I was in Baltimore over Labor Day weekend and thought it would be a good time to have dinner at Charleston. I had worked with Chef Cindy Wolf over a decade ago. Back then, I was part of the team that opened Savannah, her first Charm City restaurant. It was a great experience and the perfect way to end my 10-year culinary career (I went to work as a journalist afterward, satisfied that I had worked with some of the best chefs on the east coast).
I expected to sneak in anonymously, have dinner with a friend, and leave—no such luck. Cindy’s husband, Tony, was operating the front door. I didn’t think he would recognize me, being that the last time he saw me, I was a scruffy twenty-something with a goatee and a bald head. Soon as I saw this grin, I knew I had been made. So much for going incognito.
Dinner was, as to be expected, a great experience. Tony has always been a stickler for top-flight sommelier service, and he has gotten even more particular over the years. Service was of four-star caliber, a notch about Le Bec Fin, in my experience. The food followed suit. Cindy has had a nack of hiring extremely talented cooks & sous chefs to operate her kitchen. This may not sound like praise, but it is the most important and deviously difficult job in the industry. Good help is hard to get.
The dinner was fabulous (I will add a detailed review later on). The menu was set up with courses of smaller dishes (a hybrid between a chef menu and a tapas-style menu) with was priced per number of courses. This may be the future of dining, so I suggest any pro chef in the region stop by for some inspiration.