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I need to find a trendy restaurant in Baltimore and I've never been there, please help!

amayaweb Feb 28, 2012 10:36 AM

I am organizing a meeting in Baltimore and need to find a restaurant to take around 35 people. I need something, "hip, local and trendy" near Inner Harbor/City Center. Can anyone make any recommendations?


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  1. hill food RE: amayaweb Feb 28, 2012 10:51 AM

    whoa hip trendy Balto Inner harbor 35 people.

    I love Balmer, but you have your work quite cut out for you.

    B places tend to be small except for chains and hotels. hip and trendy would require being part of John Waters' latest film crew. I'm of no help, just trying to brace you for the work ahead.

    it is a deeply cool city and you'll find something, just not all those categories in the same place. (35?)

    1. 2
      27ss81 RE: amayaweb Feb 28, 2012 11:35 AM

      I would say Pazo fits all of your criteria. It's in "Harbor East" which is near the Inner Harbor, it has a hip/trendy vibe and it has a couple private rooms- one of which can accomodate 35, I believe.

      2 Replies
      1. re: 27ss81
        dining with doc RE: 27ss81 Feb 28, 2012 12:26 PM

        2nd Pazo and if you want you can plan your own tasting menu and specialty drink menu with them! Went to a 50th surprise birthday party with about 20 people and sat upstairs at one table. The husband worked with them for a 10 course tasting dinner along with a specialty martini and sangria and birthday cake. Food was great, atmosphere very hip and servers very cool but professional. fits your post like a glove

        1. re: dining with doc
          chefdilettante RE: dining with doc Mar 2, 2012 02:57 PM

          Heather Beckman is the restaurant group's group dining manager and a pleasure to work with.

      2. r
        Riska RE: amayaweb Mar 2, 2012 11:38 AM

        I have organized business dinners for large groups at Pazo and Cinghiale. Both fit your criteria, and they do a great job of working with you on menu, wine, etc.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Riska
          ForFoodsSake RE: Riska Mar 6, 2012 11:22 AM

          I've had a business dinner at Cinghiale for 15 - 20. Their food was excellent and very easy to work with.

          We also had a great meal at B&O Brasserie with a similar size group. They do have a railcar that you can rent for private events which is pretty cool -- not sure how many it holds though. Their food was not as notable as Cinghiale, but very good with pleasant service.

          1. re: ForFoodsSake
            jvanderh RE: ForFoodsSake Mar 6, 2012 11:31 AM

            And I like the food at B&O much better than Cinghiale, for what it's worth.

        2. f
          FoiGras RE: amayaweb Mar 2, 2012 11:55 AM

          I would recommend Tabrizi's. The restaurant is located on the water near the Inner Harbor. The chef works with planning menus and can handle your group easily, as it is a popular venue for wedding receptions.

          I had a negative experience at Pazo and would not recommend the place. I, also, didn't care for Cinghiale, but would give them a second chance when I eventually return. FoiGras

          1 Reply
          1. re: FoiGras
            lawhound RE: FoiGras Mar 2, 2012 12:36 PM

            I like Tabrizi's as well but would not call it hip or trendy.

          2. m
            maddogg280 RE: amayaweb Mar 2, 2012 12:05 PM

            Another Wolf/Foreman restaurant called Chingale would also fit the bill. It is a lovely space and it has private dining areas if you want that. Great menu, too.

            1. j
              jvanderh RE: amayaweb Mar 4, 2012 03:02 PM

              Red Maple seems like the definition of trendy. It's not at the harbor, but it is downtown. Pazo probably has better food, though.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jvanderh
                agarnett100 RE: jvanderh Mar 4, 2012 03:24 PM

                Pazo food is okay its not really all that great.

                1. re: agarnett100
                  FoiGras RE: agarnett100 Mar 4, 2012 03:47 PM

                  I agree--hey, it seems as though trendy and hip aren't going to provide good food in this city. I love my Bawlmer--but trendy and hip don't equate to good food. The original poster will have to make a choice--good food and service or hip and trendy.

                  If you want hip and trendy then perhaps Milan would fit the bill. It's in the area of desire--it's a trendy place. The food is okay--last year one of the Ravens' players hosted a birthday party there the night we dined. Whoever it was, took over the entire second floor. People attendiing were dressed to the nine's and it was festive. Maybe check it out. FoiGras

                  1. re: agarnett100
                    jvanderh RE: agarnett100 Mar 4, 2012 05:15 PM

                    I've heard that sentiment echoed a lot, but almost everything I've eaten there has been good or great.

                2. f
                  FoiGras RE: amayaweb Mar 6, 2012 04:06 PM

                  Here is a dumb question--why does your venue have to be trendy and hip? There are far more excellent restaurant choices in Baltimore that don't quite fit that bill. My preference would be great food in a nice environment, versus the hype of a trendy/hip place with inferior cuisine.

                  I still don't agree with Pazo as a choice. My "jury" is out with regards to Cinghiale. B&O Brasserie had better, more reasonably priced cuisine then Cinghiale. I don't even feel that Cinghiale is hip nor trendy--just expensive for small portions of food that didn't impress me nor my husband. But, I would give them a second chance--after trying many other places first before a return visit.

                  Don't know where you hail from, but Baltimore is not a hip/trendy restaurant scene. Yet there are many fine restaurants offering very good food. If you are coming from New YOrk or Philadelphia, well, there is no comparison. to what youu have become accustomed to with regards to hip/trendy.

                  Good luck in your selection. Wish I could be more helpful. FoiGras

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: FoiGras
                    stephanieg RE: FoiGras Mar 7, 2012 10:30 AM

                    FoiGras, as I usually agree with your suggestions, I was surprised by your take on Pazo. It is a place I have continued to love, and one of the few places where I have experienced consistent quality service and food. We were just there on Sat. night and the sommelier remembered the wine we had during our last visit, which was at least 6 months prior! We had numerous tapas, all of which were good. The 2 amazing standouts were the grilled calamari (which at too many places ends up chewy) and the ceviche. I also love that Pazo has such a great selections of cocktails and affordable wines. Overall, I find it to be not only a fun place with a great vibe, but also one that takes food/drinks seriously and does them quite well.

                    1. re: stephanieg
                      FoiGras RE: stephanieg Mar 7, 2012 11:43 AM

                      stephanieg--I also usually agree with your take on the local dining establishments. So, based on your enthusiasm with regards to Pazo, guess I'll have to give it another chance.. Every place has an "off night." Maybe that was the circumstances when hubby and I dined there about 1-1/2 years ago. So glad that you had a wonderful dining experience there this past Saturday. I love ceviche, so it'll be worth my while to return just to try that particular dish. FoiGras

                      1. re: FoiGras
                        dining with doc RE: FoiGras Mar 7, 2012 01:13 PM

                        FG: I was there in the fall and we had a very enjoyable evening. it was a surprise 50th birthday for a friend and there was a 12 course tasting menu. Every dish was delish and there were no foopahs. go back and enjoy!

                        1. re: dining with doc
                          FoiGras RE: dining with doc Mar 7, 2012 03:07 PM

                          Okay "doc"--I'm convinced. Thanks for your input--you know the "good" places--just like "stephanieg" and various others. FoiGras

                        2. re: FoiGras
                          jvanderh RE: FoiGras Mar 7, 2012 02:43 PM

                          If the FoiGras-jvanderh dining paradox works both ways, you'll have an awful meal :-P But seriously, do give it another try. Hopefully you won't be disappointed.

                          1. re: jvanderh
                            FoiGras RE: jvanderh Mar 7, 2012 03:12 PM

                            Once again--I will have to give Pazo another try. I won't go kicking and screaming. I am humble and always defer to the opinions of others--whether I agree or not. It seems the consensus is in favor of Pazo--along with Cinghiale. But firstly--I want to try Salt and Alchemy and Waterfront Kitchen and haven't seen much activity with regards to any of the three. Any input dear Chouwhounders? FoiGras

                      2. re: FoiGras
                        amayaweb RE: FoiGras Mar 7, 2012 10:40 AM

                        Hahaha, not a dumb question, actually a very good one. I am all for good food, especially if it's inexpensive, but my boss wants "hip and trendy" so hip and trendy it is. =) Thanks for all the suggestions.

                        1. re: amayaweb
                          FoiGras RE: amayaweb Mar 7, 2012 11:45 AM

                          amayweb--YEP!!! If the BOSS wants "hip trendy" then that's the way to go. Good luck and let us know where you ended up. FoiGras

                          1. re: amayaweb
                            dining with doc RE: amayaweb Mar 7, 2012 01:14 PM

                            Pazo defines hip and trendy. I would say the food is pretty good as are the specialty cocktails.

                        2. w
                          wstacy32 RE: amayaweb Mar 6, 2012 08:33 PM

                          I like Pazo and Tabrizi's as well!

                          1. a
                            amayaweb RE: amayaweb Mar 7, 2012 10:36 AM

                            I just want to thank everyone for the suggestions!

                            1. f
                              FoiGras RE: amayaweb Mar 7, 2012 03:18 PM

                              amayweb-- I am going out on a limb here with my next recommendation. You will get to see all of the controversy with regards to this suggestion. Milan Restaurant-in Little Italy of Baltimore--very near the Inner Harbor--is "hip and trendy." When I last dined there about a year ago, one of the Baltimore Ravens' players was celebrating a private party in the upstairs portion of the restaurant. It was very festive and the staff was on overdrive. Yet, our dinner service was attentive--food quite good--nothing to get all excited about. I guess that's the trade off in Baltimore--"hip and trendy" or old schooled solid food. There are a few places that offer more innovative dining arenas--not many in the downtown area--but Woodberry Kitchen comes to mind--not that far from the inner city area. And, I still suggest B&O Brasserie for the location--and the food is quite good--it's kind of "hip and trendy." Perhaps not as much as Pazo. FoiGras

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