Jump to content

The Bicycle, Federal Hill


Recommended Posts

I love how there's random bars and restaurants on the corners among residential areas of row houses in Baltimore. The Bicycle is such a place, hidden at the far end of Light St. Unfortunately, the prices put it out of the range of 'neighborhood' restaurant, especially for Baltimore, with apps running about $11 and most entrees pushing $30. The food doesn't disappoint, though, and a couple of the small plates can make a nice meal without breaking the bank. Lobster ravioli ($10) and a puff pastry mushroom napoleon ($12) that had a ton of sauteed wild mushrooms on it made for a satisfying meal. The wine list is interesting, but the 18 for $18 special list is full of landmines (Marques de Caceres Rioja Blanco is a fine enough wine for $6 (it's my house white for cooking and drinking), but at $18 it's no deal).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ate at Bicycle in Federal Hill last night for restaurant week- great meal!

I had heard about the place since I moved back to Baltimore, but this was my first time eating there. I actually

We had a nice 2006 Los Cardos Melbec, Argentina of their $18 list- not bad.

Had the Sashimi Tuna and Avocado tartare appetizer- yummy- it had some nice chili sesame oil in it.

Tried some of the spicy corn soup with blue crab which was also delicious.

For entree had the Grilled Ribeye- it was covered in a shallot-goat cheese butter, port wine reduction that was great. It came with scrumptious goosefat roasted potato fingerlings with leek and applewood bacon. I cleaned the plate.

For dessert- had the mango/strawberry bread pudding. I tried some of the boca negra, a chocolate truffle cake, and the strawberry shortcake- no losers in the group.

This was worth more than the $30 price for restaurant week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love how there's random bars and restaurants on the corners among residential areas of row houses in Baltimore. The Bicycle is such a place, hidden at the far end of Light St. Unfortunately, the prices put it out of the range of 'neighborhood' restaurant, especially for Baltimore, with apps running about $11 and most entrees pushing $30. The food doesn't disappoint, though, and a couple of the small plates can make a nice meal without breaking the bank. Lobster ravioli ($10) and a puff pastry mushroom napoleon ($12) that had a ton of sauteed wild mushrooms on it made for a satisfying meal. The wine list is interesting, but the 18 for $18 special list is full of landmines (Marques de Caceres Rioja Blanco is a fine enough wine for $6 (it's my house white for cooking and drinking), but at $18 it's no deal).

I looked through the 18 for $18 list this weekend, and I think cjsadler's "full of landmines" description is being kind; the Marques de Caceres was the only wine there I considered; I opted instead for a Morgan Sauvignon Blanc for $36 (it retails for about $13). Bicycle's wine list is overpriced, and chock full of bad table wines.

What a lovely little space this restaurant is, especially the small dining room in back with a view of the garden. The staff was friendly, welcoming, and eager to please.

The Bicycle calls itself a "Global Bistro," and even has a warning on its menu that says "due to the intricacy + number of ingredients of many of our dishes we ask that you notify us of any and all food allergies before ordering." These should be clues to what lies ahead: a bewildering assemblage of ingredients on the plate. While the execution is decent, sometimes impressive, dishes such as Sauteed Mahi Mahi exemplify the problem: On the menu as having "spicy coconut sauce, plantain hash, mango pico di gallo, and micro cilantro," which seems like an interesting combination, one of the components on the plate was cassava, coated with some sort of jerk seasoning which completely clashed with the coconut sauce, which seemed like a type of sweet, yellow Thai paste. The Lobster Ravioli was a good dish, but went heavy on potatoes and light on lobster - it's more pierogi than anything else.

If The Bicycle was a better value, both the wines and the convoluted recipes could be easily overlooked, because both the atmosphere and the service are what I want to see in a place like this, and the cooking itself was not at all bad. But at its price point? It's too expensive for a neighborhood restaurant, and it simply isn't good enough to be anything else. And that's a shame because I really want to like this place more than I do.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If The Bicycle was a better value, both the wines and the convoluted recipes could be easily overlooked, because both the atmosphere and the service are what I want to see in a place like this, and the cooking itself was not at all bad. But at its price point? It's too expensive for a neighborhood restaurant, and it simply isn't good enough to be anything else. And that's a shame because I really want to like this place more than I do.
FYI- original owner and chef Barry Rumsey sold the place about a year or so ago. The new chef kept the name and some of the dishes (and the high prices). Been curious about how it was, as I'd been hearing some 'downhill' comments). Thanks for the report.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...