HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
What have you made lately?
TELL US

Special Occasion Restaurant Baltimore

h
haldi Jul 14, 2008 10:54 AM

Hi everyone,
I need a restaurant recommendation for a special occasion.

I will be moving to Baltimore in August for a job. At the beginning of September, I'm planning a small party to celebrate a number of things. I'm originally from the DC area so I'm pretty familiar with restaurants there, but I'd like to plan this celebration in Baltimore.

I'm looking for a restaurant that could comfortably serve a small group (10-12 people), not necessarily in a separate room, but I'm open to that as an option. While I love ethnic food, I was thinking of something more French Bistro, New American, even Italian since it seems that having options might be good in this situation (we have a mix of folks in this group, different ages and preferences). Also, a quieter restaurant with nice ambiance is important. Does anyone have any ideas for a place that might work? How is Charleston Restaurant or Petit Louis Bistro? I love places like Eve (in Old Town Alexandria), Vidalia, Black Salt, Palena, Mendocino Grill. Something nice but not too too pricey (20-30 entrees is good) would be perfect.

Thanks for any recommendations!

  1. w
    Whitemarshjohn Jul 14, 2008 11:13 AM

    Charleston is expensive - it's suppose to be the best restaurant in Baltimore. Petit Louise is a pretty good place - owned by the same people. Petit Louise is kind of noisy - food and atmosphere are ok - it's a French Bistro.

    I really loved Tersiguel's the time I went. My Fiance has been there a couple of times and we agree that it's a very nice place - food is really great, service is very professional and it's a comfortable atmosphere (it's an old home that was once the residence of Elicott City's first Mayor). Tersiguel's is in the historical section of Ellicott City and their food is considered to be country French. They have a farm and grow many seasonal items.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Whitemarshjohn
      c
      chicken kabob Jul 14, 2008 11:33 AM

      TIO PEPE'S is wonderful Spanish cuisine. It is a Baltimore landmark.
      I recommend the garlic shrimp w/ rice and escargot.

    2. ko1 Jul 14, 2008 12:31 PM

      Charleston is the best special occasion restaurant in B-more, but very pricy. Petit Louis is good bistro food but pricy for what it is. Not sure about Petit Louise (sister restaurant?). I like Tio's but it is living on memories. Salt in east Baltimore would fit your bill nicely, great foie gras and Kobe sliders among other things. I've not been to Jack's but others find it festive and tasty. Chameleon Cafe has excellent food in your price range.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ko1
        h
        hon Jul 14, 2008 04:26 PM

        Sister restaurant, love it!

      2. c
        coolblursn Jul 14, 2008 01:01 PM

        I would recommend Woodberry kitchen and Abercrombie, both New American style cuisine. Both have great food; Woodberry is more green friendly, has a great wine list and more space, but Abercrombie has a nice, intimate atmosphere and also a good wine list.

        1 Reply
        1. re: coolblursn
          WilliamKH Jul 15, 2008 06:14 AM

          I would second both of these choices, especially Woodberry. Although, 10-12 people may be difficult at both of them.

        2. m
          maddogg280 Jul 14, 2008 01:48 PM

          Corks in Federal Hill has a nice upstairs dining room that is perfect for that number of people. Paid parking on west street parking lot, depending on the night you go you might find on-street parking.

          1. f
            FoiGras Jul 14, 2008 03:13 PM

            "haldi"--WELCOME TO B'MORE! I'm going out on a bit of limb here. Will probably get some backlash to my suggestions as to a "special occasion restaurant."

            Pisces in the Baltimore Hyatt has a fantastic view, nice cuisine, and can accommodate your group with ease. Also, the Brass Elephant is a lovely restaurant with a bit of French flair, and is certainly equipped to accommodate your group providing an area of the restaurant that would give you privacy.

            Now, I must say, I haven't been to either in a few years, so my fellow Chowhounds will "yeah" or "nay" my recommendations. They are not shy in expressing their opinions.

            Charleston and Kali's Court are terrific restaurants, but exceed your price point.

            Tio Pepe's is also an appropriate suggestion. It is, indeed, a Baltimore institution. My husband and I dined there about a week ago and were satisfied with our meal. The pricing would be inline with what you are comfortable with.

            "whitemarshjohn" (who is quite reliable with suggestions), recommended Tergisuel's in Ellicott City. It is a very lovely dining environment, but I've had "hits and misses." BUT, and this is important to note, the last time I dined there was last Thanksgiving Day. I make it a point to NEVER JUDGE a restaurant and it's abilities on a Holiday. It may be a bit too crowded for a group. You may want to see if they have an available private area for a larger group.

            Anyhow, once you are acclimated to our Fair City, you'll be able to experience many wonderful places with your fork and knife. FoiGras

            1 Reply
            1. re: FoiGras
              r
              ryzaroo Jul 16, 2008 05:33 AM

              Tersiguels has private dining areas that could easily hold 10-12 people.

              I have been there about a dozen times now....never a bad meal...ask for CHARLIE as your waiter!

            2. h
              Hue Jul 14, 2008 06:55 PM

              You may want to give Gia's in Little Italy (High Street I believe). It's smallish, intimate if you will, but they have an area on the second floor for special events.

              http://www.italianrestaurantbaltimore...

              5 Replies
              1. re: Hue
                h
                haldi Jul 14, 2008 07:22 PM

                Hi everyone! Thanks for all the great recommendations. One quick question: I was looking at Charleston's menu online. It looks pretty great--is it worth the money? These are two very special occasions that we're celebrating so splurging a bit might be okay. It seemed that if you did the 3 course menu, (posted at $79) that with wine you'd be looking at say $100 per person (without tip)? Am I totally off base? Anyway, that might be do-able if you all think that the dining and food experience is worth it.

                1. re: haldi
                  ko1 Jul 15, 2008 04:59 AM

                  Thats about the cheapest you can do it for. I think it's worth it, others complain about the size of the small plates. IMO, if you're interested in high-end dining and live in Baltimore, you have to try it.

                  1. re: haldi
                    p
                    pigtowner Jul 15, 2008 07:00 AM

                    I also agree it's worth it. I thought it was plenty of food the last time I went.

                    For a few other suggestions: Bicycle in Fed Hill can do big groups very well and is slightly more affordable. Also Ixia - I've never been with a large group, but always have great meals there.

                    The people who own Charleston also own Petit Louis (as mentioned), which I think is great and much more affordable. I've had lots of great celebration meals there. PL has particularly good desserts like chocolate mousse.

                    They also own Pazo, which I haven't been to in too long to recommend, but in the past I've been with groups your size and it's been very fun. The wine list at Pazo is also very reasonably priced.

                    1. re: haldi
                      i
                      igrowveggies Jul 16, 2008 09:35 AM

                      I ate there last month for a graduation dinner. There were 5 of us... we had wine as well as cocktails (before dinner) and one guest only drank beer...two people opted to have the 3 course option, two people had 4 courses, and one person did the Chef's Dinner...our bill was just over $700 including a 25% tip. Not as bad as it seems, and very worth it for special occasions :) Welcome to Baltimore!

                    2. re: Hue
                      crackers Jul 15, 2008 06:34 AM

                      You're kidding, right? Cafe' Gia is neither special occasion, nor special.
                      Check out recent posts on this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/471105
                      They don't even serve alcohol.
                      As for Tersiguels - it's not in Baltimore. The OP asked for a special occasion restaurant in Baltimore.

                      My recommendation echoes many others - Charleston. Higher priced than most places in Baltimore, but that's not saying much. Baltimore doesn't have nearly as many high-end dining destinations as DC, so Charleston sticks out and gets a lot of guff for its prices. I consider it on par with Restaurant Eve's Bistro, and Vidalia in DC, in terms of price, quality, ambience and service. It is more formal than Palena (back room), BlackSalt or Mendocino. But if it's a special occasion, and you want somewhere quiet, that's the place to go!

                    3. v
                      venera Jul 16, 2008 10:33 AM

                      Petit Louis would be way too loud.

                      Cinghale would be a great Italian option, despite a recent thread about it being chintzy. I had the fixed price with wine pairings and was very satisfied with the quantity, while the quality was top-notch.

                      I would pick Abacrombie in a heartbeat, however. It's definitely quiet, definitely classy, and definitely first-rate food and service. It would make for a memorable, tasty, and lovely celebration, IMHO.

                      Show Hidden Posts