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Baltimore-Can't decide where to go for dinner tonight - HELP

I'm sort of kind of leaning towards Bluegrass Tavern, only because we know the bar manager, went to the soft opening and enjoyed the food, and live nearby. But then, there are some restaurants in Federal Hill that we could go to - Cork's is always good, but the food is a little too informal. We could go to Ullswater, but the main courses are too heavy. There's always the Wine Market, the food is consistently good there, but we kind of want to go somewhere newish. The Reserve serves great food, but it can get a little loud (this might be okay, though). Taverna Corvina we went to once, but it seems to get really crowded on a Friday night. There's always Rub, but I always eat too much and get drunk there and I'm not sure if I'm in to that. Miguel's is good, but the tequila is hard to stay away from.

I don't know. I'm so confused. HELP. Where should we go tonight?

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Wine Market
921 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

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  1. It appears as though it's going to be a beautiful day, so I would highly recommend Tabrizi's. It has great food--leaning towards Mediterrean and a lovely view. Sometimes they even have a pianist providing soft jazz. FoiGras

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    Tabrizi's
    500 Harborview Drive, Baltimore, MD 21230

    4 Replies
    1. re: FoiGras

      Thanks, FoiGras. Last time I went to Tabrizis, the food was horrible and the service was worse. The waiter couldn't even open our wine bottle! We ordered several small plates and it appeared as if the same ingredients were used for the sauces for each of the completely different dishes. Plus, I could have sworn that the ingredients were store bought. Unfortunately, this is the second visit for us to Tabrizis and we only give a restaurant two chances. Is that unfair? But I read your reviews here fairly regularly so if you have any other recommendations, I'm all ears (or eyes)

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      Tabrizi's
      500 Harborview Drive, Baltimore, MD 21230

      1. re: nyawira

        We went to Tibrizis back in December 2009 and had a light snack and drinks at the bar (we were meeting friends for dinner at Mr. Rain's Fun House - something to consider for tonight) and very much enjoyed ourselves. The falafel, hummus, and pita were spot on - dishes we judge as gatekeeping dishes for Mediterrean. We are looking forward to going back and trying full dinner. Do you remember which small plates seemed to have the same sauce so that we can avoid ordering more than one?

        1. re: a70wilson

          I really don't remember. I do remember that one of the dishes we got was the shrimp plate. The sauce they used tasted exactly like this Asian sauce I pick up when at an Asian food market. I was horrified and almost certain it was the same. They used this same sauce for a second dish we ordered. We did not order the signature dishes because my husband doesn't care for hummus or falafel, but we ordered three or four dishes - as we always do. We sat outside, and the music was so loud and horrible we could hardly concentrate. The music was really tacky.

        2. re: nyawira

          Sorry to recommend a place where you had a bad experience. Geez, I feel badly about that. I've not encountered any problems at Tabrizi's, thankfully.

          Maybe you should consider Mezze or Meli's in Fells Point. Although, Mezze's can be quite noisy on a Friday night--the after work drinking crowd seems to gather there.

          Hubby and I haven't been to the B&O Brasserie as yet, but according to reviews it sounds quite appealing.

          In any event, hope you have a great time and very positive experience. Wish we could join you. But, we dined out the other night, so now it's my turn to cook up something. Yipes!!! FoiGras

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          Mezze
          1606 Thames St., Baltimore, MD 21231

          Tabrizi's
          500 Harborview Drive, Baltimore, MD 21230

      2. My wife and I went to Centro two weeks ago and really liked it. Pretty reasonably priced and good flavors.

        3 Replies
        1. re: hotel

          That isn't even close to my neighborhood. I'm in Baltimore. This restaurant is in Bethesda, right?

          1. re: nyawira

            Centro is the new tapas restaurant in Bicycle's old space. My wife and I ate there about a week after it opened and thought it was quite good. A good complement to Taverna Corvino.

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            Centro
            4838 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

            Taverna Corvino
            1117 S Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

            1. re: ronkieboy

              Wow, really! I've never heard of it and actually had no idea they opened a place in the old Bicycle space. Thanks for the tip. I haven't been able to locate any reviews of the place.

        2. There's been some discussion on the Sun's restaurant blog that Ullswater is closed. They can't reach the owners to confirm or deny.

          I don't know about Corks being too informal. I love the place.

          Went to Bluegrass on Tuesday and liked it a lot -- my review is on this board.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JonParker

            I saw your review. It was great. We went to the soft opening and loved it. Corks isn't really too informal. I guess I misspoke. It's just that there are mostly sandwiches on the menu now or meatloaf type dishes which is great if you're looking for comfort food (which I sometimes do). I love the ambience there, too - we do frequent Corks. We especially like to sit at the bar. I'm sorry to hear about Ullswater. They got bad reviews in the City Paper, unfortunately. I enjoyed the food - although the portion sizes were way too big for me. I also loved the owners - we drank lots of wine and ate lots of food one day during the snowlicious event.

          2. Have you tried Mr. Raine's Funhouse yet at the AVAM? We had a good dinner there a few weeks back. Loved the little pretzel bites served instead of bread. The server was also great-- my husband couldn't decide on a drink, so he brought him 2 generous samples so he could make up his mind. The menu is extremely diverse (almost too all over the map), but all 4 of us really enjoyed our food.

            2 Replies
            1. re: stephanieg

              We have not tried Mr Raine's Funhouse, actually. In fact, that is the restaurant we were going to go to tonight, but I took a look at the menu and wasn't sure I was in to it tonight. But you know what? That might just be the ticket. We've been meaning to check it out. Maybe tonight is the night. Thanks.

              1. re: nyawira

                Bummer, they have no reservations before 8:00pm! Good news is business is good. And, this is where we will go next week when my twin bro comes in to town.

            2. Do you like Afghani food? The Helmand in Mt Vernon is really excellent. But, I can't guarantee you'll get a table tonight and that the place won't be crowded and noisey. The food, however, will be outstanding!

              1 Reply
              1. re: gelato98

                Oooohhh. I LOVE the Helmand! Whenever we have guests in town, we always take them there. The food is consistently good - they do move you like cattle, though which is fine by me. Good restaurants should do good business. I'm sort of back to Bluegrass Tavern now or Reserve....although I'm also looking a bit farther afield. I just looked at the SALT menu and it looks yummy. I did go there once and recall loving the food. I think that's the place I went to (I was a little tipsy going in) where we had the same waiter I used to regularly have at the old Soigne. I miss Soigne.......:^(

              2. We've decided!!! I tried to get reservations for Mr Raine's Funhouse and Bluegrass but neither had reservations for the time we sought (around 7:00pm). I was browsing and noticed that Pazza Luna has changed management and has gotten some good reviews. We have intermittently gone there over the years - we went from LOVING it, to finding it mediocre, to LOVING it, to finding it mediocre. Lets see what the new management has to offer. Wish us luck.

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                Pazza Luna
                1401 E Clement St, Baltimore, MD 21230

                1. Can someone give more info on Bluegrass? I have one more night tomorrow in B-More, at city Center. The sentiment sounds good, but what IS the food? Price point? Special extras?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Dennis S

                    I did a pretty detailed review of it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6983...

                    The short version is yes, give it a shot. It's one of the most interesting restaurants I've been to in a while. Prices are very reasonable.