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Jun 18, 2014 04:35 PM

One night out--Cunningham's or Oyster Bay Grille?

I am so looking forward to dining out at a restaurant that I've never tried.
Lucky me, the choice is mine--which is peculiar since I've not dined at either of the two suggested restaurants. So, there is no influence of my host(s) despite the fact that they have dined at both establishments.

I've viewed each menu and am unable to make a decision. The Oyster Bay Grille sounds amazing--I've already selected my options. But, then again, Cunningham's has so many delectables available.

Any suggestions/recommendations? FoiGras

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  1. I have been to both in the past few months and here are my thoughts. Cunningham's is more trendy and popular and we all liked our dinners ..... they do a good job blending farm to table with great taste combinations. The bar at Cunningham's is loud, too small & a bit obnoxious for me .... and I like to eat at bars! They do have a lot of outside dining options and seating if that is something you desire. The dining room is small but the staff is well trained and presentation was nice. We went on a Wed and they had 1/2 price wine so that was a plus. I thought they were just a little expensive for what they served but that is up to individual. I have visited Oyster Bay only once and we sat at the enormous bar that is the length of the dining room & I liked the vibe from the bar since it was not as noisy. We did mostly small plates but everything was great including their upscale burger offering. Prices were just a tad less than Cunningham's and I do not remember them emphasizing farm to table. I do not really recommend either for oysters since I think paying $3 for an oyster to be overly pricey no matter where it comes from. Parking is something to think about.....Oyster Bay has complimentary valet parking in front of entrance that was great on a rainy night, Cunningham's you pull into garage underneath and then follow a course of elevators, doors, entrances, etc. to arrive at restaurant. They were good to pull car in front of building for pick-up but even that required a lot of steps down if mobility is an issue. Food-wise: maybe Cunningham's by a little, ambiance: I prefer Oyster Bay but I truly hate "trendy" spots where people are there to be seen. They both had great food so I think either is safe. jck

    1. Haven't been to the Oyster but was just at Cunningham's Tuesday night. Sat in the back room which seems a bit more formal and quiet. Can recommend the scallop and fried oyster appetizers and the lamb main course. All (especially the lamb) were excellent. Their breads (made in house) are very good; service is professional. It was half price wine night (not sure it's Wednesday too) and if you can go then and you enjoy good wine that might tip it in their favor. We had an excellent 2008 Ramey Hudson Chardonnay that was almost reasonable at half price and a 2001 Rioja that Parker gave 95 points to and was only $42 with the discount. It went perfectly with the lamb.
      Is Oyster Bay new? Is it possible we have two new serious and good restaurants in Towson? What is this world coming to?

      1. I am looking forward to your report after your dining experience! I haven't had dinner at either-- just lunch at Cunningham's (in the cafe). I wasn't blown away-- I ordered the seared tuna wrap, which was ok. I liked the flavors of the dish, but the avocado was too hard and the tuna-- while perfectly seared-- was on the fatty side. My friend ordered the quinoa salad, which she also rated as just ok. She was a bit annoyed that it included a lot of onions, an ingredient she did not want, even though the description of the salad made no reference to them. However, since I really like its focus on seasonal, local ingredients, and know a few people who had amazing dinners there, I will likely return at some point for dinner to give it another shot.
        As for Oyster Bay, I just looked its menu-- so many promising choices! I am always a little annoyed when restaurants don't post prices, but from the other replies, it doesn't sound too unreasonable. I will have to add that to my list of places to try as well.
        Enjoy your night out!!!!

        2 Replies
        1. re: stephanieg

          My "go-to'gal"--thank you for your posting. It was informative and helpful in my decision.

          BUT....I won't be going out to dinner for a few weeks as I fell and broke my nose. YIPES! Can't taste food, nor breathe unless through my mouth--which is very uncomfortable, to say the least. I have to suck on moist mouth sponges. Gross and probably too much info.

          Another Chowhounder posted a favorable mention for Cunningham's--but the idea of having to park in a garage and go through a "maze" just to access the restaurant seems a bit inconvenient. But, I will go with the flow if the food is worthwhile.

          Oyster Bay Grille, on the other hand, offers valet parking. Hubby and I used to dine at that location when it was Vin--2007-2008. We enjoyed the cuisine and were disappointed when the restaurant closed. Vin also provided valet parking.

          Apart from the food at any of the newer Towson restaurants--in the latest issue of "Baltimore Magazine" someone wrote in that the area is going to need to address the potential gridlock/parking,etc. situation. If not taken into consideration, many potential diners will avoid the area and head to other places--even downtown restaurants offer a hefty price.
          Looks like Baltimore is becoming pricey with parking, etc. like D.C. and New York. FoiGras

          1. re: FoiGras

            Oh no!!! Best wishes for a speedy recovery! You will have a great excuse now to splurge on lots of food when you're feeling better.

        2. In my opinion, the parking at Cunningham's is not a big deal. It's in a garage, but it's valet. You just go up an elevator to the ground floor and you're there. The valet can direct.
          Speedy healing.