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For me Charleston still sits at the pinnacle of "fine dining" in Baltimore. For better or worse, the East Harbor location is now ultra-trendy, close by the water (ask to sit in the front if you want a view) and steps from several other chi-chi restaurants like Roys and Flemings and all that is Fells Point. Inside is serenity itself: richly appointed, comfortable and refined. Do not bring young children. Don't even think about it. The menu is split between prix fixe and a la carte. I enjoy Cindy Wolf's cornmeal crusted oysters - six or seven for a first course with lemon-cayenne mayonnaise are
I finally got around to try Cinghiale near the harbor. It's an Italian restaurant that is part of Cindy Wolf's Charleston group in Baltimore. The place divided into 2 sections, the more casual bistro-like Osteria, and the fancy Enoteca. However, you can order off both menus no matter where you sit. Since we were more slobbed out, we ate in the Osteria, but I ended up ordering off the Enoteca menu, which is like a prix fixe that you can also add wine pairings with each course. The food was really delicious- I started with La Carne Cruda- a raw veal tenderloin topped with poached quail egg.
I stopped in here after working late (they serve food until 1am) in Baltimore one night a couple of weeks ago (been out the country since then) and left very impressed. They've done a great job converting a former warehouse into a stylish, multi-tiered restaurant. I grabbed a seat at the large bar, where the extremely friendly and knowledgeable bartender (I wish I could remember his name) took great care of me as the only solo diner amid the crush of drunk businessmen and cocktail drinking hipsters. I had: Braised veal cheeks - served with artichokes, mushrooms, pine nuts and some reduced br