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Highly regarded Baltimore Restaurants?

I was hoping to find some respectable restaurants in Baltimore that a cook looking for work may want to check out. I'm looking for something mediterranean that is up to NYC standards. Thanks for anyone's help/advice.

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  1. Ex New-Yorker here, yet I'm vague on what you mean by NYC standards. Are those similar to San Francisco standards? Chicago Charlie Trotter/Alinea standards? Regardless, I'd check out the Wolf/Foreman empire: Charleston, Pazo, Petit Louis.

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    1. re: bordeauxfan

      let's put it this way. ex-new yorker here.. a national survey was done by gourmet?? (maybe) or another food publication. if you had only 1 review to choose from what would it be? the resounding answer amongst the chefs were nytimes.

    2. Tio Pepe is Spanish - fabulous - Kali's Court/Mezze are two restaurants next door to each other - one is more formal - serves alot of fish - the other is tapas. Other top restaurants in Baltimore are Prime Rib (Meat/fish), Charleston. Ixia is more of a fusion restaurant.

      1. You might want to try the following:
        Kali's Court/Mezze - The exec left a couple of weeks ago and the sous stepped up so they have some openings.
        VIN - They are pretty well staffed but the chef is always looking for good talent
        The Charleston Group, no matter what you hear, is the top independent group here and Chef and Tony will always look at someone with a strong background.

        By the end of the year, there will be a major opening at the Ritz Carlton residences with a restaurant that will certainly be "up to NYC standards".

        1. You might want to take the light rail to the Woodberry station, get off an head to the Clipper Mill project (across the street) and find yourself at Artifact Coffee. Then, ask for Chef Spike and speak to him about his upcoming project: Woodberry Kitchen.

          They're in the middle of construction but from what I've been hearing, it should be something very exciting.

          1. are you referring to ny times 2, 3 or 4 star standards? avant garde or more main stream i.e avoce, esca or picholine??

            4 Replies
            1. re: curious4food

              2 or 3 star restaurants, nothing too stuffy or avant garde. Mainly a place with a well respected chef that is doing good things.....humble chef, great food I guess. I know that could be vague, but I just wanted to see some restaurant responses that I could figure out for myself what they're like. Thanks for your help so far, guys.

              1. re: insectrights

                Give Pierpoints a look, Chef Nancy L has very good reputation..http://www.pierpointrestaurant.com/

                1. re: insectrights

                  if you don't mind commuting to d.c, KOMI is solid as well as any one of JOSE ANDRES restaurant. zatinya comes to mind for modern medit. tapas. if d.c is out of the ques. then good luck in your job search.

                2. Is the Helmand there? Really good Afghan food. I mean REALLY good. Blows all the Afghan restaurants I've tried in NYC out of the water. Pleasant atmosphere and decor too. (not a hole-in-the-wall.)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lucybobo

                    I got so excited remembering my Helmand days that I didn't read your post well enough. It probably wouldn't be somewhere you could work. I'm guessing they have Afghan cooks from their extended family, though you never know. Still worth a visit for the food though.

                  2. Saffron should be looking for a head chef soon.

                    May want to check out Abercrombie as well.

                    1. There are plenty of places opening up by "already established in Baltimore" chefs and I would think dining at these places would give you an indication of their style and perhaps an opportunity to speak with the creative chef/hiring/owner team to determine if they are indeed looking for someone in one for their new ventures, or if they are able to point you in the direction of someone who might. The Baltimore Restaurant scene isn't huge, everyone knows everyone else and i have always found that to be the best network of referral. As pointed out by earlier posts, and off the top of my head, the following are places/people who fit the aforementioned:

                      Spike Gjerde @ Artifact Coffee and the soon to open Woodberry Kitchen
                      Jody Danek and Gavin Buckley off Annapolis's Lemongrass/Tsunami/Metropolitan empire - they are opening up a place on Central in Little Italy (pretty sure the last issue of the Baltimore Magazine had a big spread about Jody and his brother)
                      Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf (article on Elizabeth Large's blogspot about his new venture 'Osteria')

                      Changing hands/chefs:
                      Abacrombie - just did
                      Robert Oliver's Seafood Restaurant - heard the exec chef just left
                      Saffron - exec chef just left
                      Vespa - the site of the old Vespa is reopening and i can't remember where I read this, but I am sure they will be looking for a new chef

                      These places might not necessarily be on par w/ the standards you're seeking, but the people in these establishments are well versed in the industry and might be able to help you out.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: aussiewonder

                        Nasu Blanca has a talented kitchen and does Spanish and Japanese food. Might be more NY than the above mentioned places.

                        1. re: ittastessogood

                          I agree w/ NBlanca but the kitchen is small and the staffing tight, so i'm not sure if they have an opening. However, i would stop by and see the boys bc they're touch runs to NY and SF and they might be able to give you some insight into the local talent/industry.

                      2. Oregon Grille--classic steakhouse and seafood
                        Bicycle--exciting, inventive cooking
                        Cindy wolfe is probably the only chef here who is nationally known. Tony, her H is supposed to be hard to work for, tho.