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Jan 12, 2008 03:35 PM

How is Cinghale (balt.)?

We are fans of Cindy Wolfe's ventures thus far and planning on headed to Cinghale to celebrate a birthday. What's good? What's forgetable? Thanks.

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  1. There's an extensive post about this restaurant...

    Don't forget to please report back on your experience!

    1. Was there in October and found it to be quite good. If you're going expecting the typical Sicilian style fare you find throughout Little Italy, you will be disappointed. If you're open and looking for a new offering of Italian cuisine, I think you'll be pleased.

      Of course, if you are like Baltimore Sun food critic Elizabeth Large who complained that the "kale soup tasted, well, like kale" then you'll hate it as much as she did and will probably be better off at Carraba's...

      8 Replies
      1. re: onocoffee

        Oh come one, now...Elizabeth Large didn't hate the place. She just didn't like the kale soup. Or maybe I read a different review than you did.

        1. re: Hal Laurent

          It's one thing to state that you didn't like the kale soup, or that it wasn't to your preference or expectation. It's completely another to state that the kale soup tasted like kale in the pejorative sense.

          I mean really, what would one expect kale soup to taste like? Chicken liver? To my mind, capturing the flavor of kale in a kale soup is something to be lauded than derided.

          1. re: onocoffee

            You keep bringing this up, and you're really being unfair. Her comment, which you misquoted, was "unless you adore kale, I would avoid the Tuscan kale soup, which has a health-food-store-blender feel to it and tastes, well, intensely of kale." That seems like a reasonable description to me. There are lots of intense flavors that I wouldn't want overwhelming a dish even when they play a central role.

            1. re: JonParker

              From Ms. Large's year-end wrap-up on the local restaurant scene:
              "Cinghiale in Harbor East is Tony Foreman's mostly successful attempt to re-create an authentic, traditional Italian enoteca and osteria. The more faithful it is to his original concept, the more Cinghiale looks to the best of the past."

              1. re: JonParker

                I hear what you're trying to say. However, a comment like that is amateurish and not of the level of journalism I would expect from the largest daily. Why anyone who doesn't like kale would order a kale soup and then complain that it tastes "intensely of kale" is beyond my understanding.

                Does one also order soup a l'oignon (French onion soup) and complain because it tastes of onions????

                How does this qualify as "credible"?

                1. re: onocoffee

                  When I read her review I understood it to mean that it tasted only of kale, as if it was only pureed raw kale w/out any seasoning or other flavors. I think it would be more like if the onion was raw or lightly browned and not a properly made French onion soup.

          2. re: onocoffee

            I'd love to see some Sicilian cuisine in Little Italy, which is predominantly southern Italian.

          3. We have been their twice both times were only fair. The space is beautiful the food marginal the wine list very good. Another overrated Cindy Wolf Tony Foreman restaurant

            1 Reply
            1. re: sas

              SAS, I cannot agree. The salumi are almost all great, the pastas are wonderful, and the antipasti are pretty good. i have not ordered secondi or dessert yet, but the wines by the glass are interesting and sometimes a great value. Some complain re portion size, but I have found an antipasti or salumi and a pasta are enough for me (the food is very rich, as someone pointed out on this Board).

              As for the rest of the Wolf/Foreman group, the only one that might be over-rated is Petit Louis, where I eat fairly often; it is still quite good (biggest problem there is untrained college students as servers). Charleston and Pazo are worth every penny and more.

            2. The charcuterie plate is good (althought there are no accoutraments with it). I thought the cuttlefish stew was probably one of the best things I've had in a long time (chunks of creamy white polenta dot the stew). The suckling pig was a bit over cooked and dry. I really enjoyed myself over all (I snacked on my GF's plates). I can't wait to delve deeper into the menu.

              1. OK so we went to Chingale (excuse my earlier misspelling) for my husbands birthday and well it just isn't great.
                Somethings we loved- The space is beautiful, the slaumiaeria selections tasty, the cheeses top shelf-we had a great white truffle oil cheese with black truffle shavings in it=out of this world- the solmalia was a great help, and it is fun to choose your dining room& level of swank (we choose the more causual entroteca(sp)

                But alot was off often way off
                First off the menus are daunting there are so many selections and it is nearly impossible to naviagte it yourself- if you don't want to get intimate with your server about choosing your meal this is not the place for you.
                The food I think is well conceived but not well executed. Almost all of the dishes were way over salted,from the butternut squash soup to the mianase vegetable to the walnut sage sausage pasta.
                The only exception of the poorly seasoned food was my entree, which I liked a mediterranean seabass with a meyer lemon sauce- this was well balanced and perfectly cooked

                Now a moment on the horror of a Kobe Steak that was served to my husband.
                1. it was served with french fries, while that is odd it could work if the fries are good, the fries were so salty you couldn't eat them and they were double fried and limp (like the terrible Burger King Fries) What are they thinking there- I know Cindy Wolfe knows a good fry-they are great at Petite Louis.
                2. The steak, while a great piece of meat it was not allowed to rest before it was sliced and served so all of the juices ran out on the plate rather than being absorbed back into the meat

                Dessert was again uneven: The Tiramisu was the best but still not the best tiramisu out there by far, The semolina cake with blood oranges was good but bordered on being too sour, the lemon sorbet was too sour

                Chingale needs kitchen help!
                I think this is great place to go and have a drink and some tatsty bites from the salumeria
                but they have some kinks to work out

                1 Reply
                1. re: poached

                  I'm under the impression that, in the year that has past, the kitchen has gotten its act together.

                  Also, to set the record straight, Charleston and Petit Louis are Tony Forman/Cindy Wolf operations.

                  Pazo and Cinghiale are Tony's projects....