Engagement Dinner in/around Baltimore - First Weekend of March 2010
Any suggestions in/around Baltimore region? As background, the girlfriend (soon to be fiance) and I live in NYC (though Monkton is where I was raised) so have a broad selection of dining options on a regular basis. That said, her parents, brother, and grandmother will be coming down for the weekend to celebrate so trying to balance their tastes with our tastes (also, my parents, sister/sister's boyfriend, and grandparents will be joining). We will likely cover the cost of the dinner and would prefer to keep under $1500 for the food and drinks. There could be a few more additions to the party and any suggestions/thoughts would be appreciate. We live close to the Milton Inn and have eaten there numerous times - haven't been in years but would be open to all ideas - thanks in advance.
If you must stay local, Christopher Daniel seems on Padonia Rd. seems to get good reviews on this board. From what i hear from close friends, Milton Inn is not what it use to be. Another choice is Bluestone in Timonium if you prefer traditional american fare. There is also always Friendly Farms off Mt. Carmel Rd but Christopher Daniel and Bluestone has a more modern dining room.
If you like to venture further south, I've always been a fan of Linwoods, Prime Rib, and Ruth Chris. Those three places will be right at the cutting edge of your budget though with that size party.
If you want to go for Italian, La Scala in Little Italy has small rooms upstairs which would be perfect. We had a birthday dinner for my grandfather there with 12 people and it worked out really well.
I would agree that Christopher Daniel might be a nice venue for your party. The Milton Inn has disappointed me the past several times I've dined there.
Though, not fancy, Patrick's in Cockeysville has a very delectable menu and quite nice atmosphere. Dined there last November and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food and the excellent service.
In the Towson area, I would highly recommend Cafe Troia. Have always been pleased at the meals I've enjoyed there.
"AlexDer" suggested Bluestone in Timonium. I strongly disagree with that recommendation. "AlexDer's" other suggestions were right on point though. I, too, am a huge fan of Linwood's and Prime Rib. Albeit, a recent dinner at the Pikesville location of Ruths' Chris was a disaster. Bad attitude, service, and mediocre food. FoiGras
You might want to give SABORS Restaurant a look. Located on Padonia Rd (by Mays Chapel). Well prepared food, on the smallish side and it is BYOB, but there is good wine store in the same shopping center
thanks for all of the suggestions - it has been helpful.
so i am inclined to shoot for reservations at Volt at Frederick given that I have been to most of the suggested restaurants and overall underwhelmed given the level of cuisine we are used to in NYC - it just doesn't compare and want something memorable...
any thoughts on schwan grille?
Two bits of advice on Volt -- it's a somewhat difficult reservation to get these days, and it sounds like you have a fairly large group. Also -- it's a lengthy drive on country roads between Monkton and Frederick, especially round-trip. If you're set on Volt, you may want to consider staying overnight in Frederick.
Just reread your timeframe for two weekends from now, and my guess is that Volt is fully booked. Have you considered Alizee in North Baltimore, near JHU? Their chef is pretty adventurous and accomplished, and used to work under Georges Perrier at Le Bec Fin.
First off, congratulations on your engagement. Given that the event is right around the corner, I would book soon. It was mentioned before, but given your budget and taste, you may want to reconsider Restaurant Sabor (former chef at Linwwods) on Padonia Rd. He did our wedding and the event went off fantastic (considering it was during Hurricane Isabella he is unreal.) The BYOB will save considerable money and the food is outstanding. Serve some nice wine, Calvert Wines in Hunt Valley (ask for Gordy) will offer reasonable choices. Greystone Grille in Hunt Valley is another option. Half price wines every day of the week. They have a private dining room available that seats 12 and another that can accomodate 30 or so.
Good luck and enjoy!!