Need a restaurant near the harbor in baltimore!
I'm being taken for a long weekend....and he's amazing, so I want to be impressive.
I gamely (stupidly) said I'd figure out dinner saturday, never have been to baltimore before. I need somewhere great. We'll have a car, so getting there isn't the issue...
Charleston is probably one of Baltimore's best restaurants and definitely a go-to place for a Saturday night. Be warned; it's expensive.
Tabrizi's offers a more trendy atmosphere and is at the Inner Harbor. The food is quite delicious, outdoor dining is a plus, and they usually have a jazz pianist and bass player.
Some Chowhounders will probably recommend Cinghiale and/or Pazo's. Both are under the auspices of the owner(s) of Charleston. I was not impressed by either place. Pazo's was way too loud, and the tables situated so closely together I felt as though I was out with a bunch of friends instead of a romantic Saturday evening with my hubby.
In Fells Point, you could check out Kali's Court (expensive, but quite lovely and very good seafood). The owners also have Mezze, which is tapas oriented, so it is fun to share the various small plates. They also have Meli, which has an unique atmosphere.
You might want to consider Woodberry Kitchen, I haven't dined there as yet, but it seems to garner very favorable reviews. FoiGras
I don't know if the O.P. meant to specify a water view, but in any case, Woodberry is not anywhere close to the harbor, at least by my interpretation of the term.
On the upscale side, I would second Tabrizi's. If they still have "gagi mish-mish" (I probably ruined the spelling) on the menu, it's a wonderful dish.
If one is heading for the lower end of the budget, Little Havana has some "quirky" aspects, is fun, and everything I've tried there has been good, except for the desserts being mostly too sweet for my taste. It is a fun sort of place. Definitely NOT "cozy", though.
But then, I usually don't think of the same sort of place for "fun" and "cozy", so I'm not sure I'm in tune with the O.P.'s concept of the sort of place that one would describe with both terms. It's not that a "cozy" place can't be enjoyable, but my first reaction is "cozy" = "quiet, laid back, maybe romantic" and "fun" = "louder, party-type vibe"
Perhaps the O.P. can clarify a bit so we can help with more accurate recs.
Charleston is great, but not quirky. For something more interesting, you might try Roy's Restaurant, across the square from Charleston. Or better yet, to get "cozy" in there too, try Corks, on Federal Hill. Very small, terrific food, sensational all-American wine list, staff who care.
I've been to Baltimore twice (I live in DC), and both times ate and Meli's and had a wonderful experience both times. Very cool, upscale interior with nice details. Food is incredible and very reasonably priced (both times we had apps, entres, desserts and alcohol for around $100 total). Finally, the service is impeccable. I think you'd really like the place.