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“Excellent but oversized 5 course meal and good but not perfect wine pairing”

Charleston Restaurant
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Ranked #1 of 2,007 Restaurants in Baltimore
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $150
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Little Italy
Cross street: Exeter Street (in the Thomson Prometric Building)
Transit: Next to Harbor East Marina, close to water taxi stops.
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
328 reviews
165 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1,118 helpful votes
“Excellent but oversized 5 course meal and good but not perfect wine pairing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2012

My husband and I dined at Charleston to start off a weekend while visiting for my sister's wedding in Baltimore. It was a fantastic dinner marred only by slightly too large portions for a pre-fixe and a few uneven wine pairings. Overall, we absolutely loved the dinner and would certainly return.

We were seated in lovely dining room that reminded me of the red version of the 1 Place Vendome restaurant at the Hotel de Vendome in Paris. Very elegant while not being too crazy.

Dinner was delicious. We really enjoyed every course of our 5 course meals. Most of our wine pairings were fantastic, but there were a few that missed the mark. A sherry matched to my soup, for example, didn't quite match and still overpowered the soup's flavors...whereas my partner's soup matched perfectly with a madeira.

Our biggest qualm was that a pre-fixe is supposed to be sized accordingly so that you are not overstuffed. By the time we reached our main course, both of us were stuffed--and I am not the type to get full very easily! Nether of us could finish our main entree, and we barely picked at our dessert. Everything was delicious, but we felt the portion size was a bit too large overall. Many will prefer that approach, of course, so it is in the eye of the beholder. As a frequent fine diner who appreciates a pre-fixe approach, I most appreciate when the chef prepares courses that are sized to calmly fill one's appetite.

Again, these are minor but still tangible quibbles for what was certainly a delicious meal. We would certainly return!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Bill R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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664 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
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    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
24 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Yum!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2012

I ate here alone, but found good conversation with other patrons. The beet salad is divine and was my favorite of the 4 courses I had. I was so stuffed after the 4 courses, I couldn't enjoy my dessert as I would have liked to. They packed up my chocolates to go and they made a terrific snack the next day.

Loved the old school charm and contemporary (and delicious) food at this place!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank travelingurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Excellence...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2012

We have lived in the DC area for several years now, and have yet to find a restaurant that approaches this one.

The food was of excellent quality, prepared beautifully and innovatively without going overboard. Eating gluten free was not an issue, and was handled gracefully - though gluten free bread would be welcome.

The service was that perfect blend of friendly and professional, and everyone was well informed. The staff seemed dedicated and comfortable, which translates to the guests, of course.

The decor is restful and beautiful without being pretentious. One thing that was a bit annoying was the size of the table for two, which was barely able to accommodate all those lovely plates.

All in all, a wonderful fall dinner, from the dreamy chestnut soup - possibly the best I've had- to the pumpkin creme caramel. We look forward to returning soon.. It's worth every penny.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Christa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
65 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Nice but...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

I've been a few times with different scenarios...once with my husband to celebrate an anniversary, the other to celebrate an occasion with a girlfriend and then a few times with friends for drinks before heading to Chingale ( a sister resturant across the way for dinner) The resturant and the service are both equally superb and I enjoyed it but if your going to ask me if the food is worth $400.00 for two to have dinner? I'd have to say no. I'm no food critic but I've been around, The charleston is the only restaurant of its caliber in Baltimore so I think they have managed to capture a lot of its reputation that way, I've lived in Baltimore for 15 years and have found other places for far less that served great food. I'm also willing to accept that maybe I've realized that I don't need to spend that kind of money to get what the Charleston offers, but if you want the super stuffy experience in a beautiful resturant with exceptional service, this is your sport.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank AKStylist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
190 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Consistent, fabulous,spend the money”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

I waited to post on this restaurant until I had the opportunity to dine there several times. All I can say is that Cindy does it well. This restaurant is what all should aspire to be: consistently fresh and inventive food, rifs on old classics, ie. foie gras, shrimp and grits, an attentive waitstaff and a sommelier who remembers what you like and makes suggestions that are right on target. Save your pennies and spend them here. You get to choose 4, 5 or 6 courses, not including dessert and then choose what you wish for those courses from a list of available preparations. Seasonal, fresh, delicious, current and forward-thinking. I cannot say enough. GO THERE

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Elizabeth Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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