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January 12, 2010

Top 10 Places for Restaurant Week


I don't do Restaurant Week(s), but I still get lots of requests from readers asking where they should go.

I can't answer them from personal experience, so I decided to make up a list of commenter recommendations from the last year. (If I knew there had been been a major change at a restaurant, such as a chef leaving, I didn't include it.)

Most of them are pretty obvious -- a good restaurant is a good restaurant -- but a couple you may not have thought of.

Obviously there are no guarantees. The mini-reviews by commenters are all six months or a year old. Use them as guidelines, and let us know if your experience differs.

These are the places Dining@Large commenters think you'll get the most bang for your buck during Restaurant Week(s). They are also all places where I've had a good meal.

If you want to read full mini-reviews, just type "restaurant week" into the search function (use the quotation marks or you'll get too many choices).

Also, please take a minute to vote in the Restaurant Week poll. ...

* Alizee near the Homewood Campus. "Overall we had a great time, the food was good to very good, the atmosphere was very nice and comfortable."

* Blue Hill Tavern in Brewers Hill. "It was one of the best meals we have had in a long time."

* Brewer's Art in Mount Vernon. "It was a good excuse to eat in the dining room for once!"

* Capital Grille in the Inner Harbor. "Our dinners were outstanding, service was impeccable."

* Helmand in Mount Vernon.  "We weren't rushed at all, and we went right to our table, even though it was full."

* Meli in Fells Point. "They let you choose any appetizer, entree and dessert off of their menu."

* Oceanaire Seafood Room in Harbor East. "Enjoyed it quite a bit, and compared to the regular menu, it was very much a bargain."

* Pazza Luna in Locust Point. "Everyone praised the quality of the food....The one weakness was a martini not cold enough."

* Prime Rib downtown. "The service was smoothly professional, the signature prime rib succulent." [But there was a $4 surcharge for it. EL]

* Salt Tavern in East Baltimore. "Overall a great dinner, one which succeeds from a restaurant week standpoint, as before this was a place i wasn't sure about going to during a non-restaurant week."

Bonus tip: No one reviewed Fogo de Chao last time, but a couple of people said they were trying it this time because it seemed to be the same menu for $35 instead of $49.

For more info on these and other restaurants participating in Restaurant Week, check out Editor Amanda's photo gallery.

(Photo of Blue Hill Tavern food by Kenneth K. Lam/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:39 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


Oceanaire and the Prime Rib are both great choices. Even with the surcharge for the prime rib.

There are more than a couple of us going to Fogo de Chao this year. There are seven (Sandboxers slamming?) in the group I'm going with.

Not sure about Fogo De Chao having the same menu, it seemed like the list on the Restaurant Week website was a little short, as in it was missing some. Still looked like there was plenty to enjoy though.

Blue Hill Tavern, are you kidding me?!!? Blah!

While Brewer's Art is one of my fav. bar spots. The dining room fare has never impressed me & has never quite matched the price tag. However, one of the best places to grab a burger & cocktail/brew! word: rude

We always go to The Black Olive and Cinghiale. The Black Olive lunch is just about perfect and the price is great. I am not a fan of Fogo De Chao - too hurried, too noisy, too much movement going on for a relaxed dinner. We have always had a great dinner at Brewer's Art and, of course, love the brews, but for restaurant week I prefer to go to places that are usually special treats.

I'd like to recommend a restaurant in Frederick, Md. It's called Monacacy Crossing and is about 3.5 miles south of I 70 on Urbana Pike and has its own web site.

Glenn, the place in Frederick restaurant you mentioned is not on the Baltimore Restaurant Week list of participating restaurants, which kind of disqualifies it from this discussion.

I don't know, hmpstd. After all, some stay away from RW participants to avoid the crowds. Frederick would certainly get one away from the Baltimore RW crowds.

More likely, Glenn is new, and didn't know where to share a place he likes. We veer off topic so much and so often that I'm seeing the point of disqualifying it.

Melli???? unbeleivable that this place made the list.the place is an overpriced cafeteria. food is dull. there is no creativity or any culinary talent. service is that of a sub shop in highlandtown.

Tell us, Ron, what's your experience there and do the troubles extend to the other places in the group? Did you work for them? We're all ears as this place usually gets generally good comments.

Disagree with Meli and Blue Hill. I live next to blue hill and have been there many times. The food is always terrible but the atmosphere is good. I quit going a few months ago, maybe something changed.

Blue Hill??? One can only assume that the particular reviewers from the article stating that "It was one of the best meals we have had in a long time." really must not get out very much. I am in no way an expert in the kitchen but would say that I could make a better steak, crabcake, etc then the ones served at blue hill (and a very hefty price tag I might add). I have also had a few of their signature cocktails and the cucumber martini was especially disgusting. Cool look to the place but definitely dont see this one surviving without a chef change.....

Capital Grille, Aldo's, Oceanaire and Louisiana would top my list for restaurant week if I had to choose a few worth the money and delicious food.

the cucumber martini was especially disgusting.

I'm not sure why that should be a surprise. I can't even imagine ordering a cucumber "martini".

I liked Louisana back when it first opened, but it kept getting more and more disappointing, eventually to the point that it wasn't worth going to for that kind of money.

I'd love to hear credible (emphasis on credible) reports that they've gotten better again.

double snob at 8:57 and 9:02!

I am pleased to annoy unbelievaboh.

kudos, Hal.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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