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Two young people visiting Baltimore first time

FrancisdeR Mar 25, 2009 07:14 PM

My daughter and her boyfriend will be visiting Baltimore for the first time (ages 24, 25, been out of college a and 2 years). Looking for nice places not too far from Inner Harbor. No steak houses (they can BBQ good steak) or crab houses (she is allergic to shellfish) please.

So far, from researching this board, I have found Amicci's (looks just their speed), Pazo, Charleston (probably too expensive for them) and Cinghiale (could not find in Zagat's 2007). I think they will go for Amicci's and they would like one other suggestion.

Any other ideas from anyone willing to help them?

TIA

Francis (Phila CH)

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    darlin_clementine RE: FrancisdeR Mar 25, 2009 11:10 PM

    The Helmand
    806 N Charles St
    Baltimore, MD 21201

    Delicious Afghani food. Tell them to try the pumpkin!

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      bordeauxfan RE: FrancisdeR Mar 26, 2009 02:03 AM

      Both Charleston and Cinghiale are quite good but will run $100 each or more. They may want to check out Pazo (owned by the same group), which is cheaper and more popular with their age group. Just a few blocks east of the edge of the Inner Harbor.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bordeauxfan
        FrancisdeR RE: bordeauxfan Mar 26, 2009 05:02 AM

        Thanks folks I passed on your comments. Any feelings about Amicci's?

        1. re: FrancisdeR
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          gregb RE: FrancisdeR Mar 26, 2009 07:19 AM

          Depends what they are used to. It's an average "red sauce" Italian restaurant in Little Italy that is fine but not real exciting. I would reccomend them heading to Fells/Canton or Fed Hill (decent walk or a short cab ride) to check out some more unique options. Lots on the board about places in this area, but I would suggest Peter's Inn, Salt, Corks, Bicycle, or Thai Arroy.

          1. re: gregb
            JonParker RE: gregb Mar 26, 2009 10:41 AM

            Of those (and I like them all except Peter's, which I haven't tried) Corks is my favorite. It's quite reasonable and very good. I live in Federal Hill, and with the exception of oysters at Ryleighs it's at the top of my list.

            1. re: JonParker
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              gregb RE: JonParker Mar 27, 2009 08:18 AM

              I seem to remember a post about HH deals on oysters and can't find the post or remember if Ryleigh's made the list. I could go for a couple dozen!

              1. re: gregb
                JonParker RE: gregb Mar 27, 2009 09:21 AM

                M-F from 3-7 Ryleigh's has $1 oysters, and they're really really good -- a nice variety from both east and west coasts. It's definitely the best spot in Baltimore for oysters, IMO.

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        Hue RE: FrancisdeR Mar 26, 2009 09:18 AM

        Also in Little Italy is Gia's for a nice casual reasonble meal

        http://www.cafegias.com/

        7 Replies
        1. re: Hue
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          rudmansjmu RE: Hue Mar 26, 2009 06:30 PM

          IMHO, Cafe Gia's is a billion times better than Amiccis.

          1. re: rudmansjmu
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            chowsearch RE: rudmansjmu Mar 27, 2009 12:24 PM

            Has Gia improved attitudinal and service issues observed last fall?

            1. re: chowsearch
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              rudmansjmu RE: chowsearch Mar 28, 2009 06:33 PM

              I didn't have any issues. The owner waited on us and was very kind and attentive. We were the only people there though so I can't speak for the service on a busy evening.

              1. re: rudmansjmu
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                mukalu RE: rudmansjmu Mar 28, 2009 08:11 PM

                My first experience at Gia's doesn't have me eager to return. Gia was impressed that my dinner date was willing to walk in the door before checking out the menu and offered him a glass of wine on the house - that was nice. Our server was very nice also, but pronounced prosciutto as "proskutoe" and explained "it is a kind of a ham" and also kept talking about how good the "yonky" (gnocchi) were. This would have been amusing if the food had been anything more than passable. The dressing on the grilled caesar salad was overly thick and uninspiring, and my dinner companion's chicken was dry and inedible. He is willing to go back again and give the restaurant another shot. I think life's too short. I second the suggestions of the Helmand and Iggies (818 N Calvert St, Baltimore, MD‎), both about a mile north from the Inner Harbor. Dishes at Amicci's range from savor-each-bite 'Carlo' , to save-your-$. http://amiccis.com/AmiccisMenu101508%...

                1. re: mukalu
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                  Hue RE: mukalu Mar 29, 2009 06:14 AM

                  The offer of wine has me curious ...as Gia's does not have a liquor license

                  1. re: Hue
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                    Hal Laurent RE: Hue Mar 29, 2009 03:44 PM

                    Hey, no sense in ruining a good story with pesky facts. :-)

                    1. re: Hal Laurent
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                      mukalu RE: Hal Laurent Mar 29, 2009 04:18 PM

                      We were confused about this also - apparently they are allowed to give a glass of wine on the house and they keep a bottle (or more) on hand. It was nice of Gia.

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          igrowveggies RE: FrancisdeR Mar 26, 2009 09:32 AM

          If they're in the Fed Hill area, they should try either Luca's (which is actually Locust Point) or Corvina (?) - this used to be Junior's on S. Charles Street so they can get the address that way. I've been 2x and it's really good, tapas style food. Jack's in Canton is good, as is Ra in Harbor East (if they like sushi).

          3 Replies
          1. re: igrowveggies
            FrancisdeR RE: igrowveggies Mar 26, 2009 10:50 AM

            Thanks again to all who made suggestions. They have all been passed on faithfully.

            1. re: FrancisdeR
              Bob W RE: FrancisdeR Mar 26, 2009 11:03 AM

              No one has mentioned Pierpoint on Aliceanna St in Fells Point. A search of this board indicates that unless something terrible has happened in the last few months, the place is still very good.

              1. re: Bob W
                BaltoPhilFood RE: Bob W Mar 26, 2009 11:22 AM

                I wouldn't recommend only because I think there are better options based on criteria given... wondering what about Amicci's makes it their speed? If they want italian I'd second the Gia's recommendation. It's BYO and very cozy, not stuffy, nice for a young couple. I'll also second Corks and throw in Mezze/Meli/One Eyed Mike's(for One Eyed, it's all about the specials, the online menu won't do it justice) in Fells.

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            Jason1 RE: FrancisdeR Mar 26, 2009 11:11 AM

            It really depends on what type of food they prefer. But I would not think of Ammicci's for a young couple. And Charleston IS very expensive, and is considered the best restuarant in Baltimore. I'd recommend Pazo for the atmosphere, the Helmand if they like ethnic food, Brewer's Art if they like beer, maybe Jack's Bistro or Mama's on the Half Shell as well (if she's open to non-shellfish seafood). Woodberry kitchen would be fun if they had a car, but it's probably too far out for them.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Jason1
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              meshleman RE: Jason1 Mar 26, 2009 04:54 PM

              i'd definitely second the Brewer's Art recommendation, Woodberry & Jack's Bistro. Iggie's & Joe Squared are great for pizza and Iggie's is BYO.

              1. re: meshleman
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                Hal Laurent RE: meshleman Mar 26, 2009 04:59 PM

                <i>Iggie's is BYO</i>

                BYO isn't terribly practical for an out-of-town visitor.

                1. re: Hal Laurent
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                  rudmansjmu RE: Hal Laurent Mar 26, 2009 06:31 PM

                  there is a wine shop w/i 1 block. they also sell beer. spirits (corner of charles and read)

                  1. re: Hal Laurent
                    invinotheresverde RE: Hal Laurent Mar 27, 2009 08:38 AM

                    Speaking as an out-of-towner who frequents Baltimore, BYO is GREAT option that may not normally be available to the OP's kids because of where they live. I love, love, love the choice to BYO in Baltimore!

                    1. re: invinotheresverde
                      BaltoPhilFood RE: invinotheresverde Mar 27, 2009 11:46 AM

                      Here here! I'm not sure if daughter and boyfriend are coming from Philly (where the OP is from), but if so, they'd be used to the TON of BYO options Philadelphia has to offer, and might even prefer it.
                      Wish there were more BYO options in Baltimore.

                2. re: Jason1
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                  BRI328 RE: Jason1 Mar 29, 2009 09:26 AM

                  Woodberry is definitley worth the trip... great experience, nice setting. We took a cab and it was worth it.

                3. DottieRose RE: FrancisdeR Mar 26, 2009 07:07 PM

                  Fells Point is a good area to go to, and the best thing to do is wander until they find what they want most places have specials and their menus outside for you to read. Friends on Aliceanna St. has good mini burgers, Hot Tomato's on Broadway is the best pizza in Fells Point Alexander's has pretty good specials and they have this steak wrap that is really good with regular mayo.. There are too many more to write about, there is hard not to find somewhere to eat in Fells and the further you get away from broadway the less hectic it gets.

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                    pastrydiva RE: FrancisdeR Mar 28, 2009 07:48 AM

                    Sorry - I'm a big naysayer when it comes to Corks - I think it is way overrated and not at all worth what he charges for what you get (unless you want to pay for ego).

                    Bicycle would be a good choice - but honestly, if you're looking for some of the best food in Baltimore in some of the least likely places - I think your 2 best bets would be PETER'S INN in Fell's Point, where the menu changes weekly, and RYLEIGH'S in Federal Hill. Besides having wonderful oysters, Ryleigh's food is extraordinary! Try their grilled calimari salad - it is truly incredible!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: pastrydiva
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                      charmedgirl RE: pastrydiva Mar 28, 2009 09:33 AM

                      Have you been to Corks since the menu -- and prices -- changed??

                      1. re: charmedgirl
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                        pastrydiva RE: charmedgirl Apr 14, 2009 08:51 PM

                        No - haven't been there in quite a while. 'think it's worth another shot?
                        But it's still got Jerry's ego, no?

                        1. re: pastrydiva
                          JonParker RE: pastrydiva Apr 15, 2009 05:43 AM

                          I can't speak to anyone's ego,l but IMO it's one of the best deals in town. The prices are very reasonable, and the food is very, very good.

                        2. re: charmedgirl
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                          chefdilettante RE: charmedgirl Apr 15, 2009 07:07 AM

                          The food is well prepared, the prices are reasonable. But they threw the baby out with the bathwater by doing away with the all-Amercian wine list, and the large selection of half bottles. Now it's just a mediocre, overpriced list of predictable choices. Corks isn't really about the corks anymore; it's just another moderately priced restaurant.

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                        pastrydiva RE: FrancisdeR Mar 28, 2009 07:51 AM

                        Ooh..I forgot - and THE WINE MARKET in Locust Point. Great, creative food and a wonderful selection of wines (they'd need to take a cab).

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: pastrydiva
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                          BRI328 RE: pastrydiva Mar 29, 2009 09:30 AM

                          Wine Market... great! We also stopped by The Bicycle for a drink before dinner.

                          1. re: pastrydiva
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                            BRI328 RE: pastrydiva Mar 29, 2009 09:32 AM

                            www.the-wine-market.com
                            www.woodberrykitchen.com - neat glass blowing place next door
                            www.bicyclebistro.com

                            1. re: BRI328
                              invinotheresverde RE: BRI328 Mar 29, 2009 10:03 AM

                              I've had nothing but good experiences at Wine Market, too. The food has been prepared well, and the ability to buy your wine right there and pay a small corkage is novel to this New Englander. I go there every time I'm in Baltimore.

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                            BawlmerWhites RE: FrancisdeR Apr 9, 2009 01:43 PM

                            Charleston and Cinghiale are tres expensive. Young hip and fun would be Pazos
                            or try Mt. Vernon ( north on Charles Street) near the Walters Art museum. Ixia, Donnas, Helmand, Sotto spora, Sascha,
                            Canton and Fells point are two neighbor hood just east of the Harbor to try
                            Federal Hill is Just south.

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