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July 27, 2010

No dilly-dallying during Restaurant Week

Aldo'sA colleague here at The Sun spotted this on Aldo’s menu for Baltimore Restaurant Week, which runs Aug. 13 to 22.

"Due to the high volume of guests served during Restaurant Week, we respectfully request, in consideration of other guests, that you please limit your seating time to 1 hour 30 minutes."

If nothing else, I guess that note says something about the popularity of Restaurant Week.

I asked Aldo's Sergio Vitale about the policy.

"We’ve never had to enforce that policy (and, frankly, I would feel uncomfortable doing so), but it’s a gentle reminder to guests that Restaurant Week tends to be very busy -- particularly on the weekends," he said. "We still follow our standard policy of not overbooking, etc, but it’s a balancing act with so much demand.

"Weeknights are really the best time to experience restaurant week -- it’s generally a much more relaxed pace and there is usually availability."

If you'd like to see Aldo's restaurant week menu, see below. I was interested to see that it includes the edible weed of the moment, purslane.


Tower of Flash-Fried Local Eggplant, Parmigiana-Style

Sashimi-Grade Saku Tuna Loin Carpaccio: Thinly-Sliced Center-Cut Tuna Loin, Spicy Sriracha Aioli, diced Red Onions, Jalapeño & Coriander (served chilled & raw)

Crespelle Gratinee: Spinach & Ricotta-filled Crepe, Besciamella Sauce, Parmigiano-Herb Crust Calabrese-Style Panzanella 

Italian Summer Salad: Local Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Tender Purslane Greens, & Sweet Bermuda Onions Over Crusty Bread with Sweet Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Italian White Wine Vinegar


Tagliata di Manzo: Seared Dry Aged Certified Angus Bistro Cut Steak A scattering of Rosemary Fleur de Sel (Sea Salt) and Sant'Agata D.O.P. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Mosto) Arugula Greens, Rosemary-Garlic Frites & Truffled Aioli 

Pan-Seared Monkfish, Cannellini Beans, Goathorn Pepper Tapenade

Stuffed Cavendish Quail (Springfield, Vermont) Polenta, Mild Fennel Sausage and Dried Cherry Stuffing, Yukon Gold Rösti

Chef’s Preparation Whole Wheat Pasta and Local Farmer’s Market Vegetables


Buttermilk Panna Cotta: Rich Italian Vanilla Custard, Mixed Berry Coulis, Fresh Berries

Fiji Apple Tart: Served Warm with Tahitian Vanilla Gelato

AVAILABLE AT $35.10 PER PERSON (Exclusive of Beverages, Tax and Gratuity)


Sun photo by Elizabeth Malby

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 3:46 PM | | Comments (8)


I think they have lost their marbles. A restaurant in Aldo's league putting time restrictions on guest? Plently of places for me to go during restaurant week with excellent menus and no time limits. BIG mistake Aldo's.

Agreed. No better way to guarantee I won't eat there. Plenty of as good or better restaurants in Baltimore, Restaurant Week or no.

They make gelato in Tahiti???

they have to translate "fleur de sel" for the masses? wow.

I wouldn't expect anything less from Aldo's. I haven't been back in several years after the snooty service I received. Mediocre food, can't say I will be back.

I ate at Aldo's for Restaurant Week a few years ago. I don't remember if they had that disclaimer or not, but I feel like that is implied/expected of customers at all restaurants who participate in restaurant week. Fact is, they are cutting us a deal and we shouldn't impinge on them too egregiously. Not to say you should rush through dinner, but the servers still need to make money as do restaurant owners- this isn't a profitable venture for the most part. Also, since many people don't see to tip well during these specials the least we could do is not hold a table up too long. It's just a shame that people have to worry about it.

Is this a joke or a real comment? If the latter, I'm amused by the level of arrogance and elitist attitude....

"they have to translate "fleur de sel" for the masses? wow."

baltimoregal-Thank you for putting some common sense into the discussion. And we can ignore the peasants who think there is a better restaurant than Aldo's in Bmore.

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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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