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Best New Midscale Restaurant in Bmore?

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While my username may belie the request for something more upscale, I am a former Charm City-er coming back for a wedding and I want to gather some old friends at a fun restaurant downtown with great food the night before. I only come back periodically so if there is something that has opened in the past year or so that is a 'must try', please let me know!!

Looking for something perhaps Brewer's Art-esque in the sense that there is great food, but is not too stuffy and can accomodate a fair size group (10 - 15) without feeling cramped. Preferably in the surrounding 'local neighborhoods' (read Mt Vernon, Canton, Fed Hill etc - i.e. Not the Harbor).

Would love to hear how the restaurant scene has blossomed (I hope!) in my absence.

CMR

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  1. I would giv Jack's Bistro a try - it's new, has great food, and the folk there are really nice in my experiance. They only take reservations for larger parties, but it seems like you will have a bigger group, so could probably get a reservation. It's become my go-to place lately

    2 Replies
    1. re: pagoda girl

      Isn't this the place that put Pop Rocks in the tuna, without mentioning it on the menu?

      1. re: crowsonguy

        ewww.

    2. The previous chef at Sotto Sopra has re-opened Pazza Luna in Locust Point. I don't know if you made it to the old version, but the new version has improved food in the same space.

      Iggies' is a quasi new pizza place. Its not as upscale as it is trendy. They have a long communal table and a BYOB policy. This place would seem perfect if people plan on coming and going throughout the evening.

      -----
      Iggies
      818 N Calvert St Ste 1, Baltimore, MD 21202

      Pazza Luna
      1401 E.Clement Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

      1. Not sure if the size of your party would be a problem but...
        La Cazuela on Eastern Ave in Fells Point area has gotten some good reviews here
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/428101

        My old standby is Hull Street Blues(off Fort Ave) in the Fedral Hill area

        1. Thanks for all the great ideas! Chow on.

          1. I had a great meal at Birches in Canton earlier this week. Really good food, decent enough wine, and lovely inside, without being stuffy. Service was the same. Competent but never fawning.

            I'm not a fan of Jack's Bistro (sorry pagodagirl), and, I actually would consider it to be a very cramped space.