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Jun 26, 2009 12:19 PM

Any nice places to eat in or around Baltimore?

I am expecting relatives next weekend, who are staying in a hotel in Baltimore, I want to wow then with really good food in or around Baltimore any suggestions?

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      1. My go-to restaurant for out of towners in Baltimore is the Owl Bar in the Belvedere. The main dining room is incredibly beautiful and it used to be a speakeasy, so it's actually connected to Baltimore history. And you can go up to the 13th Floor bar afterwards and show them a panoramic view of the city that is pretty tough to find anywhere else. I wouldn't take them on Saturday night, however. Google the words Suite Ultralounge or Teen Takeova Saturday for the reasons why.

        Another place I love to take people, even though it's not dressy or anything like that, is Dukem, because Ethiopian food is just such a great communal eating experience.

        A lot of the other "nice" places, like Woodberry Kitchen, fall into the category of "just food." to me. They may be decent but they probably aren't going to make anything that will "wow" anyone.

        Owl Bar - Belvedere Hotel
        1 E Chase St, Baltimore, MD

        Dukem Ethopian Restaurant
        1100 Maryland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201

        5 Replies
        1. re: kukubura

          Not sure about wow! Might we suggest two restaurants in the Greek neighborhood on Eastern Ave...Samo's on Oldham Street(No credit cards,no liquor license) and Zorba's on Eastern..nothing fancy but terrific grilled food...

          1. re: Hue

            It's "Samos" - after the island that's part of Greece, not "Samo's" as in "belonging to Samo"!

            Sorry to rant - pet peeve.

            1. re: Warthog

              Always wanted one of those, but my mother wouldn't let me have one, so we got a dog!!

              I stand corrected and offer up only my ignorance as a defense.

              Can one sit corrected?

              1. re: FoiGras

                Most of the restaurants I have been to in that part of town a Greek Salad is tomato(in summer usually local),cucumber, pepper, onion, olives,
                pepperocini and feta, (and for me anchovies) no iceberg( not that there's anything wrong with that) each establishment has its own house dressing. Ikaros, Samos(got it right Warthog) Acropolis have a creamy dressing, but the lemony Zorba's is to die for.
                Ikaros has great calamari, Samos has great gyros, at Zorba's the grilled foods are the specialty...the lamb chops,oye the lamb chops. Nothing fancy just very good food.

                1. re: Hue

                  Traditional salads in Greece are served sans lettuce!

        2. Let's go through the usual questions -

          Price limitations?
          Visitors have any favorite cuisines?
          Any foods or cuisines that are disliked or otherwise off-limits)?
          Are they more "wowed" by the food itself, or will swanky surroundings with reasobly good food be more likely to "wow"?
          Where are they coming from? No sense taking them to get a food or style of cuisine that they get plenty of wherever "home" is for them.

          All that said, La Cazuela (hope I spelled that right) on Eastern just east of Broadway is a solid winner as far as food and service in my experience, reasonably priced, and a cuisine (Ecuadorian?) that is very unlikely to have been one your guests have seen a lot of.

          Some on the board are unimpressed by The Helmand, but as long as one doesn't go on a weekend or a night when they are slammed, I've found them to be dependably impressive. And again, Afghan is still a fairly unusual cuisine in most locales. You can ply them with a riff on "culinary geography" by pointing out the similarities to Greek, Middle Eastern, and Indian food in Afghan cuisine, and talk about how Afghanistan's central location leads to those intermingling.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Warthog

            Ditto Warthog's questions, to which one might add: location? It's not a big town, but there's a difference between downtown and points north and east.

            Wrt the Owl Bar, I have never been impressed by the food, although it is an attractive location.

            For a beautiful location with very good food, and prices that are fair, suggest Gertudes at the BMA (Baltimore Museum of Art). If weather cooperates, eat outside in the Sculpture Garden. Hard to beat.

            1. re: Warthog

              Price, depends on the food and food portions. Small portions+pricey= no no. Also my parents are old school when it comes to cuisine. So something along the lines of very filling, or seafood is a great start.

            2. Mama's on the Half Shell in Canton, Peter's Inn in Fell's Point, Velleggia's on Water St. (their old address continues to be online) I just got back from my first visit, it was amazing