The wife and I finally went to Timothy Dean's this Saturday. We had 8:00 reservations but weren't seated until 8:30. The maitre de was very charming and comped us desserts for the wait. Service was kind of rough, but our waiter seemed to have a zillion tables. I started with the chestnut soup with chicken quenelle. The soup was delicious, but there was only a small piece of quenelle in it. I found this steep at $11 and, according to reviews, when they opened the soup was $8 and had foie gras in place of the quenelle. My wife had the foie gras with poached pears and huckleberry reduction. Nice size piece of foie gras, pleasantly seared, very tasty. For an entree, I had the bouillabaise: tiny sweet mussels, delicious scallops, good shrimp and salmon. The broth had a wonderful deep seafood and herb flavor, albeit a bit salty. Nice crunchy bread slices on top with rouille. My wife raved about her Moroocan barbecued salmon. One word of caution: they serve Voss bottled water at $10 a pop.
For dessert, I ordered a Courvoiser and creme brulee, my wife had the molten chocolate cake. Both desserts were good, but nothing extraordinary. I ordered the cognac partially because I had seen them serving it in conical glasses nestled in a round tumbler of hot water. I finished the dessert, still no brandy, no sign of the waiter, so I said something to the maitre de. He quickly returned with a brandy snifter filled with ice and Courvoisier. I explained I didn't want it on the rocks. He quickly returned with a snifter full of just brandy, saying they had used all the warming glasses. I sipped my drink and it was ice cold. Apparently, they had just strained the ice out. At this point, our waiter re-appeared and I explained the problem. He came back with a brandy in the glass I had admired. While the glass kept the booze at a nice temperature, due to the shape, it didn't really hold the aroma like a snifter. I wasn't charged for the cognac.
All in all, one of the better meals I've ever had in Baltimore, despite the service snafus. We plan to return on a weeknight when it is less hectic.
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