This was a recommendation from our hotel, the Sheraton North Baltimore. Hotel recommendations aren't always all that reliable but this one was. We hadn't booked and there was a rather awkward welcome at first from the young girl at the desk, who didn't seem to know what she was doing. She initially told us we'd have to wait for a table - so she could have lost our custom if a more senior colleague hadn't appeared, fiddled with the computer and found us a table right away. After that little glitch, things got better. The menu was varied and interesting. My ravioli with salmon was rich, creamy and delightful. I shouldn't have finished it but I did. My friend's calamari with linguini pasta was certainly different - spicy and plenty of it. A nice touch for dessert was a selection of three small samples, which we shared and which were all excellent - a chocolate mousse, a blueberry "mojito" concoction and miniature canolo. (I wish more places would offer this). There was a comprehensive grappa list, which is what we were really after. Mine, with rue, was rough and just what it should be, my friend's, with camomile, a little too sweet. The only real downside was the noise - it was a buzzing Friday night and it was hard to carry on a conversation. Perhaps there were quieter tables but we couldn't afford to be choosy. Our table would not have been ideal for a romantic couple, or indeed for old friends trying to catch up with our news, as we were.
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