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“Superb food and service; and priced for it”

Charleston Restaurant
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Ranked #2 of 2,064 Restaurants in Baltimore
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $150
Cuisines: American, French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Large groups, Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
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.
Reviewed May 8, 2013

This is consistently rated one of Baltimore's top restaurants, and i can believe it! Although, unless youre on the company credit card, it's hard to justify going more than onece every 3 or 4 years.

Everything is a prix fixe; just select the number of courses you want. all the plates are small, permitting 4-6 courses. Wine selection by glass is large, and the bottle selection would take and hour to read.

Service is phenomenal. Two people; two 5 course meals, 2 cocktails and wine pairings (small pour) with prix fixe. Total bill including tip; $450!! Go once, and then save up to raid your 401k for a second visit!

Thank WhereUg0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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488 - 492 of 723 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2013

Our dinner in the bar/lounge area of Baltimore's Charleston restaurant was rich with disappointments and liberally peppered with disinterested service. I don't know if it was just an off night, but during our brief meal at the bar, we got the feeling that the bartender could not wait for us to leave. This was particularly disappointing as we packed fancy clothes for our otherwise casual weekend trip to Baltimore just so we could check out Chef Wolf's cuisine.

We made the decision to eat at the bar so we could order a la carte from the menu, skirt food coma and remain alert enough to check out the bars in Fells Point after dinner. When we arrived at 8:45p on a Saturday night, there was ample seating available at the bar and a few lounge tables open. We chose seats at the bar, which reminded me of a more intimate version of the bar at New York's Marea, all warm colors and thoughtful, flattering lighting. We requested drink menus and ordered interesting cocktails. Although the cocktails took a while to make, they were ultimately delicious and on the strong side, which we appreciated.

We then requested the food menu, and after waiting a rather long interval, politely repeated our request. After another interminable interval, we finally received the menu. We asked how the a la carte ordering worked and the bartender impatiently explained that each item could be ordered individually and prices varied depending on the item. When we asked how much each item would be, he said $15-20 each, but if we ordered three or more items, prices would default to the prix fixe pricing, which was a bit confusing because the 3 course prix fixe is $76. I'm no math genius, but given that 2 items would range from $30-40 and 3 items would be $76, it seemed like a strange bargain to charge an $36 for the third dish off the same menu.

With this in mind, we each ordered one item on the menu to start, figuring that if they were truly exquisite, the extra dough might be a fair trade. Driven to covetous lust by Duff Goldman's description of the Burgundy Snails on Best Thing I Ever Ate, my choice was made before I ever set foot in the restaurant. El Queso Grande opted for the Pan-Roasted Wild Rockfish. Both were petite dishes, aggressively compensating for size with butter. I was disappointed by the difference in preparation of the snails vs. Duff Goldman's description. Rather than butter-poached garlic and bacon puff pastry, the snails were served on top of creamy grits. It was good, but rather pedestrian. El Queso Grande enjoyed his dish and especially loved the mushrooms.

We went through another frustrating round to request, request again and finally get our check and pay the bill.

PARTING THOUGHT: Perhaps the dining room is James Beard worthy, but I would definitely advise against a meal at the bar / lounge if you are only in town for a weekend...why risk disappointment when there are so many other options in town?

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7  Thank IdaFats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013 via mobile

I finally made it to this restaurant and was pleased that it met my expectations. It is the best eating in Baltimore. Service and staff where great. Atmosphere not too stuffy.

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Thank Beth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

The service was impeccable and the meal was amazing. While expensive, it was well worth the experience for a special occasion.

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Thank MRHerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

Wow ... where do I start. OK ... first the restaurant is expensive. You can expect $100 per person as a minimum. Now get over it as it is worth it. You have a menu with about 20 items on it from soups, salads, and dishes. You select a 3,4,5,or 6 course meal. Of course the more courses the more cost. They also offer wine pairings selected especially for each of the items on the menu that you can add. After your courses they provide you a desert at no additional cost. I decided to have a four course meal as the protein dishes are about 3 ounces each. I started with lobster bisque. It was served with poached lobster chunks, the bisque poured at the table, and a little curry oil. It was paired with a nice sherry. Delicious. I next had the baby arugula salad with blood oranges and parmesan reggiano. I felt this was one of the best flavor salads I have ever eaten. The flavors combined extremely well. It was paired with a nice Riesling. The third course was pan roasted scallops and it was also very good. The pairing was a nice chardonnay. The last course was pan roasted halibut with Andouille sausage gumbo and saffron rice. Definitely delicious. The paring with a viognier was a good choice. I choose a lemon tart for desert and enjoyed it. The other two people in our party had other dishes and thought theirs were also delicious form shrimp and grits to foie gras. The service is extremely professional and attentive. Dining pace is relaxed but not delayed. This is a special restaurant with exceptional food and service. Although expensive it is well worth it. If you get a chance, treat yourself to a dining experience you will remember.

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Thank swiftmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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