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In Baltimore, MD August (Sat) 11th & 12th

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elagain Aug 9, 2007 11:32 AM

Hi my husband and I will celebrate our 1st anniversary this Saturday night in Baltimore. Staying at the Peabody -- could somebody recommend a romantic restaurant for us? Italian, Steaks, Seafood (but emphasis should not be seafood ONLY (I eat raw oysters, shrimp, mussels and scallops only... my husband loves all seafood & sushi). Someplace w/ a view or elegant atmosphere. A nice bar too... we enjoy arriving early/staying after dinner, to enjoy the bar area, if its nice. A piano/entertainment in the bar and I will be in heaven! We're staying at the Peabody, but will happily cab to a good destination.
[as an aside, we'll be cheering for the Red Sox on Sunday (sorry Orioles fans!) and any suggestions for after the game bars/restaurants would also be appreciated!) Thanks to all!

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    elagain RE: elagain Aug 9, 2007 11:33 AM

    I should mention we are coming from Westport, MA.

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      pomme de terre RE: elagain Aug 9, 2007 01:01 PM

      The Peabody is not too far from Sotto Sopra if you want Italian:

      http://www.sottosoprainc.com/

      Afterwards I would walk to the Belvedere Hotel and go to the 13th floor for drinks and skyline views.

      6 Replies
      1. re: pomme de terre
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        elagain RE: pomme de terre Aug 9, 2007 01:18 PM

        thank you ... I did some googling and Sotto Sopra is on my list of 'maybe's'

        Other maybe's are The Brass Elephant, Della Notte and the Prime Rib -- any thoughts on these 3?

        1. re: elagain
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          elegantelliot RE: elagain Aug 9, 2007 02:01 PM

          Prime Rib is great for what it is, its very classic. Jacket is required for your husband and i would consider it romantic. The steaks and prime rib are fantastic.

          1. re: elagain
            KWynn RE: elagain Aug 9, 2007 02:43 PM

            We went to The Prime Rib in DC last night for Restaurant Week and it was great. (The Baltimore one is owned by the same guy, who we happened to meet while dining there last night.) If the Baltimore one is the same, this is your quintessential steakhouse, but it focuses on prime rib. They have a plethora of seafood and other meat dishes, as well as a whole variety of starters, salads, and desserts. The key lime pie is not to be missed. And the live music (piano and bass) was a nice touch. There's also a bar area where people seemed to mingle both before and after dinner. We didn't look at the full wine list but there's a nice selection of wines by the glass, cocktails, and scotches.
            We plan to return to the DC one for a special occasion to order off the regular menu.

            1. re: KWynn
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              pamd RE: KWynn Aug 9, 2007 06:31 PM

              The Baltimore one is actually better than the DC & Philly ones IMO. And, they do have nice seafood as well as the meat (great stuffed shrimp, oysters rock,etc...)

            2. re: elagain
              aussiewonder RE: elagain Aug 9, 2007 03:00 PM

              I think the Brass Elephant is extremely overpriced, the food is average and the service cold; certainly NOT a romantic desitnation. Della Notte is not exactly romantic either, unless you're of the prom-age group. I was @ the Prime Rib for dinner earlier this year and a couple of things to note: they are extending RW which means the tables will be packed in and not very private/romantic, and they (in Jan) offered smoking in the bar, which also happens to be part of the dining room.

              13th Floor does have a great view but I don't know if that kind of club crowd atmosphere is what you're looking for. In Baltimore, finding one establishment to fit all your requirements might be tough. I'd think about doing dinner at one place and going elsewhere for drinks. The Observation Tower on the Inner Harbor has music on Sat's in the summer, check this link for info:
              http://www.promotionandarts.org/index...
              Call for more info, but i believe on these nights they have a bar set up for you to peruse as you take in the view. From there it's a close walk to Pisces or maybe check out Charleston for a good meal (sans the view). For good pre-dinner drinks, try Ixia in Mount Vernon.

            3. re: pomme de terre
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              jrussd RE: pomme de terre Aug 9, 2007 06:53 PM

              I would not recommend Sotto Sopra. A group of friends and I were just there last week during Restaurant Week (not sure if this had an influence on the outcome) and it was perhaps the most disastrous dining experience we've ever had! Perhaps it has good food, but I highly doubt it.

              I agree with another post that Brass Elephant is overpriced for mediocre food. And unfortunately Abacrombie's dining room is not open, or else this would be a prime spot for you. If you're in to the really nice bar scene, check out Ixia. Haven't been to the dining section, but the bar is worth a few drinks.

              For that really special occasion, such as an anniversary celebration, I'd recommend Charleston, which is much closer to downtown, but worth the cab ride. IMHO, this is Baltimore's best restaurant and you can't go wrong. Their bar is really cool, too.

              Happy anniversary!

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              a70wilson RE: elagain Aug 9, 2007 02:49 PM

              Sounds to me like Pisces might fit the bill. AMAZING view of the harbor (top floor of the Hyatt on Light St. - NOT Hyatt inner harbor east). I thought I remembered a piano and checked on their website and it says piano from 9 - midnight seasonally (don't know which season they mean, but I'd assume summer). Seafood and steak on the menu (disclaimer, I've only ever had drinks and eaten appetizers in the bar). Definitely elegant. And definitely expensive.

              I don't know why it doesn't come up on this board more - too much money for a hotel restaurant? Did someone have a really bad experience?

              If you end up going, you'll have to let us know how it was.

              7 Replies
              1. re: a70wilson
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                elegantelliot RE: a70wilson Aug 9, 2007 02:51 PM

                i have heard they have a great brucnh at Pisces, but i dont know much more.

                1. re: elegantelliot
                  ko1 RE: elegantelliot Aug 10, 2007 06:15 AM

                  I've not heard anything good about the food at Pisces. I think the Prime Rib would definitely please.

                  1. re: elegantelliot
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                    elagain RE: elegantelliot Aug 10, 2007 06:28 AM

                    Thanks so much for all the helpful posts!

                    We have an 8pm reservation at Pisces! Just the few pix on the website convinced me they definitely have the BEST view and the menu looked terrific! I'll be back after vacation with my review for you. Thanks again!

                    1. re: elagain
                      toro head RE: elagain Aug 12, 2007 08:22 PM

                      Just a comment that I have lived in Baltimore now for about 12 years and I have never heard anything (positive or negative) about the food at Pisces. You can take that for what it's worth but I don't see it as a good thing.

                      I would go there for a pre-dinner drink to soak in the view, and then head elsewhere for dinner.

                      1. re: toro head
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                        elagain RE: toro head Aug 22, 2007 01:49 PM

                        As promised I am back with my report on Pisces!!

                        First, we had a terrific weekend in Baltimore! Fun town! Loved Fell’s Point! Only downer is the Red Sox lost the game we were at BOO HOO.

                        Pisces: The view is spectacular. We arrived at 7:45 for our 8:00 and were seated immediately and got to watch the day turn to twilight and then to evening. Just Gorgeous! [ sidebar: right at eye level on my side of the table the window was dirty… I’m talking little kid hand SMUDGE about the size of a pie. I’m not a complainer, but it disturbed my view and I asked our waiter to get it cleaned. Somebody showed up after about 15 min and windexed the window for me. ] Our waiter was the epitome of what a waiter should be, chatty but not too much. Knowledgeable about the menu and offered some good suggestions.

                        My husband and I started with martini’s and oysters and shrimp cocktail. We order oysters/shrimp almost every Saturday night and live by the Mass. Coastline and we know our raw bar. Excellent, fresh and a nice presentation. They served a delish vinaigrette apple cider and horseradish vinaigrette for the oysters that I plan to whip up at home!

                        Sorry, but I’ve forgotten what my husband ordered for an app -- I had she crab soup and LOVED IT. I loved it so much that when we continued on to Irvington, VA to stay at the Tides Inn for the remainder of the week I had it EVERY night! Pisces was tied w/ the restaurant at the Inn, the Chesapeake Club for best crab soup of the week!

                        My husband had the sushi tuna for his entrée and raved. I had the surf and turf: filet mignon with merlot reduction and a crab cake. The crab cake was amazing!! At home the restaurants use so much more filler but Pisces was just a big ole ball of perfectly seasoned crab. YUM! And again, maybe this is common in Baltimore but I loved the combination of beef w/ crab cake instead of the usual bake stuffed shrimp/lobster that is common in MA and RI. I should also not that 9 x out of 10 I order filet mignon/beef for dinner and can attest that Pisces serves a terrific piece of meat w/ a delicious sauce. I have forgotten what our sides were but remember that the entire meal was outstanding.

                        We split crème brulee for dessert, which is my favorite and about the only thing I ever order out and theirs was as good as any I’ve had a better restaurants.

                        As and aside, “Red Truck” was on the wine list and that is our “everyday/table” wine at home -- we got a laugh out of that! They charged mid 30’s (I believe) for the bottle and we pay $10.99 at our local store.

                        Two things I’d (gently) call problems: 1) They do not offer expresso/cappuccino. The waiter whole heartedly agreed with us that this was inappropriate for an upscale restaurant and said he’d complained to the manager about this. 2) the clientele. I understand that this is a hotel restaurant, however there were diners who were seated with crappy shorts and baseball hats on and, IMO, MUCH more offensive, an older couple, probably grandparents were seated next to us with and INFANT and a toddler about 2 years old. They should not have been seated. Period!!!!!!!!! It was about 8:30 p.m. and both adults were dressed in shorts and he in a NY Yankees baseball hat (which is particularly offensive to me personally ;o) My husband and I were looking for our waiter to asked to be moved when they had a spat and left of their own accord. Lucky break for us! An upscale restaurant should enforce certain standards IMO.

                        In spite of a couple of minor hiccups the evening was perfection from view to waiter to food. Thanks to all who suggested it! (and I hope this review wasn’t too long/overly inclusive)

                        1. re: elagain
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                          PaulaG RE: elagain Aug 22, 2007 04:58 PM

                          Ha! We're Red Truckers at my house, too! When it first came out, we scored a case fro $7.99 a bottle. Unfortunately, ridiculous wine mark-up is the usual at hotel restaurants.

                          I'm sorry about your dining companions, but again, it's a hotel restaurant. Moreover, it's a hotel restaurant in Baltimore. They can't afford to send any paying guests away. They just want to fill the tables. It's different in NYC, but not here.

                          1. re: elagain
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                            goldilocks412 RE: elagain Aug 22, 2007 05:00 PM

                            Nice, comprehensive review, thanks! Wholeheartedly agree that people should not show up to a nice dinner looking like they just came from the beach or from weekend yard chores - it's offensive. Just an FYI on wine prices at restaurants - they typically mark up wines 300%+ just as they do Coke, Pepsi, Perrier, Pelligrino, etc. so what you saw with Red Truck was quite common. Restaurants prefer to sell names of wines that you've never heard of so 1) they can mark them up even higher and 2) you can't do the math. At least when you buy a Coke or a Pelligrino, you know you're paying far more for it than you would at the store but at least getting the same quality product (if that's your taste). My husband and I try to frequent restaurants that stick to a 200% mark up on retail or less for wines and award them by drinking more!

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