This downtown restaurant serves elegant, yet simple, French-inspired Southern cuisine. Take the fried oysters, for instance, in their golden-brown cornmeal batter, or the crab soup that's as creamy as most bisques. These are true examples of gracious living. Add the tranquil, pastel-colored decor and the expert service and you come up with a most enjoyable dining experience at Charleston.
This small Afghani restaurant in the midtown Mount Vernon neighborhood features an intimate, candle-lit dining room decorated in shades of rose. Traditional Afghani robes adorn the bare brick walls. The food is equally lovely. A typical meal would include the pureed pumpkin appetizer, followed by grilled chicken with mushrooms in a yogurt and sour cream sauce, and ice cream with mango, figs and dates for dessert. The Helmand is four-star dining in a lovely setting, all at affordable prices.
One of Baltimore's largest breweries, The Brewer's Art is set in a grand townhouse on North Charles Street. Spread out over two levels, the bar and dining room lies on the ground floor and the lounge and smaller bar area can be found on the lower level. House brews include the strong Beazly, Birdhouse Ale and the flavorful Resurrection. They also offer an extensive wine list, wide selection of whiskey and other spirits. Their reasonably priced food menu features delicious pubfare (sandwiches, small plates), intriguing entrées, continental cuisine and desserts. Gluten free and vegetarian options are also available. With its happy hours, plenty of seating options, impeccable service and guided tours (every other Saturday), The Brewer's Art offers guests a unique dining experience.
For more than 30 years, this downtown restaurant has been Baltimore's benchmark for upscale steakhouses. The signature dish shows why. The Prime Rib Steak is a tender 24-ounce behemoth, a full three inches thick. The rest of the offerings, including several fine seafood dishes, are just as good, if not as weighty. It's hard to believe, but the decor - black walls, gold curtains and leopard-print carpet - is somehow just right. Side dishes are a la carte, and the wine list is great.
Mick O'Shea's Irish Pub and Restaurant features live Irish music, five nights a week. Inside, you'll find a massive bar with wooden tables to complete the décor. Much of the food is standard bar fare, but heartier dishes are also available. Be sure to try the Celtic entrees like Shepherd's Pie, Irish Stew, and Corn Beef and Cabbage.
One expects Italian restaurants to be romantic, and this Little Italy favorite certainly delivers. Dalesio's Of Little Italy's intimate dinning rooms are candle-lit and filled with fresh flowers, and the outdoor balcony seating is a near perfect setting for romance. The menu features many low-calorie and low-cholesterol entrées, like grilled shrimp and penne piemontese, which are perfectly healthy, yet still pack enough flavor to be worthy of Little Italy.
This elegant restaurant features floor-to-ceiling murals of cafe scenes and gilded mirrors. The owners redecorated the dining room in the mid-90s; only the cracked tile floor is original. To start, try a half-order of the gnocchi in red pepper sauce or sample from the tapas Bar. For a main course, the thin-crusted pizza is a nice choice. Made with homemade sauce and topped with mozzarella, it is a gourmet delight. For dessert, choose from truffles, fresh fruit served with ice cream and Profiteroles with chocolate sauce.
This friendly little place called David & Dad's is great if you're looking for breakfast on the go. They offer a wide range of fresh-baked muffins; everything from blueberry to chocolate chip; as well as a good variety of breakfast sandwiches. They also do lunch, offering a large menu of deli and specialty sandwiches. Their Reuben is especially good - plenty of dressing and sauerkraut, without being too wet. There are a few tables, but most of the business is take out. Be sure to try a brownie.
From soup to sauce, everything at this family-owned Italian favorite is made fresh daily. Add to that the Calvert House stylish decor, its friendly staff and its jovial neighborhood-hangout atmosphere, and you'll see why it's become a downtown institution. All the Italian standbys are well represented here, and their crab cakes are so popular that they actually sell packets of the mix. Located just minutes from Center Stage, it's a great choice for a pre-curtain meal.