The Prime Rib was founded by brothers Buzz and Nick Beler in 1965 and is still a family run business. It evokes feelings of 1940s Hollywood with lower lighting, live music, stiff drinks and fabulous food and service. They now have several locations. The Baltimore location is a dark place with art on the walls, white clothes on the tables, comfortable seating, black walls with gold trim, leopard print carpet and complimentary valet parking in the garage below. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel welcome, that they’re glad you’re there. Timing was relaxed as we enjoyed a terrific martini and live piano music. The server was fantastic and really added to the overall experience. If you are in the mood for beef, put this place on your list. We were one of the last ones out so I took interior photos then. (Didn’t get a pic of the menu but you can find it on their website <https://theprimeribs.com> and make sure you pick the city you want).
Petit Louis offers classic French bistro dishes with emphasis on seasonal and regional ingredients. It opened in June 2000 and was the second restaurant of Tony Foreman and Chef Cindy Wolf. They chose the location of a former neighborhood hot spot in a 1897 era Tudor style building that was the country’s first strip mall. There were not many French bistros in Baltimore then and it was popular as soon as the doors opened. They re-did the interior and hired Chef Chris Scanga to run the kitchen. It has 2 indoor rooms and a large covered patio area. Inside the small marble topped tables are closely set and lots of windows to the street add natural light. A large bar is part of one room, no music is in the background and there is a parking lot our front as well as street parking. It had a fun ambiance with attentive service as well as good food. I’d go back. Continue reading
Magdalena is in Mt. Vernon’s Relais & Chateaux Ivy Hotel and run by Chef Scott Bacon. Closed for about 7 months during Covid the historic mansion did a major re-design to the restaurant. Now it is labeled as a Maryland Bistro rather than the former fine dining concept. The color tones of all 4 of the dining rooms now are similar and there is a more variation in the cost. Patio dining is available and one of the rooms is in the wine cellar. Exposed brick walls have some display cabinets of historic objects and rugs to fit each room are on the floor. Music is in the background and well spaced small tables are now marble topped yet still set with nice white cloth napkins. The lighting was fairly bright but pleasant and staff were knowledgable about the menu. Valet parking is available and there were a few specials offered that evening. It was good. Continue reading
Attman’s Deli was established in 1915 by Harry Attman and is now run by the third generation of the same family. It is the oldest continuously family-owned deli in the country. They have 2 locations – the one we went to in Baltimore and another in Park Potomac. The location on Lombard Street opened in 1933, on what was then known as “Corned Beef Row” because there were 7 delis on the street. (Now just 2 delis remain operational.) They are known for their corned beef and on a busy day can sell 2,000 pounds of it at the Baltimore location only. Hot dogs are another signature and are topped with a slice of bologna or pastrami – a consistent favorite. They also sell lots of sides and other meats. When Harry’s son Seymour took over in 1968 he bought the building next door to open a place for customers to eat and talk, named the Kibbitz Corner, and established names for a number of sandwich combinations. When we went the line was long, but people were friendly and it gave you a chance to walk by the counters and decide what to order. The corned beef was worth the wait. Continue reading
Charleston was opened by restaurateurs Tony Foreman and Chef Cindy Wolf in 1997 in the Harbor East neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. They now have at least 6 restaurants in the city. Chef Wolf offers a constantly changing menu and even cooked lunch at this place for Julia Child in 1999. Chef’s reputation is that she cooks at this, her flagship, most every night. Unfortunately she was not there when we visited and I wonder if that’s why our meal was so unsatisfactory. The food is a combination of French and Southern cuisines and she has been nominated 9 times for the James Beard Best Chef Mid-Atlantic award. The fairly large place enters from a side street, which is not where Google Maps directs you to go. The bar is to your right as we were led to a table that looked directly into the large open kitchen. Table sizes varied but all were set with white cloths and napkins and well-spaced, no music was in the background and the lighting was lowered. The menu offers prix fixe menu of 3-6 courses, which you pick from the entire menu, with optional wine pairings. Desserts are complimentary with your meal and an optional cheese course is available. Continue reading