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Balt upscale restaurant please

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My wife and I will be visiting Baltimore in June for a long weekend and will be staying at an Inner Harbor Hotel. I have spent a lot of time looking through this Board and don't really have a clear picture of where we should eat (except we hear Charleston's loud and clear).

We like the upscale, modern look and great food - seafood, steaks, American food. Wine list is not important. An upscale grill and tavern would be fine. We don't have a car, but you have taxis there, right? We like to enjoy ourselves when vacationing, so price is no object (ok, within reason up to $30 or so for an entree). Dressing up is not a problem, but not a coat and tie type of place. Outdoor seating is a plus, but not a necessity.

Thanks for your help Chowhounds.

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  1. Black Olive

    1. The Bicycle in Federal Hill
      Brewer's Art Pub in Mt. Vernon
      Ixia in Mt. Vernon
      Saffron in Mt. Vernon
      Brass Elephant in Mt. Vernon
      The Prime Rib (my absolute favorite and a total Baltimore tradition)

      1 Reply
      1. re: maddogg280

        I second:
        Bicycle- Haven't had a bad meal there yet. Loved the shortribs and the seared scallop app. They have a court yard with seating. www.bicyclebistro.com
        Brewer's Art- If you don't want to make reservations or have a heavy meal the bar menu is great. Best known for their rosemary garlic fries and Resurraction beer.http://www.thebrewersart.com

        And add:
        Petit Louis in Roland Park - It's a long cab ride from the Inner Harbor area but it serves up some good french food. I've enjoyed both their steak frites and venison. www.petitlouis.com
        Miss Shirley's- Only open for breakfast and lunch they serve a great selection of both. www.missshirleys.com

        Gertrude's at the BMA- I really like this restaurant for both brunch and dinner. It is located in the museum of art and is not the expected museum restuarant. Also has outdoor seating. www.gertrudesbaltimore.com
        Mama's on the Half Shell in Caton- Not exactly upscale, it is better than average bar/tavern restaurant. Mainly seafood,but does have other dishes.Has outside seating. The dishes are large and very good. They take reservations during the week (not fri and sat? ) and on sundays.

        I disagree with:
        The Prime Rib- Definately my favorite restaurant in Baltimore and I never hesitate to recommend it. Except that the OP doesn't want a jacket and tie restaurant ot entrees +$30. www.theprimerib.com

      2. Charleston is just another in along line of overpriced,pompous,"snobberies." Try Gertrudes at the Baltimore Museum of Art.Modestly priced regional cuisine, handsome surroundings, and if weather permits eat in the sculpture garden.It's probably a $7 or $8 cab ride each way.

        9 Replies
        1. re: salad man

          the prime rib is defintely good food, but the vibe in there and the attitudes stink!

          1. re: elegantelliot

            ee, i didn't mention the prime rib,although i think on all counts it'sthe best restaurant in baltimore.

            1. re: salad man

              but Prime Rib is jacket/tie place. Black Olive if you really like fish. I love Tio Pepe, if you order right & love Sangria it's great! I never had a problem at Charleston.

              1. re: pamd

                tio pepe is great, but i wouldnt call it an "upscale, modern look"

                1. re: elegantelliot

                  you are correct- I overlooked the modern part. It is Spanish decor, but a great restaurant worth trying. And for those unaware, on your next visit, order shrimp, lobster & crabmeat in champagne sauce- it's not on the menu but I got it for years as a special- a secret of theirs for only people who know it, so great! And I love their side of mushrooms.

                2. re: pamd

                  actually the prime rib is a "jacket" place and they even have a thursday night "light fare menu".

            2. re: salad man

              Salad Man,
              Do tell of your experience at Charleston. The two times I have dined there have been quite different then what you describe.

              1. re: Bryan101

                the story exceeds my patience to type it,but it is truly outrageous and was choreographed by the co-owner/maitre.

                1. re: salad man

                  Oh please tell us--we save and save for that kind of place and need cautionary tales!

            3. Add Pazza Luna in Locust Point and Abacrombie by the Meyerhoff to your list.

              1. Prime Rib is one of best in town - jacket necessary though and a real zoo on a Saturday night - also - entrees may be more than $30.00. Tio Pepe is one of my favorite - Spanish - huge portions - shrimp and garlic appetizer is fabulous. Flemings is a steakhouse attached to Marriott - Ruth's Chris downtown at the Pier Five Hotel. The Wine Market on Fort Avenue has out door seating - young crowd. Enjoy

                1. Petit Louis! Not so much modern as bistro, but v. yummy. Brewer's Art would be good, but again not modern-- great steak frites (rosemary fries with aioli are amazing).

                  1. Thank you all for the suggestions! You are all so kind, especially maddog and the web site links. They all look like just what we are looking for, thanks again.

                    John

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: johnac

                      You should take a look at Pazo in Fells Point. It about a 5 minute cab ride from the Inner Harbor. Pazo is located on Aliceanna. It's tapas with a great selection of local produce and poultry along with a fantastic wine list. Check it out!

                    2. Has anyone been to SALT on Pratt near Patterson Park? I've heard/read good things, but we didn't get around to eating there before we moved.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: cpfeifer

                        I have been to salt a number of times. It has become my new favorite restaurant in Baltimore. The wait staff is extremely knowledgeable and the wine menu is the best I have seen. My new favorite is the Veal porterhouse, which I would have never thought to try but went on the recommendation of the server and was pleasantly surprised. The staple Froi gras burger and duck fat French fries are a must if you are a first timer. They have recently revamped the desserts which was much needed, I personally like the shake and cake. The food has great portions and great prices that is why I continue to go back. I also enjoy the creativity the chef has put into the menu. My only complaints are that parking can be tough but it is in the city so you have to expect it and they only take reservations for parties of 6 or more. The restaurant is VERY small so I understand why and other restaurants in the area that are small have followed suit.

                        1. re: LLL3

                          I had a horrible experience at Salt and will never return there again. Which is sad because I drive by it everyday on my way to work and was very excited to try it. They served a risotto cake that was FROZEN in the center and refused to take responsibility for it. I did not expect a free meal but at least an apology would have been nice. I don't recommend this place to anyone!!!

                          1. re: amaebi

                            I am surprised it took Salt so long to get a mention on this board! In my opinion, "upscale, modern look and great food - seafood, steaks, American food" fits Salt to a T. I live in the neighborhood so I've eaten at Salt several times, and I've never had a negative experience or a less than outstanding meal. Amaebi, I think you're missing out by not giving Salt one more chance...