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Abacrombie still worth it?

tallullah Feb 12, 2007 01:08 PM

Hi all,
Boston 'hound heading down for a last minute trip and looking for some rec's. I've got a reservation at Abacrombie based on some favorable reviews here, but they are a few months old. Anyone been recently? We'll be celebrating my boyfriends bithday day...I tried Charleston, but can't get in until 9:30.

Also, I'm looking for the ubiquitous crab house recommendation. I loooove crab, but the boy isn't so into it. Any places that have the brown paper and mallet crab and other things for him? Does Faidley's fit the bill?

Thanks in advance!

  1. b
    BaltFoodie Jun 7, 2007 05:20 PM

    I was a big fan of Chef Sonny's also, and do miss him. Per Sonny, he basically stopped during the holidays and Mike was doing all of the work, Sonny was there, but was busy packing.

    I was nervous about possible drop off in quality so I gave Mike some time to get settled. I have eaten there twice now, Mid-April and just a week ago. Both times my experience was excellent. Soups were as good as ever. A heavier emphasis on fish dishes and desserts were great.

    Some staff has changed. The female bartender was planning on leaving and continuing her school work, even before Sonny left. I visited Mike in the kitchen and almost all of the cook staff is the same.

    I have no reservations whatsoever in highly recommending Abacrombie to anyone. I still believe this is the best value and experience in Baltimore.

    1. Pool Boy Jun 7, 2007 07:17 AM

      Have not been to Abacrombie's since the change, but friends say the new chef is presently taking the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach. We'll see.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pool Boy
        bordeauxfan Jun 7, 2007 10:06 AM

        Also, let's recognize the importance of the BSO and the Meyerhoff to Abacrombie's business. When my friend was there later on Saturday post-symphony, the new owner asked if "that lady with the short hair, I can't remember her name" was there. I'm assuming he was referring to Maestra Marin Alsop.

      2. h
        hon Feb 13, 2007 05:08 AM

        Definately Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn for crabs, call ahead to make sure of availability, it's not crab season here so they come from out of town.
        Nick's Fish House has very hit or miss food.
        For great "other" Maryland Seafood, go to Mamas on the Half Shell in Canton

        1 Reply
        1. re: hon
          BmoreHound Feb 13, 2007 08:22 AM

          Dockside on Boston Street had some good crabs in December. Lot closer than Bill's too.

        2. b
          BaltFoodie Feb 12, 2007 06:24 PM

          Go to Abacrombie. I HIGHLY recommend it. I believe it is currently the BEST dining experience in Baltimore.

          3 Replies
          1. re: BaltFoodie
            youngfoodieguy Jun 7, 2007 06:28 AM

            It was, new owners have come in and completely changed the restaurant. Looks like they cut the entire wait staff, including the cute bartender my sister in law would rave about. Baltimore just lost one of it's top five restaurants witout even knowing it though. What took Sonny almost five years to establish has been destroyed in a matter of weeks. Went there and they were out of maybe 80% of the wine list, place seemed like a ghost town and the vibe the staff was giving off wasn't positive. Usually when we went there there would be the usual faces working, and thats not a bad thing but last time there was one familar face. it's a shame we need to find a new fav restaurant without having to drop $250-300 for dinner for 2

            1. re: youngfoodieguy
              bordeauxfan Jun 7, 2007 06:37 AM

              I hate reading this, but I was there Saturday evening pre-Meyerhoff and I agree. And it was still decent after Sonny left for Europe, because his DAD was still the owner. My SO and I were big fans of the restaurant. How ironic that E Large gave them 3.5 stars in last weekend's Sun. But that was based on her experiences in April/May, not June.

              I really want to give these new owners a chance, but my vibes are bad.

              Also -- in the men's room, they used to have those halfway-decent paper handtowels. The new owners replaced them with SMALL paper napkins like you'd get at a diner. Took me three or four just to dry my hands...

              1. re: bordeauxfan
                chowsearch Jun 7, 2007 07:34 AM

                Besides the towels, did it look like they cleaned house as far as replacing the staff?

          2. v
            venera Feb 12, 2007 04:53 PM

            Head to Mr. Bill's in Essex for crabs. Check out the recent discussion:


            Haven't been to Abacrombie yet, so can't comment on that.

            1. a
              amaebi Feb 12, 2007 01:50 PM

              Faidley's is not open for dinner. It is good for lunch but it has only standup counters. You can get crabs and he can get good crabcakes. For crabs for dinner with other stuff also maybe try Nick's Fish House on Insulator Drive. Bo Brooks also has steamed crabs and other stuff but I don't think its that good. Also O'brycki's might be good too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: amaebi
                Hal Laurent Feb 12, 2007 02:13 PM

                Obrycki's is closed for the winter.

              2. b
                bordeauxfan Feb 12, 2007 01:41 PM

                I'm a fan of both Abacrombie and Charleston (even when I'm not drinking Bordeaux). I go to Abacrombie almost monthly. I still think the food is great, and as long as you don't go between 6 and 8pm on a symphony night, the service is formal, unobtrusive and not rushed. And it will be half the price of Charleston.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bordeauxfan
                  youngfoodieguy Jun 7, 2007 06:29 AM

                  have you been to Abacrombie recently since the new owners have taking over fully??

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