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Date night in Baltimore??

The grandparents came through on Saturday night and invited the kiddie pops for a sleepover. So, hubby and I have a date night to fill out (he may even be checking this board as I type). The last "new" restaurant we tried was Bluegrass and had a mediocre experience (although they make a damn good Manhattan).

Is there anyplace that you'd recommend? We're thinking downtown & mid-priced (but that's not a deal breaker). We're open to any cuisine, but would like some imagination and close attention to the quality of ingredients. I'd like something new(-ish) and noteworthy (if it exists) and I'm definitely not a fan of the over-priced chains in Harbor East. I'm also not looking to repeat with Wolf/Foreman...BTDT too many times.

One further note..we're saving Salt for another event in March, so that's not on the table, so to speak, this weekend.

TIA!!!

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  1. My husband and I just had a wonderful date night at Blue Hill Tavern. We really liked the atmosphere-- it has quite a chic, modern feel to it, and loved all the dishes. Have fun!!!

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    Blue Hill Tavern
    938 S Conkling Street, Baltimore, MD 21087

    1 Reply
      1. re: JonParker

        Try the Watertable in the Renaissance hotel the food is good and the view at night of the Inner Harbor is second to none

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        Watertable
        202 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

        1. re: agarnett100

          Several times I've engaged the Watertable website, but it only shows a menu for lunch. Does the restaurant actually serve dinner? The lunch menu appears to be enticing, but nothing is mentioned with regards to dinner.

          I can't imagine a hotel restaurant without a dinner service, but I could be wrong. Would love to know. FoiGras

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          Watertable
          202 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

          1. re: FoiGras

            Well, Dummy ME--I just will have to retract my moments ago reply. I was able to bring up the dinner menu for Watertable. It does appear to be quite enticing.

            And, yes, the view//location must be quite romantic for a nice dinner out. Haven't hear much from the other Chowhounds regarding this restaurant, which according to the menu, seems to be very appealing==especially if the execution is as promised from the written menu. FoiGras

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            Watertable
            202 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

            1. re: FoiGras

              Watertable is overpriced with poor reviews. I suggest B in Bolton Hill - excellent selection and well-priced.

              1. re: dlite

                Thanks for the update, as there hasn;t been much talk regarding Watertable. Now, I can see why there isn't much interest. Foi Gras

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                Watertable
                202 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

      2. The Helmond on charles street in mt vernon is a wonderful Afghan restaurant that is always ranked as one of the top restaurants in Baltimore. Not too expensive, nice inside with interesting well prepared and tastey. fun good place

        1. Recommend you take a look at Centro. Really inspired dishes, great to share and a well executed value wine list. Attention to detail abounds.

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          Centro
          4838 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

          3 Replies
          1. re: kungpho

            I live about two blocks from Centro, and found one trip enough. If you go on Tuesday for their $3 tapas special it's a decent deal, but I wouldn't call it inspired at all. Reasonably competent, overpriced food.

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            Centro
            4838 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

            1. re: JonParker

              $27 salmon or $30 steak or $28 scallops at B&O? I guess the bigger portions make it worth it. Maybe the predictable wine list?

              1. re: kungpho

                My point was that I didn't find anything at Centro inspired, but merely competent. B&O on the other hand was one of my best meals in recent memory. For the price point it is one of the best restaurants on the area IMO. I reviewed both of them in detail on this board

          2. Thank you for all the recs!! We decided to stay downtown, so we combined a night at Hotel Monaco with drinks and dinner at B&O.

            It was our first time at the hotel and we enjoyed our stay. Other than the yappy dog who went on a lengthy rampage at 7am Sunday (helllloooooo, owners??), it was great.

            We hit the bar for cocktails on arrival and after moving three times, found a perfect spot. Although the lounge area is attractive, it wasn't terribly comfortable. The double bar stool is genius and as soon as it opened up, we pounced. I could have stayed there all night. My husband had the El Oso cocktail (tasted like a Rusty Nail, made with tequila) and I had the B&O Manhattan. Both were yummy and we ordered some duck fat fries for munchies. They were fabulously crispy and lacked only the addition of white truffle oil to ascend to epic status.

            For dinner, we ordered 2 plates each. We got the hamachi tartare, trio of housemade sausages, sweetbread nuggets and duck confit. The hamachi was spicy and deliciously fresh, the sausages were awesome (what's not to love about a duck sausage corn dog?), and the nuggets were light and perfectly cooked. The duck confit was delicious, but should have been presented as a small plate. It was so rich that a mini-portion would have been sufficient. As a large plate, it was a meal ender.

            We ordered an adventurous dessert and let's just say...lesson learned on that one. It was a smoked apple panna cotta served in an anise broth (tasted like pho). Although our bartender at brunch the next morning was a fan, we most certainly were not. Bleh.

            We went back for brunch the next morning and I'm sorry to say, it was mediocre at best. The bloody marys were thin and one dimensional. They tasted like garden variety Mr & Mrs T's with a slug of horseradish. I ordered a fried oyster po' boy and my husband, the crab cake benedict. The baguette on my sandwich was hard through and through (dried out and stale) and the oysters were undersized and overbreaded. My husband had better luck, his eggs were perfectly poached and the heirloom tomato hollandaise was the star of the show. The crabcakes were decent, but a little too rich. The strangest thing was that the dish didn't come with english muffins...it definitely needed to.

            All in all, a very successful trip and we'll definitely be back (except maybe for brunch). ;o)

            Thanks again!

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            B&O American Brasserie - Hotel Monaco
            2 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201