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Important first date in Baltimore...Please help!

cbrstunter27 Jan 16, 2011 07:13 PM

Hi. Ok, I'm going on a first date with a girl from Baltimore (Catonsville actually) on Saturday the 22nd and need some ideas so I can wow her. First let me give you some background info so you know the situation. She is 20, and from Cameroon, Africa, has been here for 2 years and is in college. I am 27, white/american, from Montgomery County, MD. We've been "talking" for less than a week now so far, but there is a wonderful connection and spark. I met her at her work and asked her out.
I want to take her to somewhere fun, then to dinner. First, the fun: places I'm thinking are Dave and Busters in Arundle Mills Mall, the Baltimore aquarium, the World Trade Center 360 view of bmore (although this is very short so prob would have to go along with somewhere else too), ice skating (but I think maybe she won't like this, so scratch that). I want to take her somewhere origional, not just "the movies"...but I really want somewhere where we can both have fun, as well as talk and get to know each other. Any ideas people?

Ok, now on to the restaurant. I'm only a little familiar with the Bmore restaurant scene, as I live closer to DC, so I need some help on this. She said she likes chinese food, but idk how romantic a chinese food place can be...but idk. Lets say somewhere American, Seafood, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Thai...pretty much anywhere except Indian food or sushi would be fine. The place should be romantic, obviously, but not outrageously priced...max $25 average entree? Also not too loud. A good view (harbor?) would also score browine points but is not a prerequesite. I'm going to be wearing jeans and a button down shirt so not somewhere too dressy. Wine/Beer list is irrelevant as she's not 21. I saw a lot of good suggestions on another post ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/357400 ) so I'm just gonna list them off for you guys to use as a starting point, but feel free to suggest anywhere:
Chameleon Cafe
Carylye Club
Brewer's Art
The Helmand
Chameleon Cafe
Peter's Inn
Henninger's Tavern
B&O Brasserie
Black Olive

Places I have been to in Bmore that may be good are: The Rusty Scupper, Pazo, The Wine Market and Shuckers.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post...hope you can help me wow her!!!!

Brewer's Art
1106 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

Henninger's Tavern
1812 Bank St, Baltimore, MD 21231

Peter's Inn
504 S Ann St, Baltimore, MD 21231

1606 Thames St., Baltimore, MD 21231

Wine Market
921 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

Rusty Scupper
402 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230

Pazo Restaurant
1425 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21201

  1. LittleNorthwest Jan 21, 2011 06:20 AM

    I agree with the Walters as the best option or the BMA. Both are free and filled with amazing things to spark conversation and romance (Narwhal tusks, skulls, federalist furniture, The Cone Sisters Collection). The best part of these small but impressive museums is that they are compact enough that you can see a lot in a relatively short visit. This will save you enough for a nice dinner.
    I think that the new Grano location on Chesnut (the old Dangerously Delicious Pies) is very romantic and it is convenient to the BMA.
    I also agree that Helmand is a good bet or Brewers Art.
    Our favorite romantic restaurants are (which are judged by a mix of food quality, atmosphere, friendliness of owners, yummy cocktails and ease of use):
    Peter's Inn
    Woodberry Kitchen (upstairs)
    The Dizz

    One thing: Don't get flowers! It is a waste of money, and overly formal and inappropriate for a first date - it might even make her uncomfortable. That is a gesture that is wonderful to show love and appreciation to someone that you have a relationship with. Also, what is she going to do with them while you are going to a museum and having dinner? Bring her flowers when she invites you over for a home cooked meal.

    Good luck!

    The Dizz
    300 W 30th St, Baltimore, MD 21211

    Dangerously Delicious Pies
    1036 Light St, Baltimore, MD

    Peter's Inn
    504 S Ann St, Baltimore, MD 21231

    Woodberry Kitchen
    2010 Clipper Park Rd # 126, Baltimore, MD

    1 Reply
    1. re: LittleNorthwest
      lrebetsky0423 Jan 27, 2011 12:38 PM

      Soooo? What did you decide to do and how did the date go?!

    2. s
      stephanieg Jan 20, 2011 02:39 PM

      Keep in mind that the aquarium gets VERY crowded on the weekend and tends to be filled with lots of families with kids. Thus, it might not be the atmosphere you're looking for. I'd suggest following Hue's advice and going to the Walters Art Museum in Mt. Vernon. It's an incredible, rather large art museum and it's FREE!!! That way, you can splurge on a wonderful, romantic dinner. You can't go wrong with either Sotto Sopra or Tio Pepes, but Tio's might be a more unique experience. If you go there, definitely ask for a table in one of their side rooms, which are much quieter and more intimate.

      Sotto Sopra Restaurant
      405 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

      1 Reply
      1. re: stephanieg
        Jason1 Jan 21, 2011 05:19 AM

        But these are both going to be awfully tough on his budget. What about the Helmand or Brewer's Art (if you're beer drinkers)? I like the idea of a Walters and Helmand combination.

      2. c
        cbrstunter27 Jan 19, 2011 07:21 PM

        Ok guys. This is what I'm thinking: The National Aquarium, then The Rusty Scupper. I did check out the other restaurants you guys suggested...but as this is a first date and I'm going to be nervous already, I'm thinking I should go there because I've been there before and because it has an wonderful view of the harbor and the aquarium. The aquarium's site says the exhibits close at 6:30, so tomorrow I'm going to call the aquarium and find out about the timeline of the Dolphin show and the 4D theater so I can time this out right.
        Does anyone have any suggestions on parking? This is gonna be a really expensive date (for me) and I know parking fees are KILLER in Baltimore. I know the aquarium has a $3 off parking coupon that you can print and bring but idk if that'll make me look like a cheapskate :-/.

        Also, do you think it will be wierd if i order the coconut shrimp or crab cake appitizer as my entree (I'll say I'm not that hungry or something)? They're $12 and $15 respectively and I really am tight on money. The flowers, aquarium, dinner, and parking are gonna be well into the low to mid $100 range :-(

        Rusty Scupper
        402 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230

        3 Replies
        1. re: cbrstunter27
          MrsWheatie Jan 20, 2011 05:38 AM

          I for one admire a man who saves his money! If you want just say you are practicing portion control. Don't set yourself up for a date that is not comfortable for you. Creative dates are the most memorable because you put effort into it. Take her ice skating
          then for some hot chocolate.

          1. re: cbrstunter27
            ronandaim Jan 20, 2011 07:44 AM

            Skip the flowers and eat! It would make me uncomfortable if my sole dining partner barely ate.

            And parking at the Rusty Scupper is pretty reasonable:

            1. re: ronandaim
              JonParker Jan 20, 2011 12:56 PM

              Yeah, I agree. This is chowhound not datehound, but if my budget were that limited I'd be looking for a much more casual dining experience for a first date. Dump the flowers and take her for pho, pizza or some other casual food. There's plenty of time for nice places if things work out.

          2. m
            MrsWheatie Jan 19, 2011 08:11 AM

            Take her to the aquarium and if the weather is nice walk to East Harbor area. Others will have to provide recs.

            1. JonParker Jan 17, 2011 11:49 AM

              Of your list I'd choose either B&O, Corks or Brewer's Art. All are reasonably affordable, good food, and a nice first date atmosphere where you can talk.

              Brewer's Art
              1106 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

              2 Replies
              1. re: JonParker
                ronandaim Jan 17, 2011 04:02 PM

                Or Gertrude's which is inside the BMA...though the BMA may close too early.

                I think Mr. Rain's Fun House might do the trick. It's inside the American Visionary Art Museum (right across from the Rusty Scupper) which isn't a stuffy place by any means. I have not eaten at Mr. Rain's Fun House, but it gets pretty good reviews. It looks like the median price of entree is about $25 though there are some shareable ones that would keep costs down and sharing food is rather romantic. I think it would make a pretty sweet first date.


                Afterward you could check out the harbor from the Rusty Scupper and order her a Shirley Temple.

                Good luck!

                1. re: ronandaim
                  zebcook Jan 19, 2011 07:13 AM

                  Gertrude's a nice choice but the pricing might be a bit tough. Mr. Rain's is certainly fun and whimsical with a good location, but I wouldn't call the room romantic (although it's not awful). If you combine it with stroll through the museum -- and the gift shop, which is fun in itself -- it could be quite a good time for the right couple.

              2. h
                Hue Jan 17, 2011 10:32 AM

                The Walters Art Gallery near the Washington Monument...also just around the corner from the Enoch Pratt Main Library and the Basilica. Eating options...Sotto Sopra is within walking distance, as is Tio Pepe's, and any number of places going north on Charles Street

                1. h
                  hotel Jan 17, 2011 10:06 AM

                  Check out this thread:


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