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Nov 12, 2007 12:55 AM

Special Welcome Home Dinner: Balto

Hey Balto Hounds,

I've been living in Central Asia for nearly 6 months and this site is where I come when I need a taste of "home." :)

I am now counting the days to my return to Baltimore. Since it's going to be my first meal in an industrialized country since my departure, I am already dreaming about gourmet meals, good service, great wine, and my man at my side.

So where should I go on my first night back?

Guidelines: Anything goes, and price is not a consideration. We can do Balto city proper or 'Burbs. I would prefer romantic, but food is the most important consideration.

Our favorites include Trattoria Alberto (it was my last meal out before I left), Abacrombie, Timothy Dean's, Zodiac, Helmand, Kali's Mezze, Red Fish, Minato. Our first date was at John Stevens (back when it was good). We love seafood especially, but will eat anything.

I'm wavering between trying someplace I've never been to (a la Cinghale or Charleston or Louisiana) or going back to an old, comfortable favorite. Then I considering doing something uber-Baltimore, like Mr. Bill's for crabs and beer in a plastic cup.....And I haven't had a dirty martini in ages, so a place that makes a mean one would be welcome.

As a former waitress, crappy service makes me crazy while servers in the weeds make me anxious. So please consider places where the service should not be an issue for me. I fly in on a Friday night, so it's going to be a Saturday or Sunday night dinner, depending on how well/how poorly I deal with jet lag.

My conundrum is that I have too many choices, and am not entirely sure what I am going to want. So I could really use your help in making my first meal back a happy, memorable, and special one.

Looking forward to hearing your recommendations! TIA for sharing your Chow-pertise.

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  1. I vote for Charleston. The last time I was there, the food and the service were impeccable. I even went with the server's suggestions for accompanying wines - which were all spot on. It's my third visit to Charleston - I highly recommend it for a special dinner. Haven't done Cinghale yet tho - can't talk about that one.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bajangrl64

      Charleston is the best in Baltimore in terms of food and service if price is no object. Cinghale may be running smoothly by the time you return, but why risk it for a special occasion.

    2. I vote for crabs at Mr. Bills!!

      1. There really are so many options. Cinghiale would be fun. We've only been once, but our food and service and wine were all great. The bar area is very cool - I think next time I go, I'll just sit at the bar.

        And I know not everyone is, but I'm a Charleston lover and if this is a good time to spend a whole lot of money for delicious food - I say go for it :)