Saturday night in Baltimore/Towson
Staying in Towson saturday night and looking for good, exciting(Not steak) dining in Baltimore or Towson.
Wife and I are from DC and like Ceiba, Jaleo, Cordoury, Grapeseed just to give you an idea.
Does not have to be fancy but has to be good with a good wine list. A neighborhood to walk in afterwards would be a plus as we'll probably be staying in a Towson hotel.
Pazo (Spanish and Sicilian inspired small plates with a wine list to match), walking distance to Fells Point, one of Baltimore's oldest neighborhoods. Saffron: Baltimore's best chef came to this location about a month ago, interesting Pacific Rim fusion, in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, also a nice place for a walk.
I second Saffron. The wife and I went last Friday and had a truly outstanding meal. I would add that there is a noted "Nuevo Latino" component going on here as well. An addition from the old Soigné days.
The service/atmosphere arent there yet, but I am confident that they will.
The other thing that hasnt been noted about Saffron yet is that it is a value. Almost every entree in the $20-$24 range. For this level of cooking you could spend much more.
Closest to Corduroy (love that place) in Baltimore is Charleston, which is slightly better and much more expensive ($70-110 tasting menus).
I would also recommend Abacrombie, a restaurant in the basement of a B&B downtown-ish. Very ambitious and quite good.
I haven't been, but I would trust ko's rec of Saffron as well. Although I would say that Jaleo beats Pazo fairly easily most days.
Also, I would consider some unique ethnic B-more places, like The Helmand (Afghan).
In my opinion, the best walking neighborhood for an out of towner is probably Fells Point. As mentioned, it is one of the few areas untouched by the Baltimore Fire, so it is home to some of the oldest buildings and streets. It is right on the water, with many great views & even on a Saturday - quiet strolls on the water. Also, many eclectic shops are open late.
Also in Fells Point is wide a selection of recomended spots to dine & nosh. Favorite restaurants in this Chowhound community are
Pazo - tapas - clubby - hip - moderate $ - good food!
Charlston - tapas - expensive, same owners as Pazo
True - organic
Louisiana - southern inspired
Arcos - gorgeous outdoor courtyard, often with live music
Peter's Inn - small interesting menu
Ale Marys - good pub food - no fryer
i would have to reccommend saffron in mt. vernon. get the white tuna sashimi, blood orange sorbet ceviche, sured salmon on cahrred naan bread. for main course try the steak frite nuevo latino or the ny strip. it's really unique in flavor. cioppino is great as well as the seared halibut w/ sweet pea cream.