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Craft show guests- recs for Baltimore?

Our friends from New York are in town Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the Acc Craft Show. We may fry white perch one night but are looking for some ideas for two nights. We have taken them to Peter's Inn, Zorba's, "B", and Pazo. We enjoyed all four. I am not a fan of Petit Louis but have considered Cinghiale- never been and I usually like to try what I am going to subject our guests to first. I know we will have a ball no matter where we go but I also enjoy places that you are not going to find anything like it anywhere but here. (I put Peter's and Zorba's in that category. I would even consider taking them to Giovanna's for tortellini if they were open.) Any ideas?

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  1. How about Martick's! it's got Charm City's cultural stamp all over it.Cinghiale might be fun and guaranteed to be crazy busy, keep this in mind w/ regard to service, noise, reservations.
    Rocket to Venus is another fun very Baltimore-now kind of place, good for a beer and retro style bar fare. Again, def call to make a reservation, service not stellar at the best of times.
    Tabrizi's over at Harbourview, I've not tried it yet but i always like eating by the water, no matter what city i'm in.

    5 Replies
    1. re: aussiewonder

      I've also taken them to Martick's. That was an alltime experience. Morris (sp?) sat down with the group and talked for a while. He half complained that all the reviews of his place start with "you better get there soon- this won't last forever" due to his age. Of course that's among the reasons I go there periodically along with the boulliabaise. Aussiewonder I believe you mentioned that you have a background in restaurants. Ever work at Martick's?
      I agree re Nasu Blanca. What do you think about Nasu Blanca versus Wine Market if we head in that direction?

      1. re: baltimorejim

        My one experience with Nasu Blanca was memorable for all the wrong reasons. I didn't find the food to be a very good value for the money, and while it may have been pure misfortune, I was surrounded by a "high drama" breakup to my left, a young guy whining to his date about how he "just doesn't want to deal with all this money" he just inherited (Hey, buddy -I'll take it if it's causing you that much pain), and some "I'm so cool, I'll have the chef summoned, so I can teach him how to cook this dish properly" bozo and his entourage at the table in front of me.

        In all, a night that made me want to flee down the street screaming, never to return. Pretensiousness settings on ten, Mr. Sulu (though as I said, the restaurant can't help how the clients behave).

        1. re: baltimorejim

          No, not at Martick's. I like Nasu Blanca's food but as Warthog says, sometimes the vibe is a little...off. I'm not sure I'd use it as a 'showcase' baltimore restaurant. Good for happy hour though - the prices can't be beat. How about Chameleon Cafe on Harford Rd? I love that their menu is so seasonal and i think it def captures BaltimoreCharm.
          If you can get a reso, there's always Woodberry Kitchen - although I think the menu is great for some and maybe not so for others.
          For a super casual bar place, Annabell Lee's has my vote. I'm totally in love with their tuna sashimi app, but go early bc it gets very crowded. In the same vein, The Brewers Art? Now that it's all non-smoking it's so much easier to breathe in there and it's the perfect winter bar.
          A

          1. re: aussiewonder

            Very good recs from aussiewonder as usual! I have to second the Chameleon Cafe rec...if it weren't clear on the other side of town from us we'd go there way more often. Peter's is our favorite restaurant, so if you like Peter's then I say definitely go to the Chameleon Cafe, you won't be disappointed.

          2. re: baltimorejim

            If you head in that direction (SoBo) there is always HULL STREET BLUES
            with plenty of neighborhood ambience....also always overlooked/forgotten is PIERPOINTS in Fells point, has some unusual B'more variations(smoked crabcakes ffor instance)

        2. Nasu Blanca has a very creative menu, & the food is very good.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. The Helmand and La Cazuela are both good values, good restaurants, and exemplars of uncommon cuisines, even if they are not strictly an "only in Baltimore" experience. On the low end of the budget, I've never had a pizza like Matthew's anywhere else. Joe Squared might also be a possibility on that front.

              I don't know what part of NY they are from, or how informal you care to get, but Andy Nelson's is about as good as BBQ gets, at least this far north!

              5 Replies
              1. re: Warthog

                They live in the Village and enjoy Italian food. They spend a couple of weeks in Piedmont every year but I don't think its necessary (probably impossible) to try to replicate that (just in case Joe H is reading). I love Mathew's and Andy Nelson's but of the two Mathew's may be more likely given after show timeframe.

                I'm tempted to take out of town quests to places like Andy Nelson's and Mathew's but my wife thinks we need something a little more upscale. I'm sure one night will be Zorba's (not that much upscale but a favorite). Chameleon is a great recommendation.

                I've only eaten ar Helmand a couple of times and may not know what to order. I've never been as impressed with Helmand as I have with Karzai's "B".

                1. re: baltimorejim

                  Oh thank goodness, I thought it was just me. I love the ambiance of B but I find the menu at Helmand to be just ok. I always end up ordering the same three dishes bc that's what always appeals to me. After a while though, i'd love to see a bit of variety. Does anyone know if they change their menu?
                  I also struggle w/ Andy Nelson's bc of timing...

                  1. re: aussiewonder

                    I checked out Annabelle Lee tonight. The rack of lamb with champagne brie sauce was outstanding. The crabcake platter was served with mashed potatoes and grillled asparagus. The crabmeat was a little gamy but the mashed potatoes were very good. Lately my favorite restaurant crabcake has been at Dizzy Issie's. They actually grill/ saute' it so it's more like a home prepared crabcake than those put under the broiler.

                    The chef, Meyer?, said I reminded him of Ed Tyson, a deceased bar owner who fell into the water going to his boat. I asked him if he rembered Karen Tiffany's (Peter's Inn) father Sam Fuller who departed life in the same fashion a couple of years ago on the way to his boat in Fell's Point. Sam was a well known Fell's Point habitue' whose last adventure involved buying a sailboat on the Great Lakes and sailing through the St Lawrence seaway down the Hudson River to Fells Point. Later I said "hey, Meyer, you mean I remind you of a dead guy?" He said "Oh no, pre mortem not post mortem."

                    1. re: baltimorejim

                      ohh that rack of lamb has me salivating! Was it crowded? I hesitate to pass on the rec for this place bc as much as I want them to succeed and do well, I would hate to not be able to get in the door!

                      1. re: aussiewonder

                        There were several tables available and 4 or 5 seats at the bar when we came in around 7:30 but emptied out during our dinner. The bartender says it is jammed on the wekends. This probably won't work for our group since there are so few four tops in the restaurant

              2. Try Salt or the Wine Market stay away from Cinghiale.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sas

                  I Second!!! Cinghale is so inconsistent!