Baltimore Inner Harbor Dining

Oct 27th, 2012, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 87
I live near the Rusty Scupper [chain] in Federal Hill and have been there a couple of times to meet people for (overpriced) drinks. If that's the kind of touritst trap you are looking for, I was mislead.

While the Wine Market and some of the other places I suggested (with the exception of Mr. Rain's Fun House) don't have the view, IMO they are much more authentic.

TirNaNog [a small chain] that has a top floor spot on the Inner Harbor. The orginal one is in NYC near Madison Square Garden and it is a true Irish Pub. They have another one in Philly. Again, with the Baltimore one being in the Inner Harbor, it is less Irish and a little more touristy, but the food and service has always been decent.

I certainly don't envy you with your drive, so good luck with your choice, and report back for us.
flirtinfilly is offline  
Oct 28th, 2012, 05:47 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,763
Wow. You've been there a couple of times for overpriced drinks. So you are INDEED an expert on the food there. Have you ever even eaten there or is such a place frequented by "gasp" TOURISTS just too beneath you. Yes we are tourists, so enjoying the touristy site is not beneah me. Sorry if I sound bitter, but I would expect to pay a lot for drinks in a setting like that and would enjoy them more than half priced drinks in a dark bar somewhere. I really care more about the view (which as I said we don't have at home) than being "authentic" whatever that means. I've been to Irish pubs in dozens of towns which are great and dozens of them in Ireland, but none of those places have a three story glass fronted place facing the beautiful twinkling lights of the Inner Harbor. Sorry you don't understand that.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 28th, 2012, 06:03 PM
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I guess my main point was, if I were in Ireland I'd seek out an Irish bar. While I'm in Baltimore I'd rather seek out a seafood place with a view of the Inner Harbor. Again, sorry you don't understand that, but of course we all have different tastes.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 28th, 2012, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,546
Enjoy the view and the food, Patrick. I'm sure you will. If you return to Baltimore on another visit, I recommend Salt in Upper Fells Point, a small chef-owned place that has very good food.
Suki is offline  
Oct 29th, 2012, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 951
I don't think the Rusty Scupper is a chain restaurant. I believe it is part of a corporate group, but when I said chains, I meant the type of chain restaurant that is the same in any part of the country, from the menu to the decor.

Yes, it was a bit expensive, but the view and the service were both excellent. No, you aren't going to get molecular gastronomy, nor are you going to have a neighborhood experience. We all choose restaurants for different reasons, and this is one you choose for a nice (although slightly corporate and not overly creative) meal with a stunning view.

Enjoy your evening, NeoPatrick! The after-dark view of the harbor with all the colored lights is as magical as the daylight view of the water and the boats.
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Nov 1st, 2012, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 22
I live in the Balto metro area and consider myself a foodie. I have been to Rusty Scupper numerous times over the years, for (uninspired) first dates, a wedding reception (?!), drinks with friends, lunch with out of towners, several corporate holiday parties, etc.

The restaurant has slowly improved in the last 10-15 years.

A Michelin star will not get. Impeccably prepared, super imaginative will not get.

Here's what you *will* likely get: (I say likely, because while the trend is improvement, there was one occasion when I found the service to be noticeably and uncharacteristically lacking. But every restaurant is bound to have a bad night.) Attentive and extremely friendly service. Incredible views of the Inner Harbor. My favorite is after nightfall when all of the lights sparkle against the water. Solid and better than average (but not outstanding) regionally prepared seafood. I recall a few things on the menu were so-so to blah; sorry I can't recommend or warn you about any particular menu items b/c it's been awhile.

I don't disagree with any of the above reviews...even that of flirtinfilly, to a certain degree. I think it all depends on what you want. You want Inner Harbor, but not a chain (I think there used to be another somewhere, but now the Balto restaurant is the only one still operating). You want a little bit on the casual side. You don't require fine cuisine and sounds like you want something a little memorable. I think that RS will fit that bill well. You'll get good service, great views, a relaxed vibe and solid but not outstanding food.

My only other thoughts are something in Federal Hill, mostly walkable, depending on how far your walking tolerance is. I love Regi's...and others...but that is another post.

Let us know!
twinkletoes is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2012, 06:00 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,763
Thanks, twinkletoes, for a most thoughtful post. We love small restaurants which are chef owned with amazing food and intimate atmosphere. But we get that all the time at home -- with a wide range of just such places. What we don't have is a big, gleaming expansive view place with decent food that makes for a lively and fun evening. No, this time we aren't looking for the ultimate dining experience. It's kind of funny that some people try to seek out the same type place where they can eat at home all the time. When we travel we tend to look for something totally different. By the way, I hate to get into it, but "chain" is not a word I should have used. If we were looking for great steaks, I wouldn't hesitate to eat at Morton's right by our hotel -- which is a chain. I am not "anti-chain" but like many I tend to use the term to denote places like Applebee's or Fridays or Olive Garden.
NeoPatrick is offline  
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