January 24, 2010
A while back I purchased a groupon for $35 at the Reserve in Federal Hill for only $15. So I went there with a few friends a few weeks back for dinner. I ordered the seafood risotto, which I thought was pretty good, but the risotto was a little underdone. Also, the service at the restaurant was really slow for not being all that crowded.
We were there on a Wednesday, which is apparently “acoustic” karaoke night…whatever that means. Luckily it wasn’t scheduled to start until 10pm, so we got out of there in time. We headed to Vaccaro’s in Little Italy for dessert. I ordered the baci ball ice cream sunday, but they were out of the baci ice cream so I substituted with nocciola. I had no idea how huge the portion would be. I could barely stomach it all, but I managed…and it was amazingly good.
November 9, 2009
I always get really excited about Restaurant Week because it’s an opportunity to check out restaurants that normally might not fit into my budget. After checking out all the menus, I finally narrowed down the number of places I wanted to try to three. First on the list was Brass Elephant in Mt. Vernon, which actually closed its doors not too long after Restaurant Week. Another one bites the dust in this economy, I guess. I’d heard good things about Brass Elephant, but my experience there was not that great. For a Friday night, the restaurant was not crowded at all. The service was also subpar. Our server was slow, and she broke the cork when opening the wine bottle my friend ordered. Not impressive. To start, everyone got–I suppose it could have been considered an amuse bouche–of foie gras on a piece of crusty bread. This was my first taste of foie gras, and I have to say I’m not a fan. For my first course, I had the smoked rockfish with cold smoked salmon, which was garnished with whipped horseradish cream, pickled radish, and hearts of palm. The salmon was okay, but the rockfish didn’t taste very fresh. For my second course, I had a filo-wrapped cod with hazelnuts, sage polenta, and a parsley and sage pesto. I remember enjoying that. The fish was cooked well. For dessert, I went with the creme brulee, because I feel like that’s something that a restaurant shouldn’t mess up. It wasn’t really anything to write home about.
Courses shown counterclockwise from top left.
Another note about the poor service: my friend, Stephanie had to leave dinner early and when she realized this, we tried to flag down our server to request that her dessert get packed up ahead of time so that she wouldn’t have to wait for it. Our server was nowhere to be found for at least 10 minutes. And then when she explained her situation, the server said she would pack up the dessert, but it came out at the same time as the rest of ours, so Steph had to wait around even though she was pressed for time. Needless to say, Brass Elephant didn’t really meet my expectations.
The next restaurant I tried was Meli in Fell’s Point. I really enjoyed dinner here. Despite having reservations for 8:30 or 9pm for 8 people, we still ended up waiting quite awhile for our table, and this wasn’t the fault of the staff per se, as the party that was occupying our would-be table took longer than expected to get up and leave. Our host said he would try to comp us something, but either he wasn’t able to, or he didn’t even bother to try. That was okay, though, because the food was outstanding. I started with a lobster mac and cheese, followed by a duck dish that was really well prepared, and finished with some sort of mediterranean dessert whose name I can’t remember, let alone spell. There was an option to pair the restaurant week menu with a wine flight. I chose to do that, and each of the wines went very well with the courses.
Finally, the last visit for this go around was Jack’s Bistro in Canton. Jack’s has a tiny dining room, with maybe 6 or 8 tables tops. And of course we had a large group for this excursion. We were lucky enough that they were able to seat us all together. The appetizer that piqued my curiosity the most on their restaurant week menu was the chocolate macaroni and cheese. Sounds potentially disgusting, but it worked out really well. The second course was basically a big slab of beef with shoestring fries on the side. The meat was cooked well, but it wasn’t super special; and I think it would have gone better with some sort of green vegetable on the side. Then at least I could say I was making some attempt at being healthy. And lastly the dessert. omgoodness nom nom. Deep-fried s’mores. Yes, you read correctly. They were so good, I had to include two pictures. Unfortunately the ice cream in the middle melted rather quickly, but the whole thing was sinful.
All in all, a successful restaurant week. Can’t wait till the next one!
November 1, 2009
July 22, 2009
Most of the entrees are under $15. I ordered the Charm City calzone, which was stuffed with crab meat, shrimp, ricotta, and mozzarella. It was pretty good, and very filling.
June 24, 2009
This Potbelly’s proximity to the University of Maryland Medical Center makes it a great lunch time spot. My friends and I went for it’s opening yesterday. Around 1pm the line was out the door, but the staff worked like a well-oiled machine to get everyone’s orders in and out quickly. You can also phone-in an order or order online ahead of time, which is great if you’re picking up a lot of sandwiches.
June 24, 2009
I had the Mussa-Mun curry with shrimp. It wasn’t as spicy as I expected; perhaps next time I’ll request a little more heat.
June 24, 2009
I picked the salmon quiche, the chocolate triangle with coconut and raspberry filling, and a coffee. Everything was excellent!
The desserts. Clockwise from top left: chocolate triangle (my choice), strawberry tart (my dad’s), flan (mom’s choice), chocolate-cherry cake (sister’s).