Thanksgiving dinner in Baltimore: here's my list - please help me pick
I moved to DC from San Francisco over a year ago, and my hubby wants to head to Baltimore to have dinner with his parents. They don't cook, and I'm not going to cook a turkey to bring, so we're eating out. I do not know Baltimore restaurants. Here are spots that have availability. ANY feedback is appreciated!
> Brass Elephant
> Della Notte
> Grille 700 at the Baltimore Marriott
> Jimmy's Famous Seafood
> M & S Grill
> McCormick & Schmick's
> Sotto Sopra
> The Owl Bar
Out of what you've listed, here's my take:
Corks: Excellent food(usually) Pellegrino(Jerry) is a wonderful chef(if he's actually cooking that day) The sommelier Coker(Chris) is a bit disingenuine, but hey that's his job. $59pp $95pp w/ wine. Yes that's the t-day menu.
Della Notte:$ 34.95pp also serving full menu..I'm not a big Della Notte fan as there are numerous places better to eat in Little Italy. Also since you're not cooking a turkey and it seems like you may want some, Italian ?? on Thanksgiving ?? Although I am a huge gnocchi fan any day of the week.
Tabrizi's: Well it's there. Not as good as it was when the charles street location closed (97' I believe) They've been through one exec. chef already, and are on #2(in addition to Michael Tabrizi) since the August 21st open date. It could be great , though often there are very few people in the restaurant. Leaving the kitchen to not being overwhelmed as it's had the tendency to do often in the past 3 months.
Brass: Well, also there. After Jack Ellsby was ousted(quite a while back) as well as having their head manager leave(recently) Brass is well, it's still Brass. However not what it used to be in it's heyday. It'll be around forever though, so it's always worth a shot. If you go to the bar say hi to Chris.
Grille 700: It's a crap shoot. Remember you're eating in a hotel in Baltimore. The Marriott at that. This is not HarborCourt(in it's prime), nor Hyatt or Renaissance. Heck, I'd even go to the Tremont before returning here..
Jimmy's : Never been
M&S Grill: Were you really thinking of eating here on Thanksgiving ?? While you're there try the shoe leather..I mean bread. I used to meet buddies from Legg there after work religiously and ate there sporadically. Never consistent, always interesting, rarely good. The bar is nice though if you'd like to watch any of the 3 games on that day and they have nice happy hour specials, say hey to Matt, David or Erin.
The Real M&S: The food is average for the price and variety. All restaurants are subject to what they specialize in. As long as you are being realistic and aren't going for crabcakes and corn on the cob in November, then you should be alright.
Pisces: $31-56pp for entrees. I am not sure whether they are doing a Thanksgiving oriented menu, but I'm fairly sure turkey will be available. The best meal I have had at Pisces was sunday brunch. Their cream of crab soup is very good. It has a fantastic 15th floor view, and very friendly veteran staff(Mark, Mason, Willy T., Kelly, Brian) This is a hotel reataurant/bar that I frequent unlike Grille 700.
The Owl Bar: Brick Oven Pizza, very tasty here. Also very non-thanksgiving. The staff turnover is normal, the training inconsistent and the menu knowledge mediocre. Once again I do not know if they have a Turkey-day oriented menu. It's a nice location and if 13th floor is open on turkey day(evening) there are worse places to hang out.
Sotto Sopra: If I didn't have an extreme dislike for Riccardo Bosio, I could possibly recommend Sotto Sopra to you. However I do, so I won't. I also won't be recommending Pazza Luna to you. Although Gianfranco Fracasetti is much more favorable. However since I have eaten here roughly 10 times: Food- mediocre, service-great, staff-knowledgeable, bar-always a good time. The cuore di lattuga(salad), frittura di calamaretti(very nice wasabi sour cream with it) and the prosciutto di parma have been items that I liked.
I've eaten numerous times the restaurants listed above. I mainly like to sit at the bar when I go out, or in lounge seating(even for dinner) I do occasionally sit in a dining room though. I have been in the industry for far too many years and these are solely my opinions and observations, please take them as such. Hope this has been helpful and enjoy your Thanksgiving.
i totally disagree with the comment that sommelier at corks is disingenuine. the wine list at corks is very thoughtful and accommodating to all. i have frequented corks, & cannot think of a time when the sommelier was not present to guide my group. it is remarkable that he has been able to mimic the styles of european (etc.) wines, with a solely american list, without regurgitating the same big names on every wine list in town. it is obvious that he is excited about wine, unafraid to introduce obscure & boutiquey names, & passionate about his talent. he also seems to organize all the specialty beer & wine dinners that corks offers on a regular basis. i see this person as a pioneer for others to look up to in the future of baltimore restaurants.