• Sery Kim

Rec Pier Chop House, Sagamore Pendry Baltimore

One of the highlights of a visit to Baltimore, since it does have a strong Italian-American background, should always include an exploration of the Italian-American food scene. In fact, the charmingly cozy neighborhood in Baltimore known as "Little Italy" has such a reputation and following, they have their own website to guide visitors: http://www.littleitalymd.org/.

In keeping with their prime location on the pier next to Little Italy, at the Sagamore Pendry Balitmore, their premiere dining experience is also Italian. The Rec Pier Chop House's menu was curated by NoHo Hospitality Group’s acclaimed Chef Andrew Carmellini, Josh Pickard and Luke Ostrom (Locanda Verde, The Dutch, Little Park and more) and the food selections reflect their collective desire for a "simple, but classic" Italian culinary offering.

While the spirit of the restaurant was Italian, there were decidedly non-Italian elements on the menu such as Foie Gras -- though the restaurant branded the Foie Gras as "Tuscan" and added "balsamico Gelee"-- which could have easily been left off or replaced by something with a more resonating Italian spirit like sliced tomatoes with Balsamic or mixed olives (there was an Olive Misti dish). Full menu here: https://uploads.pendryhotels.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2016/12/23192716/Dinner.compressed.pdf. Despite these one or two inconsistencies in selection, the overall taste and presentation was very nicely done.

From the appetizer to the entree, each course was perfectly paced and the service staff was helpful but not obsequious. We began the evening with two Antipasti: Creamy Burrata with Peperonata and Arugula Pesto and the Tuscan Foie Gras Mousse with Balsamico Gelée. Both were lovely and not too heavy, with an even taste. Nothing memorable but nothing disastrous either.

We mezzed with a pasta dish: the highly recommended Orecchiette, Sweet Sausage, Broccoli Rabe. I dove into the dish before I remembered I needed to a take a photo so what I can say about the dish is similar to what I said about the appetizers: solid.

My favorite course, however, would be the entree. We ordered the 14 oz Bone-In Filet Mignon, with sides of Roasted Mushrooms Trifolati and Crispy True Fries Alla Fiorentina. Everything was very nicely cooked and beautiful in presentation. I should note with particularity how well cooked the meat was. My dinner date likes his steaks rare whereas I like my steaks medium. Since we ordered the pasta, we decided to share the steak and, despite our temperature differences, Chef was able to come up with a perfect "Medium Rare Plus," which basically left the meat as red as rare but without any blood. Super tasty.

We missed out on dessert because we wanted to catch the Jason Isbell concert at the Modell Lyric; however, they did bring out a spectacular chocolate unicorn cake with four feet of fire to help celebrate the birthday. SO FUN!

I would definitely dine at the restaurant again -- and, even before leaving the property, we made plans to return.


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