Thanks & First date place
I stumbled across these boards yesterday while trying to help a friend find a place to take a first date.
We never did solve that problem, but I found so many good things said about the Helmand that I scored a reservation for last night and took my girlfriend there.
Everything said on these boards turned out to be true: The food was magnificent and the space really elegant.
Two minor complaints: the reectanglular tables for two are arranged with the seats at the long end, making intimate conversation difficult. Also, for those of us choosing water as our primary beverage, a larger glass would be nice. The water glasses they give you are slightly larger than a wine glass.
So how about a recommendation for my friend? His date is not fond of anything more exotic than a Japanese steakhouse, but he's looking for something a bit more intimate. Price is also a consideration here.
For intimate, but not exotic (without breaking the bank)a few places come to mind:
Vespa (Italian) in Federal Hill. Helen's Garden on the square in Canton. Blue Agave for good Mexican also in Federal Hill. Brewer's Art in Mount Vernon has a nice cozy dining room. As long as Parisian bistro fare doesn't qualify as exotic, then Petite Louis in Roland Park would work. Oh, and Gertrude's at the BMA has nice outdoor dining in the sculpture garden which would be a nice first date.
I had a nice first date at Ze Mean Bean (see earlier post) but one warning: Baltimore Magazine just gave it the "Best First Date" award, so if there's any chance she has read that magazine, he might appear unoriginal!
Just a few off the top of my head. Good Luck.