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Baltimore newbie seeks recommendations for dinner

My wife and I are going to Baltimore for a party on Saturday evening, but want to get a nice, good, but not terribly expensive dinner before hand. I've not been to Charm City in quite some time, and am only familiar with: Charleston; Helmand; and The Brewer's Art. None I've been too, I've only read about them on the board.

Any suggestions are welcomed. We like all types of fare, but are looking for something unique to the city, and in moderate range; $15 - 20 for entrees. I figure this prices out Charleston.

Thanks for your help!

Cocinero Cubano

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  1. Charleston is more than that, but is well worth the money. It is really special. They will do any number of courses that you choose, so you could say do 3 courses and have it less expensive.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Granite790

      The minimum I think is 3 courses and I think thats around $74.

      1. re: hon

        Plus $12 for two of their cheapest glass of wine. With tax and tip, that comes to over $100, well out of the poster's preferred price range.

    2. Some quick thoughts -- Sotto Sopra on Charles Street is a bit higher than your range but a very nice local Italian place -- I love their duck ravioli, when they have it. Blue Agave is very good Mexican on S. Light Street and in the price range. Bicycle, further south on Light is very good, but pricey. There are some very good Greek places in Greektown, off the beaten path out on Eastern Avenue -- the small Samos is very good, and they are all in your price range.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chesapeake72000

        The OP could not possibly get out of Sotto Sopra for anything close to his proposed price points.

        1. re: lawhound

          Brewer's has a new and more extensive bar menu. Not sure if dining room menu has changed. And goes without saying the best beer in the city too!

      2. Check out Corks in Federal Hill, Thai Arroy in Federal Hill, Asahi Sushi in Fells Point, and Samos in Greektown. All are in your price range and excellent.

        1. Mezze and Meli in Fells Point may be just what you are looking for. Owned by the same people, both restaurants are stylish and within your price range. FoiGras

          1. There is always Duda's on Thames Street in Fells Point..more bar than restaurant, but good chow
            Henningers on Bank Street price may be an issue but good chow
            Gia's in Little Italy (Eastern Ave)
            Hull Street Blues in Locust Point/Federal Hill area off Fort Ave.

            1. I would go to the Helmand if you have not been there. It's reasonably priced, has consistently excellent food, is unique to Baltimore - I believe the owner is a brother of the current Pres of Afghanistan (could be wrong) and it's in a great location. You should go to that hotel for a drink before dinner. Does anyone know the name of that hotel just up the street with the bar providing for views of the city - the name escapes me.

              3 Replies
              1. re: nyawira

                13th floor in the Belvedere Hotel. It's at the corner of Charles and Chase.

                1. re: nyawira

                  I second the Helmand. The setting is swank considering the prices, and the food is very good. The owner is the brother of Hamid Karzai, the Afghanistani president.

                  1. re: nyawira

                    IIRC there are several Helmands across the US, owned by the same family.

                    but they are really good. I liked the pumpkin ravioli when it was on the menu at the one I used to go to in CA. and they know from lamb.

                    looking forward to my own first real B'more trip in a coupla months (work meetings don't count)

                  2. The Helmand is great. Brewer's Art? Not worth the attitude. Charleston is quite nice, but also quite expensive. Nacho Mama's is good mexican- not so much on the atmosphere, but the food is quality. There is a (relatively) new restaurant in Canton called 'Saute' which was surprisingly good- pulled duck nachos (tasted better than it sounds- ouch.). Mezze also is a good idea, but it may be a challenge getting a table on a Saturday night this time of year...