So long, B-More 'hounds, and help with a farewell tour
We are relocating to NYC later this month, so it's farewell to Baltimore. I wanted to thank everyone for all the great recommendations over the past few years, even if I didn't respond personally. I'm sure I'll be active on the Manhattan board; if you're visiting, make sure to pop over.
Now for the tough part: there are some places that, for whatever reason, we never made it out to. Truth be told, we don't actually eat out too terribly often; we just like to make it count when we do!
The first two we have resolved to visit before we leave, no matter what. From the remaining, I'd like to visit at least two more, and I was hoping to get some help on that decision. My criteria is that it should be at least partly unique to Baltimore--thus the first two inclusions. Thanks all!
Ambassador Dining Room
Mama's on the Half Shell
The Black Olive
Ixia is yummy but not unlike lots of stuff you can get in New York. Vespa: Not good on my last visit. Tatin: nice but not better than New York brasseries. Brass Elephant: overrated. Sopra: ick.
I'd say Ambassador on a garden-sitting type of evening (you will NOT get that ambience in New York), Black Olive anytime.
The Brass Elephant has changed over the years. Used to be my choice for a fancy date. I haven't been to the main dining room in more than 15 years, but the upstairs dining area, called the Tusk Lounge, is definitely a chowhoundish sort of place. There, if you order from the lounge menu, you get the same exquisite food as downstairs, but the prices are about half. Try the lamb-stuffed baby pumpkin, if it's on the menu this time of year. The portions are a bit smaller, but not tapas small. Good luck in your move.
Good luck in NYC. Definitely a lot of good eating there. Somewhat jealous.
Personally of your list, I'd probably consider in order: Tio Pepe's (a B'more institution); Mama's (supposed to emulate a B'more institution and you'll take away memories of the Chesapeake Bay); Hampton's (you'd never go otherwise); and the Black Olive (it seems that the "upscale Greek scene" is kind of a B'more development; not sure if there's much like it in NYC).
I've been to Hampton's and had a very good meal, but it's very very formal.
My only other thoughts (other than the obligatory crab feast and crabcakes) as to what I would want if I were leaving are kind of dish specific. I'd like to have french fries & gravy, maybe some scrapple, chipped beef from Blue Moon cafe; lox from Greg's Bagels; sour beef and dumplings; etc.
I'd probably settle on Mama's and Tio Pepe
Mama's on the Half Shell