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Seafood Restaurant Recommendations for Columbia

Could you please recommend a good seafood restaurant in/near Columbia, MD? It's for a birthday celebration so something upscale is preferred. Thanks!

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  1. Upscale seafood doesn't ring exactly in Columbia. There are some nice placs with seafood dishes, but I can't think of a specialty place for seafood. If you want Columbia, would a broader menu work?

    1. although it is not seafood exclusive, Ironbridge restaurant and wine bar is nice, food is good and is a festive place. Victoria's Gastropub is not "upscaled" but it is nice and the food is real good, and the lobster grilled cheese sandwich is over the top plus the Kobe burger with white truffle cheese sauce is as good as any burger anywhere. In Silver Spring is Ray's the Classics, a steak house with seafood on the menu. All of these places are nice but you don't need to get dressed up too much. dressy-casual works. The common thread at all three is that the food is good

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      Ray's the Classics
      8606 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910

      3 Replies
      1. re: dining with doc

        I like dining with doc's recommendations too, and I would also choose Victoria Gastro Pub over Donna's purely on the basis of the food (especially the appetizers and entree salads).

        Another place with excellent food that usually has seafood on the menu is Bistro Blanc in Glenelg. It's a notch up on the price scale though.

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        Bistro Blanc
        3800 Ten Oaks Road, Glenelg, MD 21737

        1. re: 2stepper

          Never heard of Bistro Blanc, but the menu looks good and your brief description was intriguing. Is the ambiance a notch above as well?

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          Bistro Blanc
          3800 Ten Oaks Road, Glenelg, MD 21737

          1. re: Dennis S

            I think the ambiance at Bistro Blanc is reasonably upscale but still casual, in a modern kind of way, though the outside is very non-descript. It's the kind of place where some people might be in a jacket and others might be in jeans.

            The chef used to be at Iron Bridge and Cafe de Paris, and part of it is also a wine bar.

            A couple of summers ago they had a high school quartet playing chamber music there on Sunday nights, but like most places in Howard County it's not a stuffy atmosphere.

            I think Howard County's Restaurant Week is still going on this week so it would be a good time to try a prix fixe for about half the normal cost.

      2. Donna's always has a seafood on her menu and I couldn't recommend her any higher.
        http://www.donnas.com/images/snd_dinn...

        5 Replies
        1. re: skipper

          Just to set expectations on the setting at Donna's, at least during the day it's an upscale cafe. For the holiday season I wanted to treat some subcontractors to a very nice lunch and was between Donna's and Victoria. For lunch, anyway, it wasn't what I wanted in terms of setting. The food was good, but I felt like it was one or two notches above a Cosi, complete with people using tables here and there to "remote office" with their laptops and a coffee.

          Not knocking the place, just helping set expectations.

          1. re: Dennis S

            I agree that Donna's has no ambiance, but the food IMHO is better than Victoria's (which by the way reminds me of a TGIF, Ruby's, etc.)

            1. re: skipper

              Interesting. Thank you (b/c I still want to take the team out again, probably with a contract renewal).

              1. re: skipper

                it was a bennigans before Victorias. last time i looked, they dont serve Kobe Beef burger with home made relish and white truffle cheese sauce on a fresh brioche roll, nor do they sell lobster grilled cheese sandwich, or poutine that makes you lick your fingers at TGIF or it's competitors. no comparison between Victoria's and TGIF or Ruby Tuesdays in terms of the quality of food served!!!!!!

                1. re: dining with doc

                  We were discussing ambiance, not food. And having eaten at both Donna's and Vicotoria's, I'll match the former against the latter any day.

          2. If it was up to me, I'd go Vietnamese, Thai, sushi or Victoria's while in Columbia. However, the Birthday Girl specifically requested seafood so that's my dilemma! What if we widened the search to include Ellicott City and Laurel? Thanks so much!

            6 Replies
            1. re: ILoveBacon

              Does seafood include sushi? Then Sushi King and Sushi Sono would be the easy answers. Otherwise, while there really are no great seafood options, you could go to the Crab Shanty if she's looking for an Old School seafood vibe. Or you could go up to Catonsville and go to the Catonsville Gourmet for a more modern take.

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              Catonsville Gourmet
              829 Frederick Rd, Catonsville, MD 21228

              Sushi Sono
              10215 Wincopin Cir Ste 101, Columbia, MD 21044

              Sushi King
              6490 Dobbin Rd Ste F, Columbia, MD 21045

              The Crab Shanty
              3410 Plum Tree Dr, Ellicott City, MD 21042

              1. re: Jason1

                Second the Catonsville Gourmet recommendation. Not too far from Columbia, and the food is outstanding. It's BYOB if you're thinking of beer/wine.

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                Catonsville Gourmet
                829 Frederick Rd, Catonsville, MD 21228

                1. re: Zevonista

                  I forgot about Catonsville Gourmet. I've only been once and I think I made a mistake in ordering steak (in addition to mussels), both of which didn't stick in my memory.

                  They have a much more extensive seafood menu and Catonsville is only about 15 minutes away from Columbia. The ambiance is decent but I only dabble in seafood. :)

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                  Catonsville Gourmet
                  829 Frederick Rd, Catonsville, MD 21228

                2. re: Jason1

                  Isn't Gunning's about as close to Columbia?

                  1. re: elgringoviejo

                    Gunnings is pretty close, yes. However, I would not describe it as "upscale." I wouldn't describe Catonsville Gourmet as a fancy restaurant, but I'd say it's more upscale than Gunnings!

                    One thing about Catonsville Gourmet - they don't take reservations. You'd probably want to call ahead to see if they can handle a group.

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                    Catonsville Gourmet
                    829 Frederick Rd, Catonsville, MD 21228

                    1. re: Zevonista

                      If they want upscale, then perhaps Aida Bistro is their best option.

              2. Give Aida Bistro a try. I haven't been to the new location, but it's usually a good bet for Italian.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bigterp1

                  What about Tersiguel's? Have not been to other restaurants on Main St. in Ellicott City for a while, any of them worthwhile (i.e. Portalli's??)? Otherwise, I'd second Aida Bistro.

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                  Tersiguel's
                  8293 Main Street, Ellicott City, MD 21043

                  1. re: ivysmom

                    Isn't Cafe de Paris closer to Columbia?