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Restaurants & Bars

Dinner at Charleston/Baltimore

GregJ | Dec 3, 200112:21 PM    

On Saturday, five of us headed up to Baltimore from DC to see a show at the Mechanic Threatre. We made a reservation for 5:30 at Charleston on Lancaster Street...I won't bother with too detailed a play-by-play description, but we were all quite pleased with the food, which I guess is best described as "new Southern." A few notable highlights: appetizers of fried green tomato and lobster "BLT" and jumbo "heads on" shrimp with cheese grits; entrees of grouper crusted with pecans and grilled "wild" rockfish; and very fine desserts (esp. a nice cheese plate). They have an extensive wine list, from which we chose a mid-range (in the context of their list) California Pinot Noir ($58). (Notably the wine was served as it should be: chilled to somewhat below room temperature but far from bone-chillingly cold.) The service was outstanding and highly professional. As befits a place like this, the prices were quite high (i.e., they wouldn't be out of place in Manhattan), with many entrees coming in near or over $30. (On the other hand premium cocktails, such as a Beefeater gin martini, were amazingly inexpensive at $4.50. Maybe we got a happy hour price or something.) Bottom line for 5 people (one of whom was not drinking), including tax and 18% tip: $450 (reflecting 4 cocktails, 2 bottles of wine, 4 appetizers, 5 entrees, 4 desserts (one of them a complimentary grand marnier souffle, which was offered to us when the table that ordered it turned it down (!)), and one glass of cranberry juice).

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