On Saturday Courtney and I went to see a movie at the Charles. I was planning to take her to Abacrombie afterward, but since we'd be eating very early I didn't think we'd need a reservation. Note: this is a bad idea. When we entered the empty restaurant shortly after their 5 pm opening, we were told that every table was reserved for the Meyerhoff crowd. Kicked back out on the street, we started racking our brains for alternates.
Courtney suggested Pazo, since she'd never been. I had been in their early days when they were the hot, hip new place and had mixed experiences, but was game for a re-visit. Note: this was also a bad idea.
Upon entering, we noticed two large signs on easels in the entryway spelling out the Pazo dress code. Among other things, ripped athletic gear is forbidden and ladies must wear shoes. This ghetto touch made us apprehensive from the start.
We were led to a table upstairs on the railing. Courtney ordered a Plymouth martini, but had to settle for Hendricks. I ordered a Stoudt double IPA.
I chose six tapas -- two each from the Land, Sea and Field menus. None of them was particularly memorable, or even really good. Our lamb meatballs with mint and tomato had no flavor of either lamb or mint. Beef tartare was ok, but had way too much sweet pepper that overwhelmed the beef flavor. Grilled octopus was bland and rubbery. White anchovies were very good, although they came straight from tin to table. Crostini with a pureed goat cheese was decent if not great. The best dish was a goat cheese stuffed angnolotti with brown butter and mushrooms.
Courtney ordered a second cocktail of cava and peach nectar which she thought was just ok.
Service was friendly if a tad slow. All in all this was a really disappointing meal. With the exception of one or two dishes, it was bland, overpriced and not exciting in the least. I can't see bothering to return.