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please help us decide 13 restaurants in Bmore

My husband and I are taking a staycation and have decided to go out for dinner every night, exploring new restaurants that we have not yet patronized. Below is a list of 20-odd restaurants that I have on my "to try" list that I've been keeping for a couple of years from this board since we moved here, and we need to narrow it down to 13 - one for each night of our vacation. Several obvious choices are not listed because we've already tried them, and we want to broaden our experience.

I'd like to have a nice variety of cuisines and atmospheres and price levels.

So, without further ado, here's my list - any help narrowing it down would be appreciated.

Peter's Inn
Ambassador
Milton Inn
Chameleon Cafe
Boccacio
Aldos
Antrim 1844
Elkridge Furnace In
Salt
Pazo
Terisguel's
Henningers
Bertha's Mussels
Black Olive
Dukem III
Spice Company
Brasserie Tatin
Cafe Zen
Saffron
Dionysus
B

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  1. Charleston is Baltimore's best restaurant. Any reason it's not on the list?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Joe H

      "Several obvious choices are not listed because we've already tried them,"

      You can also cross Brasserie Tatin off your list.

      Dionysus I haven't really had any good experiences there, I would put it on the bubble for sure.

      1. re: Joe H

        Yes, I left out many obvious restaurants because we've already been to them.

      2. Boccaccio is closed for business, if that helps :-)

        1. I personally feel that the Black Olive is over rated. I highly rec the Antrim 1844 but its like a little over an hour away from Baltimore, don't know exactly where you are staying and if transportation is an issue. Tersguels is great. I've heard that the Milton Inn is losing it's touch. Pazo is okay, great little pizzas but loud and pricey for what you get. I thought Saffron closed or did they just lose their exec chef? I like the Chameleon. I like Abacrombie. Quite fond of Corks as well. Salt has great lil foie gras kobe sliders. I'm a sucker for the shrimp and garlic at Tio Pepes, not on the list, I'm not sure if that means you've been there or just haven't heard of it. Hopefully that helps you out

          1. From your list I would on Berttha's. It is a unique Baltimore institution but not for the food. Stop by for a drink but eat elsewhere. I would also pass on Cafe Zen unless you realy want Chinese and come from an area where the Chinese is even worse than Baltimore. I concurr with Peter's Inn, Chameleon, the Ambassador and the Milton Inn. It is hard to make additional suggestions as you have already tried the "obvious". Have fun.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jfish

              Given the moules and frites available in the D. C. area Bertha's no longer has the appeal that it once does. Here, Beck, Central, Granville Moore's and Et Voila are all excellent, far superior to Bertha's. While we haven't been to the Black Olive in two or three years on two visits prior to this we enjoyed it a lot. I am not a fan of Bocaccio.

            2. Brasserie Tatin is closed and is now something called "La Famiglia." When we last visited the Ambassador, it was as pretty as ever, but the food was timidly spiced and I thought the prices were a bit high for what they are selling. "b" is a great choice any time, but particularly in summer when you can dine al fresco.

              1. Brasserie Tatin is closed, and the restaurant in it's place is run by the family that ran Boccacio.

                Of the list Dionysus stands out as the one that doesn't belong.

                I guess Bertha's is the type of place you should try at least once. Really the mussels are the only thing to get, and you can probably get just as good ones other places (Hull Street Blues in Locust Point has great mussels).

                So, to help narrow it down, I'd rec removing three: Br. Tatin, Boccacio and Dionysus. Potentially adding La Familiglia. Keep Bertha's only to say, Yeah I've been there.

                2 Replies
                1. re: KAZ

                  I would take off Ambassador, Milton Inn, and Cafe Zen. Ambassador because it's kind of humdrum, and Milton Inn because it's absurdly overpriced for what you get and you're not going to have a good time. Cafe Zen isn't very good. Spice Company has been closed and replaced by Alizee, which I want to try. Saffron is either closed or a shadow of its former self when Chef Kim was there. Boccacio and Brasserie Tatin has been talked about.

                  Obviously, you may have gone to some or all of these, but restaurants I would recommend considering if you've haven't are: Jack's Bistro, Three, Meli (sit outside), and Parkside on Harford Rd is an interesting place. Finally, you have no restaurants in Federal Hill - have you gone to all of them?

                  Peter's Inn
                  Chameleon Cafe
                  Elkridge Furnace In
                  Tersigeul's
                  Salt
                  Pazo
                  Henningers
                  Black Olive
                  La Famigila
                  Alizee
                  Jack's Bistro
                  Three

                  1. re: BmoreHound

                    Three . . . (pretentious ellipses aside) is a good restaurant but nothing special. No better than, say, Tapas Teatro.

                    As to Alizee, we wnt by there once (after dinner at teh Ambassador), actually, and the surroundings struck us as a bit silly looking (think: flat-screen TVs perched in odd places). The bartender was subpar also. However, I cannot speak to the food.

                2. Dionysus is nothing special in my opinion. And though Little Italy gets a lot of hate i think you might have a good time doing a little hop around the neighborhood and sampling things that are undeniably good at each place, e.g., salad at Chiapparelli's, homemade pasta at Rocco's, dessert at Vaccaro's, etc.

                  1. I think the biggest miss on your list is the absence of Grace Garden, unless it's one of the "obvious" choices that you've already been to. Granted, it's in Odenton and a little outside of Baltimore, but when you mention wanting to "broaden your experience" -- this would fit the bill.

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/520156

                    1 Reply
                    1. Have you made the trip to Zorba's in Greektown...a hidden gem!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Hue

                        No, and thanks for all of the suggestions and clarifications!

                        I've added Grace Garden and Zorba's as well...and love the idea of the excursion to Little Italy.

                        Many thanks!!

                        1. re: amyatkendall

                          Try the grilled octopus at Zorba's. One of my favoraite dishes in town.

                      2. I like B. I've been for brunch and for dinner and enjoyed both.

                        Also, assuming Dukem III is the one on Maryland Ave or whatever street that is (it changes names) that's a must. Maybe my favorite restaurant in Baltimore.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: kukubura

                          Peter's Inn
                          Chameleon Cafe
                          Elkridge Furnace In
                          Tersigeul's
                          Salt
                          Pazo
                          Henningers
                          Black Olive
                          Alizee
                          Jack's Bistro

                          Three is closed. La famiglia is overpriced and doesn't worth the trip at all.
                          What about Woodberry Kitchen and The Wine Market?
                          In Federal Hill, Regi's Bistro is pretty good.
                          In Canton, Helen's Garden for brunch and Mama's on the Half Shell
                          In Fells Point, Slainte Irish Pub for breakfast with the soccer crowd and Kooper's Tavern for Burgers
                          In Downtown/Mount Vernon, Lumbibi is a great Indian Restaurant and Minato the perfect place for Sushis
                          For Crabs, I'll go for Mr Bill's Terrace Inn in Middle River

                          1. re: bmorefrench

                            Helen's Garden is weird, unpleasant and not worth the money.

                            Went to Alizee for new years and was actually pretty impressed. It was a four course menu, I think, with an amuse. Not every course was perfect but overall it was thoughtful and well-seasoned. And the wine pairings were actually spot on (not that I'm an expert, but I thought they worked.)