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Dec 10, 2008 04:59 PM

my 2nd post ever..both today! can you suggest.....

In the Baltimore area, particularly the east side of the county into Harford county to the inner harbor and downtown....
the perfect place to take a woman on our first date but a woman I have known for years..she is not a seafood lover, oh, and this part might be has to be good---I have waited a very very very long time for this.

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  1. golly - rein it in - anxiousness will be the difficult part, not the food.

    food will be 2nd. if it's not perfect just laugh it off and make jokes about it. and then you'll have more in common.

    I do hope you get the right advice, but really, don't walk in all wigged-out that it has to be perfect, 'cause nothing ever is.

    1. Whoa Dan - there's a lot riding on everyone's recommendations. I guess the most important question to be answered is the type of restaurant atmosphere you desire from this experience. Are you looking to be casual, drink beer and laugh? Or, are you looking to get dressed up and impress? Here are some suggestions based on my assumptions:

      Upscale special occasion spots:
      Charleston - ask to be seated in the Wine Library or the in the Palm Room
      Abacrombie - quiet, tucked away and romantic right downtown
      The Milton Inn - I love it this time of year. If I was a betting Chowhounder, I'd bet on this as the best choice.

      Trendier spots that have some hustle and bustle:
      The Chameleon Cafe - the food is SO good but the tables are close together so it feels cramped. I would definitely go here on a first date.
      Cinghiale - very good food; gets loud and they rarely seat on time so be prepared to linger and stare into one another's eyes while waiting for your seating

      Just good places:
      The Bicycle - the menu is somewhat adventurous
      The Wine Market

      4 Replies
      1. re: SGI

        I agree with most of your choices, but I find the food at Wine Market to be really pedestrian. Same goes for Milton Inn, actually.

        1. re: JonParker

          I don't disagree, but gave those recommendations based on a first date and some assumptions. Although I would personally prefer some place like Jack's, Salt or Peter's Inn, places like that could fail miserably from a first date experience if one or both just aren't into neighborhood spots with good food.

        2. re: SGI

          SGI's suggestion list is pretty spot on. I'd emphasize the Bicycle recommendation if you want to be talking about your food during your first date. Besides Bicycle, my favorite first date location is the Helmand: not upscale, but definitely interesting and adventurous. Can be too adventurous for some though.

          The other extra suggestion I might have is to do a small plates dinner: sharing foods is always nice, interactive, and can be intimate. A good suggestion could be Mezze.

          Feel free to chip in with more details about what kind of location you may want and we'd be happy to help you tailor more. Regardless, enjoy your date! Just remember to always keep breathing.

          1. re: Wangus

            If you are willing to venture a bit north you should consider going to Woodberry Kitchen. That would be a great place for a special first date. Great, great food and fantastic space. Plus this is the perfect time of the year to be eating there.

            Sticking with downtown I would definitely agree on the Bicycle and would also add Cork's to the conversation.

        3. Wow, I feel your anticipation! I'm not a Baltimorian so will look to others for concurrence for this big event, but we were in Fells Point for a fantastic weekend last year and absolutely loved Henningers. Fabulous food and a cozy/romantic but quirky atmosphere. If you don't want someplace too froo-froo but with upscale food, I highly recommend it.

          My brother (who's also a major foodie and a wine connoiseur) visited Peter's Inn, also in Fell's Point, and was completely taken by it. He too is a fan of fabulous food in not always the most conventional of atmospheres. (Peter's and Henningers were both recommended to us by this Board).

          Wherever you go, please, please report back. Here's to a second and third dinner, and so on....

          2 Replies
          1. re: Meg

            If it is someone you have known for years, I think one of the low-key neighborhood places would be good. Charleston would seem like you are trying too hard. I think the Chamelon would strike the right balance.

            1. re: ko1

              I agree, sometimes a little more low key is the best way to go.You can always build up to a place like Charleston, but if you go there on a first date then where will you go to wow her next? Check out Chameleon or Clementine or one of the other above recs. Above all, just relax and have a great time.