HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


Anyone heard of this new Balto Restaurant?

Just came from a community meeting where someone announced the opening of a new, white tablecloth, valet parking restaurant in Waverly. Darker Than Blue located at 3034 Greenmount Ave in North Baltimore.
Back in the day, I would even consider visiting that neighborhood at night, but it's changing. Anyone been to this new place? The announcer at this meeting also mentioned something about jazz music there.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Is this a joke? a "white table cloth" restaurant in the 3000 block of GREENMOUNT? I'm seriously not trying to be funny or jerk here. I went to Hopkins and am very familiar with that neighborhood- has it changed that much since I graduated 4 years ago?!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: dwbengals

      They've really been trying to change it, but this would still be pretty surprising. That said, it IS right by the year-round Farmer's Market, which draws precisely the kind of crowd that might be into this sort of thing....

      At the very least, a quick Google search shows that the Culinary Institute of America is holding a reception there next Monday, which probably indicates something. http://www.ciachef.edu/admissions/vis...

      1. re: matt8313

        It's a serious place with a CIA-trained chef who has been working for Sodexho and wanted a place of his own. Menu is southern comfort, place is cute. I haven't eaten there yet, just visited when they handed out flyers at the Farmers Market. It's where the community health center is, a block down from Pete's.

        1. re: chowsearch

          Hey- it wasn't my imagination that someone already mentioned the coconut batter fried shrimp with mango chutney ($10.75). The portion was enormous 4 or 5 jumbo shrimp- tasty sauce with a little side salad. Big order of ribs with a little too much sauce- maybe I'll say sauce on the side or light on the sauce next time. While I'm not much for sweet the sweet potato butter served with the cornbread at the start was not overly sweet. The peach mango sweetened ice tea was good. Macaroni and cheese which I asked for with the ribs instead of the mash was flavorfull and great. Spinach was not overcooked. Staff was very pleasant and welcoming and Chef sodexho spent a little time at our table. Very personable guy who said he had experience from a restaurant called Southern Comfort somewhere in New York and especially likes Low Country cuisine. Jazz background music was pleasant and it was still possible to hold a conversation. Since I live nearby I must say I'm somewhat skeptical about how much the neighborhood has or has not improved. I notice St. John's Church has a handsome six foot fence surrounding the lot which looks new within the past few years. Was that the pastor at a table behind me? I don't know but the Chef knew him by name and he was wearing his collar backwards.

    2. ELarge blogged about it: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/enter... (picture included).

      Have to try it.

      1. Made it here the other night. The food was generally good; the experience was a little odd. Our waitress seemed unfamiliar with the menu, with the restaurant policies, and with the general idea of waitressing. Shortly after we were seated, after a few peculiar interactions with the waitress, the chef came in through the front door, greeted us warmly, and seemed very enthused to have us there. After that, the service improved from "lousy" to "odd".

        The food: I had the fried chicken platter, subbing sauteed spinach for the green beans. The chicken was excellent, moist and flavorful meat with crispy skin. The candied yams were good, the spinach was terrific, and I wasn't a huge fan of the macaroni and cheese.

        Wife, on the other hand, had the stuffed shrimp app as her entree -- good, but not great, very traditional Maryland seafood restaurant style -- along with a side of the man 'n cheese, which she seemed to love.

        Our other dining companion is a vegetarian, and there's not a lot of veggie options on the menu here (although many of the sides may be vegetarian, if you trust our perplexed server). She got a chicken alfredo with no chicken, and thought it was perfectly fine.

        The cornbread was very sweet, but the accompanying sweet potato butter was really good. Prices seemed a bit high for what we got, but I have a suspicion that we didn't order well -- if and when we go back, I'm sticking exclusively to the "southern style" stuff. That seemed to be where the kitchen was strongest.

        6 Replies
        1. re: matt8313

          Thanks for the report. What were the prices like?

          1. re: baltoellen

            As I remember it, the fried chicken platter was 17.95, the alfredo was 11.95, the burger was 10.95, and most other entrees fell into that range. (I think the broiled seafood platter was the most expensive at 22.95 or so.) Apps seemed to be in the 8-9 dollar range, but I'm not sure. As I said, it seemed a bit pricey for what we received, but we might've felt different if the overall experience had been smoother.

            No alcohol service, currently, but you can BYO wine (although not beer).

          2. re: matt8313

            Wife had "along with a side of the man 'n cheese". You should not have to put up with this, IMHO.

              1. re: ko1

                Yes, that would've made the service even more awkward.

                1. re: matt8313

                  Went in here to look at the menu yesterday with a friend, and the chef/ owner (Casey?) invited us to sit down, gave us each a glass of delicious iced tea, even though we told him we weren't there to order. Well, his charm and the menu got to us, and we stayed for lunch, cooked and served by him. The atmosphere was as pleasant as described. large house salad with baby greens, blue cheese, red onions etc was pleasant, and the presentation, on a rectangular plate, was a winner. the cornbread and sweet potato butter was as good as previously mentioned. We split an order of ribs, ($17.95) and I'm glad we did. Over a pound, smokily charred and with a flavorful and not too sweet bbq sauce, these were outstanding. Neither my friend nor I have had a better combination of meat and sauce, at least in the Baltimore area. Wow! Spinach was lively, fresh and garlicky. The mashed potatoes did not measure up to the meal, and I'm almost sure were fake. What a shame, specially as you can now get pre peeled and cut fresh ones.
                  But all in all, a good place to be. And in answer to the somewhat superior comments on the board, Waverly has always been a vibrant neighborhood.

            1. Went there today for lunch. Have to admit, was pretty disappointed that the lunch menu didn't offer any ribs, fried chicken, cornbread or sides. Ended up ordering the crabcake sandwich and my dining partner, the salmon cake. Both were very good and came with well seasoned sweet potato fries. The waitress, sensing our disappointment over the missing menu items, was kind enough to sneak us a basket of corn bread with sweet potato butter. Amazing! Will definitely have to come back for dinner when we can sample some of the items that seem to be getting good press. Must mention that lunch was very affordable.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rudmansjmu

                When was the last time you had freshly made, still hot (not reheated) croutons with your Caesar salad?

                I went there with a friend from Waverly, and she immediately made reservations for their Sunday brunch. This place continues to impress me: a burger that is still moist and juicy when ordered medium well(!), with good qualty blue cheese on it and sweet potato fries ($11) My companion loved that the chef had bothered to grill the red onion slice too. My blackened tilapia, while cooked longer than I like, had a great cajun cream sauce around it, studded with shrimp and salmon, over al dente rice and tasty spinach. A big portion for $22, that I ended up taking home a third of. The salads and apps are big enough for two, as well.

                I have had almost all the entrees on their menu, and there is not a clunker among them: ribs, steak, crab cake, chicken alfredo and fried chicken, fish. They continue to offer their addictive and butter laden cornbread with sweet potato butter (this place is definitely Southern), and Casey, the chef, still comes out and checks on the meals, seeming to be genuinely interested in how they are received.

              2. Has anyone been here recently? What were the hits (or misses) on the dinner menu. I am going to Darker Than Blue for dinner with friends tomorrow. I went for a dinner there well over a year ago and wanted to get some recent feedback. Thanks!

                3 Replies
                1. re: amethiste

                  Sorry I'm too late for you, Amethiste, but the chicken is always tenderer than esewhere, the mini crab cakes are good, as are steak, spinach (yum) and ribs. the only dud entree I remember was crab stuffed chicken. Avoid mashed potatoes and French fries at all costs.

                  1. re: amethiste

                    We had an enjoyable meal there last night. There were three of us. Two of us got the chicken and waffles special. The platter consisted of half a chicken fried and home made waffles with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. The chicken was flavorful and went well with the sparkling wine we brought. The third member of the party had the chicken Alfredo which he seemed to enjoy. All of us brought home doggie bags.