Red fish, Blue fish...
Our 2nd anniversary is this weekend and we're looking for a place in the Baltimore County/Howard County/Baltimore area where we can eat for less than $100 (preferrably including a glass of wine or two, but not necessary)
I will eat pretty much anything, but my lovely wife isn't big on seafood. She likes steak and chicken and nothing weird (i.e: duck, mushrooms, blue cheese, etc)
We're not really looking for a romantic atmosphere, just some place relatively peaceful with good food.
Right now, Red Fish on Boston St. in Baltimore is our front runner for their varied menu. I haven't seen anyone here review it in the last 4 years, though. Any recent opinions and/or suggestions?
oh yeah, We also have: Jordan's Steakhouse and Olive Grove on our list
And if we can get a table before 8pm, that'd be nice too.
I'm assuming you may be closer to Howard county than Baltimore, so maybe the Rooster Cafe in Columbia. Nice French Bistro fare, and the chef is very good. It also has the right sort of vibe for an anniversary celebration for chowhounds.
The one caveat is to call ahead and make reservations. The chef pretty much buys meat and produce based on reservations, so walk-ins may find themselves out of luck.
I would take Olive Grove off the list. It's an OK place for what it is, but not what I would consider a "special event" place.
In Baltimore, my initial suggestions would be Saffron, or perhaps Petite Louis, for a nice combination of atmosphere and prices in your range.
Hmm. Redfish is okay. I've eaten there a few times, have not been overly impressed. Also, the dining room is not the greatest of spaces (it's better in the fall when you can eat outside), and if you get there too late, there might be live music.
While I'm not sure what your wife considers weird, I would suggest you can do much better, especially in the area.
In Fells Point, I'd recommend Timothy Dean's (a French Bistro, which means to me that it's not that complicated cooking) and True (bottom of the Admiral Fell Inn) as upscale restaurants that are way better than Redfish. I've not been to Louisiana in a while, but I should get back there. There's always Pazo, which is on most people's short list for occasions. Up a little farther is Chameleon Cafe, which is superb, on Harford Road closer to White Marsh.
If you're looking for something less pricey, I would rate Birches, Peter's Inn, Henniger's, the Waterfront (in Fells Point) all much better than Red Fish, though they all have a more limited menus. You might want to consider Mama's on the Half Shell, though they are more of a seafood restaurant, they do have steak and chicken on the menu. I also prefer Claddagh over RedFish, particularly if you're looking for meat.
And on a more adventurous note, I think you and your wife would really enjoy La Cazuela--while it is Ecuadorian, they have a really good Churrasco plate (Beef, eggs, avocado, rice, tomatoes and French fries) or she could try the Chaulafan (Rice, peas, carrots, shrimp, beef, chicken, and eggs with fried plantain).
Finally, there's Samos in Greektown (warning: it's BYOB and cash only); some people on this board have also recommended Ikaros. For a more "hip" experience, you also might want to consider the Wine Market in South Baltimore.
Hope this helps; let us know if you need more. Congrats on your anniversary.