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Clementine - Hamilton

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  • hon Apr 24, 2008 10:26 AM
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Info:

They are opening for business April 30th

Wednesday~ 7:30 am - 3 pm breakfast & lunch
Thursday~ 7:30 am - 3 pm breakfast & lunch
Friday~ 7:30 am - 10 pm breakfast, lunch & dinner
Saturday~ 8:30 am - 10 pm breakfast, lunch & dinner
Sunday~ 8:30 am - 9 pm breakfast, lunch & dinner
after a month they will expand or reduce this schedule as needed

There will be a BYOB policy until they get a liquor license. There
will be a $5 corkage for wine, beer ( by the six-pack) and booze. They will
have all the drinking paraphernalia ( glasses, wine buckets, mixers).

Clementine
5402 Hartford Rd.
410-444-1497

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  1. Great News! Thanks for the update... did you get a look inside?

    1 Reply
    1. re: tapas gal

      No, I just had this info sent to me via e-mail from a friend of the owners.

    2. There isn't any real information (like a menu), but here is Clementine's website for future reference:

      http://www.bmoreclementine.com/

      1. Thanks for this info. I believe it's "Harford" Road, not Hartford. Don't want potential mapquesting customers to be led astray.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wordtraffic

          it is Harford Road, I copied that out of the forwarded e-mail from the owners!

        2. What type of food?

          2 Replies
          1. re: KAZ

            The menu is up now... seems promising! Anyone go today?

            1. re: tapas gal

              The owner is the former chef of Sowebo Cafe- I can't wait to go.

          2. I went to Clementine for dinner tonight. It was excellent.

            It is run by the former chef of SOBO cafe on Cross Street and the menu is very similar. (and some of the waitstaff came with him it seems).

            I started with the mac n cheese and a lamb chili over a corn bread muffin. The mac n cheese was really good. The lamb chili was FANTASTIC. Sweet, tangy with some bite. Perfect with the corn bread. It was a special tonight and not on the menu, but I would definitely get it again if offered (hint, if you are reading this).

            I had a seared scallop dish for an entree. Also very very good. The scallops were fresh, well seasoned and perfectly seared. It came with a very tasty basil relish and served over some risotto.

            I will definitely be back. If you liked SOBO Cafe, you will certainly like Clementine.

            1. We've split an off topic digression about corkage fees at BYOB restaurants into a new thread on the Not About Food board. You can find that topic here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/515106

              1. We went to Clementine for dinner tonight. Although you could tell that they just opened, the food was great and the staff could not have been nicer.

                First of all--be warned--they have been too successful and are running out of food. They will not be open for dinner tomorrow (Sunday, May 4th), but will be open for breakfast and lunch.

                We made a reservation for 7 p.m. but were seated when we arrived (about 6:45). Since it is BYOB until they get their license, we brought a bottle of wine. We weren't charged the corkage fee. I don't know if that was intentional or not.

                I had looked at the menu online and was planning to order the meatloaf. Unfortunately, they had sold out of the meatloaf. We ended up ordering the mac and cheese ($4) as an appetizer. Apparently, the mac and cheese was delivered to the wrong table and the wrong table accepted the appetizer. Our very apologetic waitress promptly handled the situation and removed the charge from our bill. The mac and cheese arrived after our entrees, but it was worth the wait.

                Since there was no meatloaf, we ended up ordering the porkchop dish and the chicken dish (both $14). The chicken is served airline style, which I learned means off the bone, but with the wing. Both dishes were fabulous. Both the portion size and flavor were perfect. We cleaned our plates.

                We also both had dessert which was made by the chef/owner's mother. We had the coconut cake and brownie with bourdon whipped cream. Again, both were fabulous.

                We will certainly be back. And--although we are fans of Woodberry Kitchen--this is our favorite new restaurant.

                1. We went for lunch yesterday and they are still straightening out the operation, but it looks very promising. I got the mac and cheese and the MD crab soup. Neither was properly heated, both were delicious. The crab soup may be the best I've ever had in a restaurant, the shoepeg corn's sweetness playing off the heat of the spices. The mac and cheese is the same good stuff the cook made at SoBo Cafe for years.

                  1. We had our second dinner there tonight and it was just as good as the first. This time we tried the crab soup, cowboy pie (a special), and Baltimore strip steak. Everything was fabulous. I think this is going to become one of our regular spots. To top it off, we shared a slice of cake that tasted exactly like one of those peanut butter/chocolate "kandy kakes". Yum!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ronandaim

                      I went there on Friday night. It was very nice, and very reasonable. I had the strip and it was a little overcooked from what I ordered - I am glad I ordered medium rare and got medium rather than ordering medium and getting medium well - but it was still delicious. The mashed potatoes were a little drier than I like but they absorbed a lot of the pan sauce and juices from the steak so they worked well. The mac and cheese is, indeed, delcious. I also had a cold cucumber soup that was very nice. My wife had a very nice pork chop that she really liked. We plan on going back often.

                      One note is that they are incredibly, incredibly kid-friendly. They have a play area and put us near it so that my 2-year-old could play during dinner. They're almost too kid friendly - the waitress (whom I think was one of the owners) actually picked my son up off my wife's lap and took him to the play area!

                      Also, we had 4 people drinking but they only charged us one $5 corking fee rather than charging for each of us - don't know if that was on purpose or not.

                    2. Thanks! I just drove by and noticed them for the first time. A good restaurant that I can walk to - that is more than I was hoping for! Has anyone tried breakfast? The "really good bagels" and homemade cream cheese sound compelling, since Edelweiss has closed (best bagels IMO).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: aya

                        Just tried breakfast. Very sweet place and staff. We went right at opening, because I didn't want them to have run out of anything. My veggie breakfast casserole was tasty as were the accompanying red-skinned potatoes and cooked properly. It has been hard to find a tasty, basic breakfast. My gf's ww bagel and bluefish cream cheese were also very good. She didn't even miss that they don't have smoked salmon, which is her typical order. She also had one of their Stash teas - a good brand. Disappointments: (1) the fruit salad. Good red grapes but hard watermelon, canteloupe, and honeydew. Plus, the fruit is dressed in sesame oil and mint. Fruit salad should be perfectly ripe and naked or not served. (2) I ordered a banana nut muffin, homemade, but surprisingly cold. The image in my head was toasted and served with butter. This is why we eat breakfast at home, it just seems like restaurants can't get it right. (3) The waitress said that the bacon, cheese, and scallion muffin wasn't ready yet. I can understand that they run out of items as time goes by, but I can't understand why the menu wouldn't be available at opening time.

                        Still, I'm eager to try their dinner menu. I'm just wondering what is the most strategic time to go, when everything is ready and nothing has run out?

                        Also, am thrilled to be able to walk from our house to a nice restaurant, beyond thrilled. Everyone coming through the door had a nice, hopeful smile on their face, so we'll see. And our bill was only $9.01. I thought it was a mistake!

                      2. What a wonderful addition to Baltimore!! We had dinner there last night, we loved absolutly every thing food and service. Cheers for the Steak, Cowboy Pie, Caurtice(SP?) platter, and the Amber Jack- a new fish to me and it was great!!

                        Thing I liked best is that it was a great comfortable place, using local and free range meats and produce- decisons that I hope more resturants will adopt- and the food had all the indications of a talented and inventive chef. I hope eat there many times!

                        1. We had dinner at Clemetine for the 4th time tonight and, once again, we loved everything.

                          We started with the stuffed mushroom caps. They were stuffed with crab and some type of duck ham. They were awesome. We devoured them!

                          My husband had the Thai red curry with duck breast and loved it. I had the meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy with some sauteed vegetables. This was my favorite dish so far. The meatloaf has a bacon-base and the gravy is made with Zeke's coffee. You can taste the coffee, but it works. This dish is crave-able.

                          They have also updated their hours and are now serving dinner on Wednesday and Thursday as well.

                          1. I had lunch with my neighbor here today. It was very very good. Prices were very reasonable for lunch and we both totally enjoyed our sandwiches - we both had the porkloin sandwich. I really look forward to going back again.

                            It's amazing - Harford Road is turning into a foodie destination (I'm so happy since it's not a long drive from me).

                            You have Giovanna's at 7401 Harford Road for quick and inexpensive food.
                            http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertain...

                            There's Clementine at at 5402 Harford Road.
                            http://www.bmoreclementine.com/restau...

                            And the Chameleon Cafe is at 4341 Harford Road for fine dining.
                            http://www.thechameleoncafe.com/

                            With gas prices what they are I'm very happy to see some good places to dine on Harford Road.

                            1. Anyone been to Clementine lately? Any can't miss items on the menu? Planning on taking my parents there, who are visiting, this weekend.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: hotel

                                I went with a friend on Saturday. My first visit, we enjoyed it very much. My friend is very picky (no seafood or red meat) and she was able to find several choices on the menu. We split the Frittata entree as an appetizer. It had local sweet corn, asparagus and roasted tomatoes in it atop a salad. They were out of the black bass so I got the salmon special stuffed with Crab Imperial. Good, but they were a bit skimpy on the stuffing.

                                Desserts... my friend loved hers... an authentic grandma version of Coconut Cake with Double Boiler icing. I am not a huge fan of coconut but it was darn good. I got a dark chocolate brownie with fresh peaches. After tasting the peaches I knew I should have gotten the sweet biscuits with fresh peaches... The peaches were wonderful but shadowed by the brownie... the sweet biscuits would have been perfect.

                                Also... the corkage fee is $5 per table - not bottle - it says so on the menu now...

                                1. re: tapas gal

                                  I swear by the meatloaf!

                                  1. re: ronandaim

                                    Went to Clementine on Saturday with 3 other people and we definitely enjoyed it.

                                    Split the mac and cheese and charcuterie plate for appetizers. Charcuterie plate was incredible. Duck pate mousse, a seafood sausage link, bread and butter pickels, a homemade cocktail sauce, a phenomenal piece of cheese, and a tomato coulis. The duck, cheese and sausage were the standouts. The cocktail sauce and coulis felt kind of just thrown on there to add some more stuff, but both mixed with the mac and cheese really gave it something extra. I think I may have liked the mac and cheese at Sobo better. I like Mama's on the Half Shell's too, but it can be greasy at the bottom. Clementines was tasty with a nice crispy top and tomatoes inside. Very good.

                                    Between the four of us we had the Coho Salmon, the Baltimore Strip Steak, the Hanger Steak, and the Pork Loin.

                                    The highlight was the definitely the Hanger steak. It had an avocado spread on it, and was perfectly cooked. The side of re-fried beans was easily one of the best side dishes I've ever tasted. They aren't a traditional paste. Imagine the consistency of a drier version of baked beans, with a bean paste to hold it together. Chunks of smoked bacon completed it.

                                    While I enjoyed the salmon topped with a crab salad, I felt the crab was a bit too hidden. Too much of a salad with some mayo and veggies, when a simpler version would have been better. It also came with a local squash, carrot, and onion slaw topped with a basil vinegarette which was very nice and refreshing.

                                    The pork loin was spicy and well prepared. The mashed potatoes that came with the strip steak were also very tasty.

                                    Dessert was a piece of peach cake with fresh whipped cream and was also very good.

                                    This place is a steal. All of that and the check came out to just over a hundred dollars! Plus its got some serious charm in there. The "open kitchen" is closed with orange crates. And I love the old deli cooler separating the dinning room from the waitress stand. Very cool. We will definitely be back.

                                    1. re: hotel

                                      The chef/owner at Clementine was formerly the chef at Sobo Cafe. Your comparisons to Sobo are right on the mark!

                                      1. re: ronandaim

                                        My wife and I came from Annapolis to Clementine for the first time after church last Sunday. It will be the first of many I hope. We were greeted warmly by one of the waitresses and seated near the kitchen. There were a number of families there with young children, all seemed to be enjoying themselves. We were served drinks, my wife had the Lime Basil elixir, very refreshing on a hot afternoon. I opened with crab soup, some of the best I've ever had. My wife had the Gazpacho which she liked a lot. We decide to sample a number of items. We had the duck pate, macaroni and chesse and a crab stuffed sausage. All were good the sausage was a standout. We each ordered a sandwich. I tried the roast beef and my wife the catfish. They came with salads and we each took a half sandwich home. I have not been a fan of catfish but really enjoyed this version. When we finished we were enticed into trying a slice of peanut butter and chocolate cake. It was delicious and called for a cup of coffee to go with it. I have been limiting myself to one tall cup of coffee per day but the "Oh My Darling blend" from Zeke's coffee could easily change that. I took a bag home. We were well pleased with the food, the service and the reasonable prices. I want to go back for dinner soon. Obviously what the owners are doing here is working. Construction is under way for an expansion to open some time in November, that's really something for a restaurant that just opened in April. Can anyone let me know what not to miss on the dinner menu?

                                        1. re: advancehip

                                          I am glad that you enjoyed Clementine as much as I did and still do. I am curious about one thing in your post ... you did mention about an expansion. I haven't heard about it. Can u give us more info on it? Thanks. LOVE LOVE that place. Excellent dishes!

                                          1. re: Guten Appetit

                                            I was speaking briefly to the bartender at Hamilton Tavern about this.. so I am paraphrasing... Apparently they are expanding into the vacant building beside them. Offering a more fine dining experience (his words) - in what I am assuming is the new building.

                                            No mention of timeline or anything like that. Hopefully someone else can expand on this info - but I wanted to insert what little I knew.

                                            1. re: Guten Appetit

                                              I spoke with the owner when I was there about a week ago. I actually got to tour the building next door which used to be a carpet dealer. Construction is well on its way and I heard of a November opening.

                                2. We showed up at 8pm on Friday night for the first time, fully expecting a wait. We were very excited as we live close by and have had friends encouraging us to try this place. We were told the wait was 15 mins. We waited and waited. We asked the host about our table, and we were told there was a reservation that she had forgotten about, and that we would be seated after them. We are patient, and enjoy a cocktail, so we waited some more on a couch with a short coffee table for close to an hour. The host convinced us to order an appetizer in the meantime, and went on and on about the mac & cheese. We couldn't resist, & were very hungry at this point. Unfortunately, we both found the dish bland, & lacking salt & seasoning. After an hour and a disappointing appetizer, we gave up and informed the host that we were not going to stay. Not a good first impression. We will try again due to proximity, but this first visit and all the waiting, lack of communication, and a lackluster mac & cheese left us NOT dying to try it anytime soon despite living right down the street.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: hawaiigrl2003

                                    I have found that making a reservation is a must! Even so, the last time we had a reservation on a Friday night, we still had to wait about 25 minutes. They are sort of a victim of their own success, but I hear that there are plans to expand.

                                    I had the mac and cheese once and thought it was good, but haven't been inclined to order it again.

                                    I really do encourage you to try it again...maybe on a week night. The meatloaf is so good!

                                    1. re: ronandaim

                                      The Harford Road corridor has needed something for a very, very long time to reverse what has looked like a steady decline, with the growth of hair braiding stores, shop window churches, shady looking novelty shops and other indicators of blight, including the closing of the last real shop of any value, Coopers Camera Mart. There has been a sudden rush of appealing new eating places which we're trying one-by-one. We went to Clementine two weeks ago for the first time. We had some concerns, brought on by 2 words, not the pretentious "Charcuterie" and "Comestibles" which have a ring to them, but "Kid Friendly," which generally open the door for all kinds of horrors. We had a brief wait before choosing to sit at the bar. The waitress was terse and hopelessly snotty, and it took a while for us to get our food due to a detour to the farthest point in the room, but it did arrive. I had the Baltimore strip, which itself looked good although the presentation was messy. My wife's fish and crabmeat dish was also a bit thrown-together, but she had nothing but good things to say about it. My steak was well cooked, tasty, but very gristly and half went to waste. One thing about Clementine which you will either love or hate, depending on whether or not you see it as a sign of "liveliness," "bustling" or "popular," the din is incredible. If you want to indulge in conversation, you're better off standing at the bus stop outside, saying what you want to say and then going back inside. It's grim, but as a previous poster said, there are plans to expand, so that might work. In the meantime, we'll probably go back, maybe during the week and leaving the steaks to the steakhouses. Still, it's a good addition to Harford Rd., and the owners should be congratulated and supported.

                                  2. I want to love this place. The owners are friendly and so nice, but we've given it about 4 tries and there always seems to be a problem. The lunch menu is not very interesting and our bread was stale (on our sandwiches). They always seem to be out of something, and although they are open from AM to 10pm on weekends they are not serving anything but soup or salad from 3-5pm. To be fair, we haven't tried dinner yet- just breakfast and lunch.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: farmermarn

                                      Afraid I have to agree. We've been there several times now, and something's always off. The first time we went, we were told that they make their own ketchup, which sounded pretty exciting! But... they were out of it. The second time we went, same thing. I actually went across the street to the CVS and bought a bottle of Heinz, which I openly kept on the table. Also, the last two times we went, we ordered things that were advertised to come with their homemade hot sauce. Great! Problem is, we got a cup of Tabasco instead. Yuck. The last time we were there (may be the Last Time), we got the same thing. Also, the roast beef sandwich was 90% fat & pretty gross. My egg and cheese bagle had no cheese. And they were out of all but 1kind of bagel and orange juice! At 10am on a weekend brunch! Plus, the waitstaff seems to be getting ever more absent-minded. After I gave my credit card for payment, we waited... and waited... and waited... Finally, I walked up to the counter and asked the other waitress (ours had disappeared) for the check. She gave me the slip and a pen. I signed it and returned - she thanked me and turned away. I then had to ask for my card back! FINALLY, a drunk/stoned guy stumbled in from the street (ah, Harford Road...) and hovered in front of a table that a couple was trying to sit at. The man had to move around to a different seat. The guy (who had clearly earlier wet himself) proceeded to sit at the bar, nodding off, completely ignored by the staff.

                                      So... we've tried several times. At first, we assumed they were just experiencing the pangs of a new restaurant opening. But now, as the issues are still continuing, and the food is less than exciting, we're not sure we'll be back!

                                      1. re: shall

                                        I wanted to love this place, but after 3 strikes, you're out. Bland mac & cheese, stale breads, missing ingredients, slow service, and a long list of things they seem to run out of on a regular basis make it hard to stay in the neighborhood when so many little places get it together downtown.

                                        1. re: hawaiigrl2003

                                          hawaiigrl2003... you are mentioning superior places 'downtown', (bars, bistros, restaurants) in some of your latest posts (this one, corks, parkside etc). what places are you talking about. we're all looking for good food. let us in on the info.

                                      2. re: farmermarn

                                        I agree, I keep wanting to want to come back to this place. Went there last Sunday. I had been there before, and had an excellent grilled pork chop with pear butter, cheesy grits, and collards. Had the same thing this time, and the chop was a little overdone. Maybe there is a little inconsistency in the line. I love the concept and the food generally works for me, but can we do something about the stale and squished slices of baguette, and that single foil-wrapped pat of butter, PLEASE! The stale bread also shows up on the charcuterie plate, and does it no justice. The ultra creamy St. Andre, the boozy chicken livers, and the clove-y pickles deserve better.

                                      3. I went for the first time last week, to dinner. Lovely experience--inventive food, well-executed, large portions, and good va;lue. Nice service, zero ambiance. I join others on this board in recommending it highly.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: tartuffe

                                          Posts on Clementine's sound a bit like the rants on Hillary vs Barack-- each side is so convinced that their point of view is the correct one. If you are considering Clementine's, you may also want to look at the Clementine's vs Chameleon for a more nuanced discussion. I wonder if this discussion isn't more about the style of restaurant you like than the vices and virtues of this restaurant.

                                          1. re: crowsonguy

                                            Discussion of restaurant styles as opposed to specific places is off-topic for Chowhound. Please keep this thread focused on the restaurants in question.

                                        2. ate lunch there today. started with the macaroni and cheese which could have been wonderful had it not been cold in the middle. i imagine they store it in the fridge, cut slices as they are ordered, and heat under the broiler. it's a shame that it was cold because, when reheated at home, it was really good. rich and creamy, almost like it was made with cream cheese.
                                          also had a bacon, cheddar and asparagus sandwich. i thought it would have been heated but it was also served cold (not a bad thing). very hearty sandwich that ended up feeding me twice. the accompanying potato salad was outstanding. reminded me of the tyler florence ultimate potato salad recipe that i used at home. had a fresh unexpected lemon flavor. the waitress sold me on it when she said she had just finished eating a bowl herself :)
                                          staff was friendly and attentive but never intrusive. coffee cup remained full and check was processed quickly.
                                          eager to return and try brunch. hopefully it will be hot!

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: rudmansjmu

                                            happy to say I recently went for dinner and tried the mac and cheese again. so much better than the first time. hot hot hot and i think the portion was even bigger. 2 of us shared it easily.
                                            had the lemon roasted rockfish with shrimp butter, parmesan grits and asparagus. wonderful! took some of the homemade desserts home - coconut cake that my great grandmother would have been proud of and a very dense brownie with bourbon whipped cream.
                                            can't wait to go back again!

                                            1. re: rudmansjmu

                                              OMG! That coconut cake! I wish I had never tried that cake. I live right down the street and we go there quite a bit. However I never tried the cake. (not the biggest coconut fan). 2 weeks ago we had dinner there and I tried it... Let's just say, we've gotten take-out from there twice since just so I can get the cake! And I'm thinking lunch there this Friday as well since I am off... -- oh, yeah and the mac and cheese is great also. As was my entree of duck meatballs over pasta in a rose sauce...

                                              1. re: tapas gal

                                                Clementine's has settled down and become a reliable dinner destination for carnivores; they source meat carefully, and cure some themselves. Pork, lamb and duck are all exceptional (try the shoulder of lamb if they still have it!) and the veggies that go with them are good. I find lunch a disappointment.

                                                -----
                                                Clementine
                                                5402 Harford Rd, Baltimore, MD 21214

                                                1. re: crowsonguy

                                                  You haven't noticed any consistency issues?

                                                  We sort of stopped going. When it's good, it's fabulous. But they seem to have off nights too frequently. We last went for brunch which took 2 hours and they ended up turning people away b/c they ran out of food. We also went to taco night twice. The first time it was hands-down the best taco I've ever eaten. The second time was blah.

                                                  By comparison, Hamilton Tavern always delivers. And since both are nearby, we usually end up at the Tavern.