Trip advisor is so often right that when this restaurant came up #2 in Baltimore, I called ahead for reservations. And I was even more looking forward to a great meal when a fellow Radisson guest raved about the place. What a disappointment. If this is the best seafood Baltimore can offer, they should stop serving fish.
I started with 10 raw oysters, which were great. Ordered an assortment from Prince Edward Island, and they did not disappoint, but -- the mignonette was made with apple cider vinegar, and boy was it vinegary! Virtually inedible, and who ever heard of such a thing? White wine vinegar, and wine vinegar, even rice wine vinegar; but apple cider vinegar? Nope. Then I had the special soup, a Rhode Island Clam Chowder? not sure, but it came in a little cast iron pan which had been heated before the soup was ladled, if it wasn't just made in the little pan, and our poor cream based chowder had 'broken' -- the roux separating and a floating sheen of fat when it should be velvet. And because the soup was too hot and the cast iron was way hot, there was not a chance in hell of eating this soup any time before the next day, so I asked to have it transferred to a regular bowl, which was done over at the servers' counter, after a bit of delay. Guess they didn't trust the kitchen with it. Poor guy across the room waited 20 minutes before he could start eating his, while his dinner companions had finished their soup, a salad and some hors d'oeuvres while he could only look on longingly.
So the soup was tasty, once I got to it. But when the dinner arrived, it was the final blow. I ordered the Thames Street Seafood Salad, described in toto as "Blue crab, Gulf shrimp, calamari, scallops, citrus vinaigrette, Boston Bibb." $14. I expressed a lack of desire for the calamari, but was told the could not make subtractions in the menu, so I said I could just pick out the calamari.
I'm expecting some well presented array of seafood, spread glistening across a bed of Bibb lettuce with a sharp lemon or orange, maybe grapefruit?, vinaigrette drizzled across. Ha! A gelatinous mound of the sort of seafood salad you'd find in your tuna melt, bound together with a decidedly non-citrus or vinegar mayo based dressing. The calamari didn't dominate, but they were second best to a shredded mess of crab, followed by tasteless shrimp, an occasional what must be a slice of scallop served atop a very lonely, full, single leaf of Boston Bibb lettuce. I picked around, broke the mound open to see if things were better inside El Capitan, and called for the check so I could walk away, dismayed and disgusted. Took the water taxi over to Sullivan's at Inner Harbor and had a fillet mignon and potato to wash the taste of the worst salad I've had since I can't think of when. Wish I could lose the memory, but it's on my list of 10 worst meals ever.
The help is charming, but the executive chef needs to go spend a week on the Atlantic coast of France and remember how it's supposed to be done.
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