We strolled down Walnut late morning into lunchtime before ending at Parc. It was quite busy for such a large space and an early weekday lunch. Although the menu was typical for a French bistro, the restaurant didn't phone in the food. It was prepared wonderfully with beautiful, well-dressed salads to start and well-prepared entrees. My omelette was light and fluffy with just the right amount of gruyere and thyme. Also, the bread basket was excellent. I'm partial, though - I love a bread basket. The fruit and nut bread was my favorite.

So, we're already discussing when we're headed back to Philly for an overnight. We're thinking Le Bec Fin and Valanni next tme. Thoughts?

Apr 17, 2009
SGI in Pennsylvania

Two lunches and one dinner in Philly

Hi all - thanks so much for the recs! The Independent is located at 1234 Locust St. and is fairly new. I believe it opened in August '08. I'll report back!

Apr 13, 2009
SGI in Pennsylvania

Two lunches and one dinner in Philly

Hi all - I'm headed to Philly Tuesday to see a concert. My partner and I will be staying at The Independent. My gameplan is lunch on Tuesday in an area nearby the hotel where we can window shop afterward we eat. Then, I was thinking an early dinner and drinks before heading to the Wachovia Center that night. I'd like a brasserie-type restaurant with a lot of energy that offers great wine and mid-price food. Lastly, we want to spend Wendesday in a fun area where we can eat lunch, linger, watch people and then walk around for a while. Any and all suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!

Apr 12, 2009
SGI in Pennsylvania

Best place for fish and wine in Baltimore

I suggest skipping Helen's Garden as I don't think it will fit your criteria and they are notorious for the following - serving red wine too warm and running out of bottles of wine. Since Kali's Court may be out of your price range given that you're looking for moderately priced, consider Mezze which actually serves Kali's crab cakes, but with a more reasonably priced menu.

Abovethewaves recommendation for Catonsville Gourmet is great since you'll get amazing food and it's BYOB so you're guaranteed a great bottle of wine at retail. The only issue is that it's not in the city.

Apr 09, 2009
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Marie Louise Bistro....Baltimore

Hi robinschlachman - I went on Friday night with a large group of friends. Can't say enough about this place. It's an ideal recession restaurant. The prices are inexpensive for the quality of food (~ $10 - 18) and there is an immense selection of menu items to please everyone. I believe the most expensive option is the filet but you could also go for the steak frites or beef bourguignon which are both < $20. Also, the wine menu is extremely affordable with a number of options in the $20 - 40 range.

Prior to eating, we hung out at the upstairs bar. I didn't see a BYOB option nor was it offered to anyone in my party. At one point, we had two servers tending bar which was unnecessary but nice. The space is comfortable and I really like the fact that the bar is in a wholly separate area. This fact opens up the restaurant to the likelihood of neighborhood people stopping in for a quiet mid-week drink upstairs or a light bite to eat.

I had the house salad and loved it because of the dressing. Most everyone else at the table started with the bistro salad and everyone raved. In regards to entreees, there was not a single repeat order for a party of ten. Orders included the boullabiase, steak frites, beef bouguignon, spinach lasagna, zucchini louise and some other fish entrees which I simply can't recall. Again, everyone was completely satisfied and pleased with their choices. Definitely check this place out.

Mar 01, 2009
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

NICE bar in Baltimore..

Yes! So glad you recommended Eden Lounge, hon. Another good option.

Dec 16, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

NICE bar in Baltimore..

13th Floor or Red Maple are good options.

Dec 16, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

my 2nd post ever..both today! can you suggest.....

I don't disagree, but gave those recommendations based on a first date and some assumptions. Although I would personally prefer some place like Jack's, Salt or Peter's Inn, places like that could fail miserably from a first date experience if one or both just aren't into neighborhood spots with good food.

Dec 11, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

my 2nd post ever..both today! can you suggest.....

Whoa Dan - there's a lot riding on everyone's recommendations. I guess the most important question to be answered is the type of restaurant atmosphere you desire from this experience. Are you looking to be casual, drink beer and laugh? Or, are you looking to get dressed up and impress? Here are some suggestions based on my assumptions:

Upscale special occasion spots:
Charleston - ask to be seated in the Wine Library or the in the Palm Room
Abacrombie - quiet, tucked away and romantic right downtown
The Milton Inn - I love it this time of year. If I was a betting Chowhounder, I'd bet on this as the best choice.

Trendier spots that have some hustle and bustle:
The Chameleon Cafe - the food is SO good but the tables are close together so it feels cramped. I would definitely go here on a first date.
Cinghiale - very good food; gets loud and they rarely seat on time so be prepared to linger and stare into one another's eyes while waiting for your seating

Just good places:
The Bicycle - the menu is somewhat adventurous
The Wine Market

Dec 11, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Bistro Blanc in Glenelg/Columbia area?

Hi Roxy9 - I went approximately two months ago with three friends. I'm a huge fan of Iron Bridge so gave Bistro Blanc a try. There are some good things and bad things about it. The food is VERY similar to Iron Bridge so you won't miss out on choosing one over the other, particularly given that you say it is the priority. Both have top quality food and the menu choices won't disappoint. It is actually uncanny how similar the food is all the way down to the cheese plate offerings and presentation. I will say, however, you won't miss out on the sardine factor by choosing Bistro Blanc over Iron Bridge. Bistro Blanc has a wonderful bar area and wine dispensary that is great to hang out in before being seated in the dining room. This area at Bistro Blanc stands the restaurant apart from Iron Bridge since there's very little room to browse bottles and linger at Iron Bridge. Once in the dining room, though, it's back to the madness.

In contrast to my experiences at Iron Bridge where the staff willl let you linger for hours at your table (even on busy nights), we were rushed at Bistro Blanc and the service was markedly substandard. We weren't brought fresh classes for a new and different bottle of wine until we asked. Then, we sat without wine in hand for the waiter to return with the glasses and cork the bottle for what seemed to be an astronomical amount of time. Also, we wanted to relax and finish the second bottle after completing our meal (something which we expressed to our waiter) but were all frustrated that our dirty plates were never cleared. So, we lingered over dirty plates for an additional half hour. Oh well.

Last Bistro Blanc complaint - I promise. A man who seemed to be in a management position approached me while I was browsing the wine selections in the retail area. I'm not sure if he is officially the sommelier or not. Nonetheless, he asked about my wine preferences and then negatively commented on the bottle I had in my hand. He suggested an alternative that was markedly pricier (approximately > $20 retail) and, quite frankly, pedestrian. That ruffled my feathers because it illustrated to me that 1) he wasn't listening to the preferences that were stated and 2) he was sucking the whole fun out of going to a wine bar and exploring.

Ok, so now that I've shared that information I will stress that my experience may not be indicative of the restaurant as a whole. I really did like the layout of the restaurant and thought the retail wine space and dispensary were wonderful. Plus, the food was excellent. Get there early enough to hang out for a while and have a drink before your seating. And, if you are looking for a mellow restaurant in the area, consider Cafe de Paris as a back up plan.

Dec 11, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Chef Paolino's

Hi FoiGras - I absolutely love Chef Paolino's pizza. It's one of my faves in Bmore along with Joe Squared and Tutti Gusti. However, it is straight-forward, unpretentious NY style pizza. I know a lot of poeple like to question what NY style pizza is but I believe the term simply conveys a thinner crust, large slices and good, salty cheese. I have never dined in and only carry out so I can't comment on the dining in experience. Also, I've only eaten pizza so I'm not sure of the quality of pasta dishes or other entrees.

Dec 08, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Good Veggie Burgers in Baltimore?

Hi elnicka - my fave fresh veggie burgers are at Dogwood in Hampden (a yummy lentil burger; be aware that it falls apart easily so it is a little messy to eat), Yellow Dog in Canton and Donna's.

Dec 08, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Is brunch possible b4 a Raven's game?

Definitely possible! I had friends in town for the Ravens/Raiders game a few Sundays ago and we met at the new Diamond Tavern in the Hilton at 11AM for brunch. I was extremely concerned it was going to be packed but it was great - right in the middle of the action but surprisingly quiet. We walked in and were seated without any issues. My only forewarning is that the bar is SLOW so we ordered two bloody marys at a time. FYI - their bloodys rock.

Nov 19, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ideas for celebration dinner in Baltimore?

Owl Bar - then you could go to Brewer's Art or tons of other places in the area for drinks

Yellow Dog - the upstairs area is perfect for your party and then hit all the Canton bars

Junior's Wine Bar - Federal Hill bar hopping afterwards

Nov 13, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need Vegetarian or non-red meat options in Baltimore

Yes - I agree, as well, and refused to order the unimaginative three sides option. Instead, I chose the vegetarian burger which is excellent. It's homemade and super tasty. The Yellow Dog is presently one of my fave Bmore restaurants.

Other places to consider: (this list is in order of preferrence)
1) The Bicycle - Vegetarian Nirvana is the best veggie entree in Bmore. Plus, there are plenty of other non-red meat options.
2) Dogwood

Nov 10, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Top 3 fine dining restaurants for special anniversary dinner

Baltimore options:

Charleston
Abacrombie
Antrim 1844 * located in Taneytown, MD*

Nov 10, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Joe Squared goes coal fired

I agree. I visited Joe Squared Saturday night and went for the simple cheese pizza to test the waters. It was perfect on top and along the edges, but the bottom center of the pizza was white and soft. Prior to the change, the crust was definitely crispier with a wonderful bubbly crust. This time the pizza just flopped (literally). I'm not giving up though!

Oct 28, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Business Dinner in Baltimore

I'm prefacing my reply with this - my recommendations are based on your needs first and food second:

Della Notte
Rusty Scupper
The Owl Bar

Oct 14, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore

Recession wines

Hi iwantmytwodollars - love the Better Off Dead reference! Anyways, here's a short list of affordable wines (<$15) I keep stocked for my weekday drinking:

7 Deadly Zins
Sterling Vintner's Collection Cabernet Sauvingnon
Morgante Nero d' Avola - this wine gets a lot of love on this board!
Courtney's Angels - both the Cabernet Sauvingnon and the Zinfandel
BV Coastal Estates Pinot Noir

Oct 10, 2008
SGI in Wine

New place to go to dinner in Bmore?

MarcDC - have you checked out Jack's Bistro? It's off the square but still in Canton and very good. Also, consider Yellow Dog Tavern, Saute and Annabel Lee Tavern. Yellow Dog is my fave of the three because the food fits the atmosphere perfectly. The dining area is upstairs so it's quieter than the other two. Plus, the food is the tastiest IMHO.

Oct 10, 2008
SGI in Washington DC & Baltimore