70th bday dinner for 50 near Belair/B'more?
I'm stumped. Anyone have a recommendation for a reasonable ($30-40 pp charge) place I should look into to hold a 70th birthday dinner for my wonderful mother-in-law? She is not a "foodie," and so its better to stick to Italian or anything that can generally fall within the "American" food label. Looks like we'll have around 50 folks there. We'd like a nice place where she can dress up, with a nice atmosphere and a good view would be a great bonus. But I'm clueless about where to find this sort of place as I live in Arlington and my trips to B'more tend to include visits to smaller ethnic restaurants. Thus far we're looking at M&S at the Inner Harbor (yes, they can do it w/in our price range), and Libetore's Restaurant in Timonium.
Any suggestions of places to check out (or avoid) would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
M&S in the Inner Harbor would provide the VIEW, but not the best food. Liberatore's in Timonium is a lovely restaurant with very good food (Italian, but not heavy on the red-sauce stuff-- more innovative then the Little Italy-type food). The service is wonderful and the venue can provide service for the number of diners that you have suggested.
I am responding very quickly without a lot of research, so let me get back to your quiry. In the meantime, I'm sure that all of the Baltimore Chowhounds will come to your rescue. In fact, I'm anxious to see the response from the Ch's.
Aren't you lucky to have a "wonderful" mother-in-law?! She is lucky to also have YOU.
Chrissiep--I'm surprised you haven't gotten more recs. I am going out on a limb here and suggest the Rusty Scupper (great view)--decent American/seafood type food. Many of the Chowhounds would disagree with me as it's a basic, non-trendy venue. But the food is consistent--I've had delicisious barbequed salmon steak there and very good oysters.
Another suggestion is Tabrizi's--a few blocks away from the Rusty Scupper. It's a beautiful restaurant, with outdoor dining and music. The outdoor patio lends itself to a party (weather permitting). The food leans heavily towards Middle Eastern/Mediterranean, but there are many offerings that would satisfy most. The one mixed seafood entree I had was delicious. Simply grilled shrimp, scallops, etc. One time I ordered grilled pork medallians served on cooked spinach that had balsamic vinegar. I believe their website is simply "Tabrizisrstaurant.com." It provides their menu.
I'll try to think of more recommendations. FoiGras
How about Amicci's in Little Italy? The food is good, but not (at all) fancy. The prices are very reasonable and they added a bar area a few years ago. All types of dress are appropriate. Your MIL could certainly wear a dress and other will be just as comfortable in jeans.
I attended a going away "party" at Carsons Creek in Middle River off of Wilson Pt Rd
(next to Martins Airport) and the food was good and the view from the patio are was excellent!!!!
I can provide a few more Harford County suggestions -
Manor Tavern is a nice place that could probably do that price range. i am not sure. The food is usually great - pretty continental - and they do parties very well. I was at my brother's rehearsal dinner there about 1 year ago & dine there pretty regularly. It is not in Bel Air, but close....actaully Balto County
Right in Bel AIr, in same plaza as Libertores is the Open Door Cafe, recently voted best caterer in the county. Again, no view, but very pretty space & good food. Most people I know, and myself who have dined there went for lunch- sandwiches & wraps (all very good), though they do serve dinner & have entrees (but I cant comment).
Enotria is jsut outside of Bel AIr, has good Italian, very pretty place, one smaller room is kind of plain, but the rest is decorated very prettily, with a little grotto area outside off the bar. Your mother in law prob wouldnt feel funny dressed up, nor would others. http://www.enotriaitalia.com/ the catering page talks about trays, but they do a sit down meal too.
Lastly, you might want to check out Bliss, a new place that openes just off I-95, a little north of Bel AIr, but only a minute off the highway.