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Red Maple... a MUST GO in Baltimore


Restaurants & Bars 8

Red Maple... a MUST GO in Baltimore

Michele Sullivan | Jul 18, 2002 03:49 PM

The Red Maple is a little tiny incredibly chic hideaway on a side street in Baltimore... my cab driver went by it twice before we figured out where it was. The inside looks like something you'd find in Soho... post-modernist cinder block mixed with sleek teak and candlelight. In the back of the very narrow interior is a little Zen-kind of garden with a single delicate red maple and a few little stone benches. It's kind of a Asia-inspired tapas place with great food, good prices and phenomenol drinks. The best place to sit is above the entrance, where a flight of open steps leads to two round tables underneath a 20-foot-long photo of a orange sunset-glowing desert scene. One of the tables has little low round cushions and the other is on a carpeted platform and you lean back against pillows. The tapas are short of extraordinary but still plenty good... the atmosphere is tops. Here's a brief from Baltimore On-line. If you can find it, GO! And don't may too much attention to the stuff at the bottom. I'm 40 but not beautiful, free of either leather OR silicone. And no palstic surgeon either.
930 N. Charles Street, 410-547-0149

The Red Maple is so insiderish, they don’t even have a sign on the door. Basically, it’s either be in-the-know or go home. (Hint: there’s an arty tree logo etched into the glass doors.) Once inside, this self-styled “new-Asian tapas lounge” defies simple definition. Is it New York Industrial? Sexy South Beach? Either way, it sure ain’t typical Baltimore.

Minimalist décor reigns throughout in the sharp lines of the low furniture, the simple exposed white brick, the hardwood floor, and the soaring ceiling. Head up the stairs to the first bar, which is dominated by two stunning steel fireplaces. Here, the ambience is relaxed: You can chill in front of the fire or engage your neighbor in conversation on one of the communal settees.

Off to the left of the lower lounge is a flight of steps lined with cushions and topped with a raised sitting area under a kitschy glowing desert scene where guests languidly perch, nibble on tapas treats, and look down on the beautiful people.

Slink further into the club to the main bar area. A continuous banquette runs along one wall accompanied by squat, ottoman-like chairs and tables. Black clad waiters and bartenders are pleasant but busy, as trendsetters pack this area. The wait for a table can be brutal—better to cozy up to the glass-topped bar and check out the scene. The crowd at Red Maple is truly an eclectic mix: Art house types are well represented alongside high society and hipsters. The dress code can be summed up as “stylish”; be prepared to see a fair dose of leather, mink, and silicone.

Towards the back of Red Maple is a sunken dance floor where DJs spin sweet break beats and trance. Red Maple keeps its immaculate lounge smoke-free, but also respects its nic-fitting patrons; adjacent to the dance floor is a glass-enclosed smoker’s haven where you can gaze up at the stars or admire the tiny red maple tree planted at your feet. —K.L.

Who goes there?
20- to 40-something beautiful people.

How they dress?
Jimmy Choo’s and Marc Jacobs are de rigueur. And if you think those are the names
of the bartenders, you might want to take a pass.

What they ?
Chichi martini’s.

The vibe?
L.A. meets Mobtown.

Be warned - Get there early (before 9 p.m.) to avoid paying cover ($10) and to snag a desired seat.

“Who’s your plastic surgeon?”

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