Noshing in the Dark

Elizabeth Large, who blogs for Dining@Large for the Baltimore Sun does a “Top 10 Tuesday. ” Today she’s highlighting “Top 10 Restaurants for the Budget-Minded.”  Her number 1, Annabel Lee Tavern, is a bar that I’ve been dying to go to!  My beau** and I are planning on staying in for Valentine’s Day, but if we did go out, I would definitely go to Annabel Lee’s. 

Now for us, we’re trying to choose between dinner at Jack’s Bistro or brunch at Little Havana (ba ding bottomless mimosas and delicious food for $15.00!) on Sunday.  I’ve told him I can’t decide and I am worried that my head might explode if I am forced to.  He might have told me to “get a grip.”

This is where Dining@Large suggests you go:

* Annabel Lee Tavern in Canton. Dark and romantically mysterious setting. Good food and drink. Need I say more?

* b Bistro in Bolton Hill. This appeared on my original romantic restaurants list, as the Most Romantic, Budget Edition, so I could hardly leave it off this list.

* Cafe de Paris in Columbia. Romance with a French accent, mais oui. And the $30 prix fixe menu can’t be beat.

* Eden’s Lounge in Mount Vernon. It’s primarily a sophisticated, upscale lounge, but the Ethiopian food is excellent if not the main event, and the price is right.

* Feast@4East in Mount Vernon. This quirky little place has some intriguing Valentine’s Day specials like Velvety Lobster Bisque ($9), Sensuous Oysters Basque ($9), Buckwheat Blini with Crème Fraîche and Wild Salmon Roe ($10), and Melting Petite Filet Mignon ($18).

* Helmand in Mount Vernon. You knew it was going to be here, but really, how could I leave it off? Sure, the tables are close together; but the candlelight, handsome surroundings and suave service put it on most people’s romantic list — prices aside.

* Indigma in Mount Vernon. The setting is so pretty, and the lights are low. Some of the menu is expensive, but Indian food gives you so many delicious vegetarian options, there’s plenty to choose from if you’re watching your pennies.

* Meli in Fells Point. I have to say it: honey for your honey. (Sorry. Meli is the Greek word for honey.)  The lounge downstairs is most intimate. The regular menu will be served on Valentine’s Day, and it’s not expensive.

* Orchard Market & Cafe in Towson. This pretty little restaurant serves good, moderately priced Persian food like poached chicken in an orange-mango-saffron sauce. A bonus, if you’re on a budget: It’s BYOB.

* Tusk Lounge in Mount Vernon. Faithful readers of this blog know that the Brass Elephant’s elegant bar will be serving a tapas menu for those who aren’t feeling romantic. I say if money is a consideration, take your sweetie there anyway. What are they going to do? Turn you away?

**My beau would now like to be referred to as Capt.  He does not sail a ship . . . he dreams of being a whaling captain, just like Ahab.  I blame this book.  I also blame myself a little bit.  I liked the book too.  But we do not condone hurting whales, we think they’re lovely creatures.


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