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Charleston - Fells Point, Baltimore MD

 
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1280
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:47 pm    Post subject: Charleston - Fells Point, Baltimore MD Reply with quote

Local foodlore holds Charleston as the best in Baltimore. There are many eateries in the Fells Point area - which is the defacto 'happenings place' for Baltimore city currently - from dives to really good ones. Charleston certainly ranks right up at the top.
DW put the food on par with JoŽl Robuchon/Las Vegas - a Michelin 3 Star..... not bad company.

Website: https://charlestonrestaurant.com/

Charleston has a prix fixe structure (3 to 6 course) but does not use the typical approach of "x" choices for the first/second/third/etc course. The menu list some 25+ dishes roughly organized from lighter to heavier - pick any number you wish from the menu. The menu changes daily with 'what is fresh.' In addition they have last minute specialties / surprises which are not on the (daily) printed menus.

(as the menu changes daily, here's a link to a sample
https://i.ibb.co/Js1tv4k/MENU-MAIN-6-27-20.jpg)


As explained by the staff, none of the dishes is especially large - that said, after 3-4 courses, they are filling. I added a 5th of wild boar - but only because the menu offers stuff you just do not find in many places - sweet breads, rabbit, duck confit and roasted duck, quail, squab . . . choices become difficult real fast. So many dishes, so small a stomach.....

The staff are most courteous, very good at their profession. Table setting/service ware all top notch. One room overlooks the a small marina in the Inner Harbor, other rooms are interior. Atmosphere was quiet elegance without being stuffy, altho I did notice more 'noise' in other vicinities. Timing of courses was excellent - not hurried and no time wondering . . .

Amuse-bouche - a delectable demitasse cup of asparagus cream soup with an herbed mascarpone cheese dot.

We both had the fried oysters - four deep fried corn flake breaded crispy tender juicy delicious oysters nuggets, with a lemon cayenne mayo dipping sauce. Stunning dish - sauce tang super well balanced. Chef Wolf came by later and revealed her secret - soak the oysters 24 hrs in buttermilk. This I gotta' try at home . . . I've eaten a lot of fried oysters and Chef Wolf's outdo all of them hands down, no contest.


I enjoyed a tomato salad - Bocconcini cheese balls, arugula for bite, baby fava beans for crunch, ripe luscious tomato wedges with a savory vinaigrette. Absolutely splendid combo of taste and texture.


DW went with the artichoke, asparagus, carrot, cipollini onion in a lem beurre blanc sauce - which was excellent! (sorry - no pix)

For my next course I went with an off-menu special tenderloin beef tartar - built with caper and onion seasoning. I rarely find tartar in USA - this one is spectacular. For those who enjoy a beef tartar - well worth it. Super tender, melt in the mouth, superb blend of seasoning - and seasoning can make or bust a tartar. They got it right.
(sorry - no pix)

We shared a course of the foie gras - with lemon crepe + compote of cherry /strawberry /rhubarb. This is the first instance in a long high-end history that DW pronounced a foie gras offering "delicious." Very tender/moist and exceptionally flavorful. Highly recommended.


DW is a Baltimore girl, so the crab cake was a must for her. A nice size cake of lump crab with peas, ham accompanying and an excellent saffron white sauce.


I had to try the wild boar - braised on a bed of rice and red wine reduction. Extremely tasty!


Desert (included but does not count as a 'course') we both did the chocolate layered genoise - it had other flavor layers as well but I forgot to note them from the desert menu. Rich and scrumptious.


Bottom Line: highly recommended. Mid-Atlantic area remote from NYC and DC does not have tons of really good restaurants but Charleston is worth the visit - we'll be back!

The Tab: meal and coffee - $211 for the two, excluding alcohol and tip. Very good value for the level of food and service. Call mixed drinks $13. Wines from low to high, as usual.


Misc:
- Wine parings available with each course - if you can drink that much wine....
- Parking can be a bear in Fells Point but just drive to the corner of Lancaster and S. Exeter - complementary valet service right at the front door.
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Auspicious



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 66
Location: on the boat, Annapolis, MD

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I expected this to be something about getting from Charleston SC to Fells Point.

Indoor dining? Really?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1280
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yup - they were allowed 50% capacity indoors starting 7/19/20, if I read it all "correctly"
not every place was prepared / ready for the distancing / other 'requirements' - so "indoors" was/still is? a bit spotty.
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sensiblewall



Joined: 28 Nov 2017
Posts: 94

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:07 am    Post subject: Re: Charleston - Fells Point, Baltimore MD Reply with quote

Wow, looks tasty and really good value for money. Would love to try it. Thanks for the recomm.
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