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April 21, 2009

Justin needs our help!

ohmanmartinitime.JPGGot this email from Midnight Sun reader Justin yesterday:

I'm not sure if you get this a lot, but I need help with something. Friday is my 1 year anniversary with my lady.

I want to do something special, insanely special, but I’m drawing blanks.

For our first date together, we went to Bistro Romano in Philly and dined in the private wine cellar, so it’s been somewhat hard to top that.

What I’m looking for is some place with great food, a modern atmosphere, and somewhat intimate. I know the combination is hard. I want to go somewhere nice, but at the same time up beat. Any help would be great.

So, who has some suggestions for Justin? First off, Justin, I'm going to chide you for setting the bar too high on your first date.

Consider yourself chided.

Now, onto business ...

Expert Sun food blogger Elizbeth Large gives you some great romantic restaurant options in this post on Dining@Large. And here is another post she did with romantic but less expensive options.

Since I'm more of a bar/lounge/club writer than a restaurant critic, I can offer you cocktail/lounge spots for after dinner, if you want. I'd suggest Red Maple (930 N. Charles St.), Mosaic (Power Plant Live), Ixia (518 N. Charles St.) and maybe even the bar/lounge at Pazo (1425 Aliceanna St.).

(Sun photo by Algerina Perna)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:38 PM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Ixia, Charleston (modern and upbeat may not apply here), Black Olive (same as Charleston), Meli (downstairs).

Is there somewhere you can go that shows more thought or references something special over the last year/is unique to her? That way you might be able to avoid the hefty price tag that might be expected.

I am agreeing with Sam on the N. Charles St corridor. I suggest Sotta Sopra for an early dinner (request the table for two by the window). Stroll up/around the monument if it's a nice night, perhaps a quick walk through the Peabody Library if it's not closed? Then cocktails at Ixia for a nightcap?

I agree with Red Maple and Pazo. There are also Kali's Corner and Meli in Fells Point... both have a good atmosphere, food and drinks.

i second err third Pazo--i think it's atmosphere can't be beat plus it has valet parking. I think it's the swankiest most romantic yet relaxed atmosphere in town...Don't go to Charleston--it's too uptight! Happy Anniversary!

Kali's Corner is awesome. the Waitresses have six arms and wear ears around their necks!
Dude, if you go, try the Shankarapeno poppers or the Thugee tapas platter. good times .

what about Ruth's Chris in the Inner Harbor. You can start at the bar, have dinner on the second floor and then go to the Havana Club after that.

I concur that Ixia fits the bill.

If you want to replicate your first date, Aldo's in Little Italy does the wine cellar gig. I've not done it myself so I can't vouch for it, but here is the link:

Justin - I am going to throw it out there. You can keep it if you want or you can throw it right back: Chili's.

Maybe consider the dinning room at Cinghiale in Harbor East - the same people as Charleston (which is across the street). Ask for a corner table.

its prob not as nice as some of these other suggested restaurants, but i'm a big fan of going to sobo cafe in federal hill for good food & intimate dinners... (hint hint, sam!)

Going to Ixia is like falling through the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. I love it there. I have more fun in the womens room there then I do in most bars. And if the nitrogen bar is open its kind of fun. I also like Pazo as well. What about Charleston? Never been there but I hear its awesome!

What oh what is queen_colleen doing in that ladies room???

I would suggest either Mondo Bondo, Mex, or Mosaic...that's if you like to eat MOUSE!!

My girlfriend always likes it when I take her to Mum's and order her a #1 and play pool with her.


Call me. If you're open to Virginia, I know a very nice, private spot.

No sign, no phone number, no advertising, no website. Just good people and -amazing- drinks.

Mark Twain - that might be the shadiest thing I've seen on this blog to date...


How about the #1 Bar in the US -- Brewer's Art? Their dining room is neat & intimate, the food fabulous, and thr drinks, well, they speak for themselves (even non-beer drinkers can find something fabulous!)

How about [YOUR AD HERE]? It's a great space to chill with your friends or a loved one and the drink prices are AWESOME dude! [insert weblink here]

JMG raises a solid point -

How about the Brewer's Art, but see if you could arrange to be seated downstairs in one of the nooks--you could bring extra candles, flowers or flower petals, etc. It would be more of a beer cellar than a wine cellar, but still...

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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