cioppino in baltimore
Hi gang! Where can I find great cioppino in Baltimore? All I can find is raves about the tragically-closed Saffron. Is there nobody else making cioppino? :( I didn't get the chance to go to Saffron, sadly, but I'm dying for some really good cioppino, like I used to have on the west coast. Help?
To be honest, I can't think of anyplace in Baltimore I've seen even attempt cioppino, let alone a good one. I'd never been to Saffron, so can't comment on theirs. Even bouillabaise is not too often seen, either on a menu or as a special, which is kind of odd, given that Baltimore is nominally a seafood town.
Maryland Crab soup, Cream of Crab soup, the usual New England and Manhattan styles of Clam Chowder, and the occasional oyster stew is about it for seafood in soup/broth around here in non-asian restaurants, and the Chinese places will add crab and asparagus, and the Korean places do some nice spicy concoctions.
But cioppino? I'm at a loss of where to suggest even looking. Sorry! Maybe others will have suggestions from places I'm not familiar with, or somewhere I'm forgetting.
This was my first impression also when I read the question. I thought, man, I LOVE cioppino, but I don't think I've seen it anywhere in Baltimore. Hopefully someone will have a good recommendation. (I also didn't know Saffron was supposed to have a good version; talk about adding insult to injury! Now I'm even more bummed I didn't get there before it closed.)
As an aside, on the bouillabaise point, I had some mighty, mighty fine bouillabaise at Marticks a few months ago. I often have plate envy when I go out to eat, but that night, everyone was wishing they had ordered what I had ordered.
Not quite cioppino but very close - Bluestone Grill in Timonium has on their menu a Crisfield Seafood Stew -- "Shrimp, jumbo sea scallops, fresh fish and P.E.I. mussels simmered in a zesty tomato-vegetable broth, served with a thick slice of rustic Italian bread." The broth was pretty similar to that of a cioppino, and I thoroughly enjoyed it when I dined there a few months ago, though served in a bowl without any pasta.
Doesnt Brewers Art sometimes serve it? The menu online right now does not include it, but I think I remember seeing it...
I order it all the time at Pirates Cove in Galesville, but I have nothing to compare it to, so I can't vouch for its authenticity.