Sunday, May 13, 2012
Mommy's Night Out at Row House
Shiftless Husband, the Shiftless Law School friends and I went to The Row House Grille in Federal Hill. See the "e" at the end of "Grille"? That's required by law in Fed Hill. I picked Row House because it was the only Fed Hill restaurant in Open Table that specifically listed valet parking and I want to reinforce everything about that. Parking in Fed Hill has been the subject of countless hipster/yuppie/local hysterics and all of it is true. The streets are paved with parked cars. (Just as a warning, so you don't come after me, I think the valet is only on the weekends. It is $5 with a validated ticket, $10 without. Well worth it.)
The entrance is through the bar, which seems comfortable. There were several open windows on a nice night, which significantly reduces bar dank. As the hostess was leading us upstairs, we past a woman on the steps with her toddler son, "James-not-Jimmy" and I suddenly realized it was that type of place. The table next to us had two couples, one baby, and one umbroller that costs more than my car payment. The table on the other side had a pregnant lady.
The point is, it's not the place to go and scream obscenities at the Caps game. (That's apparently the Tiki Barge, where we went after. They don't get a review because I don't review bars located in public pools.)
Based other reviews, I was prepared for slow service and our waiter, who was probably named "James," did not disappoint, so I'm not going to dwell. We shared the cheese plate and the moules frites with Classical broth. Ask for more bread for both in advance, because the necessary sopping carbs are sacrificed for presentation. Everything was delicious except the sauce for the fries, which I assume was trying to be some sort of aioli except someone forgot the salt, garlic and anything that isn't egg. I kept eating it, looking for flavor--a behavior that guarantees I won't be losing that last 10 pounds any time soon. The fries were the highlight of the evening. Crispy, well-salted perfection.
Shiftless Husband got the wild boar, because he is MAN and MEN EAT MEAT. So do their wives, because it was delicious and wives get the Sunrise Salmon, which does not have the same primal appeal, although it was was quite good. Shiftless Law School Friend 1 got the lobster roll, I assume as an excuse to get more fries, but the lobster was flavorful. Shiftless Law School Friend II got the O's Pasta (a dish that is apparently also required by law) and was ominously warned by "James" that the dish was spicy. Preparing a former Texas resident for spice with that kind of language was setting everyone up for disappointment, but even a nursing home resident wouldn't have had a problem with the heat in that dish. Is "spicy" another way to describe tomato, now? No one told me.
Since it is a bar and we are law students, we are required to drink. The signature "dark and stormy" was chock full of ginger in an old-school way. The sangria was dry. Nothing says good times like choosing between a drink that smells like your grandfather's stomach medicine and a drink that tells jokes that go over your head. They were both tasty, just not very fun.
All in all, you should go. We'll be back. Prices were reasonable. Plus, I haven't gotten to try dessert yet.