802 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD | Directions 2120139.298896 -76.615869
Neighborhoods: Mount Vernon
great! – Since moving to Baltimore from Atlanta, my wife and I have been disappointed time after time when going out to eat. This is the 1st place we've been to that we were thrilled with the whole experience. My wife's scallops and risotto were great, and my paella was nicely spiced and very flavorful. The waiter recommended the flourless chocolate cake- it was GREAT. Service was very helpful and available, but we were there on a Sunday night when the place was 1/2 empty. Overall, we'd happily go back and loved our experience.
Just ok - which means disappointing... – My wife and I were excited to finally eat here, especially since Soigne (Kim's previous Baltimore endeavor) was one of our favorite places to eat in or around Baltimore. Unfortunately, I feel like we spent a lot of money for just an ok experience.
While the interior is very nice, the place just didn't give off a great vibe - it was a little brightly lit for our tastes. I had read the complaints about bad service, and although I can't classify our waiter as truly incompetent, he just wasn't on top of the game - e.g. We sat for over 10 minutes with our bread and water before he asked for drink orders; our appetizers and then main courses came before he asked for or recommended a wine order; my wife finished less than half of her $30 main course, and when we asked to get it boxed to go, we never saw it again (granted, we forgot to ask for it when it didn't return, but isn't it the waiter's job to take care of details like this so we don't have to worry about it - that's why the guy gets a tip!). There is no comparison between the service here and at the Charleston, as restaurant in a similar price range.
The food was good, but unfortunately not stellar. It is certainly possible that we just don't like the style of fare here as much as what Kim did at Soigne, but neither of our dishes seemed to have much zip. The 2 desserts we ordered were good, but nothing on the list was what I would call inspired.
Put it this way, I rarely have the extra scratch to drop $180 on a meal like I did at Saffron, but the next time I do, I'm probably going someplace else.
Poor customer service – The waitress recommended the scallops dish and the risotto was salty. When I complained that the risotto was salty, the waitress responded that when she had had the dish it wasn't salty to her. I pretty much paid $24 for 3 scallops. The service was slow except for when she came to pick up the check.
Poor Service on Valentine's Day – Saffron ruined Valentine's. My date and I arrived at our reserved time, but there were no tables open. The bar is small and there was no room for us; so we waited in the vestibule.
After 30 minutes, we finally were seated at a tiny table that was squished between two others. Then, everyone ignored us. It took 20 minutes for someone to bring us water.
I told the manager I was disappointed in the service. Instead of apologizing, he made excuses: it was busy and many tables had just sat down. But, as the manager it is his job to ensure the restaurant runs smoothly and customers are happy!
Upon hearing excuses, I was fed up. My date and I left, having spent over 45 minutes in the restaurant only to get a glass of water.
We must have hit a bad night – We read good reviews on the restaurant, so we decided to try it. To preface-- over the past 30 years, my wife and I have eaten in fine restaurants from SFrancisco to NYC to France. We are not WalMart nation.
--Food in general was so overspiced that there was no balance.
--In spite of having bread plates on the table, we were never offered any. It's extra? Fine. Tell us.
--We had to pour our own wine.
--My wife's duck was rubbery/inedible. She resigned. When we politely told the waiter, he just shrugged.
--The topper: we were billed $25 for the foie gras (preparation--it swam in a large bowl of lentil cream). The menu posted outside said $18. We paid, but I mentioned to our waiter after rechecking. No offer to adjust.
You can do better in Baltimore.
User review by phyldoll – Saffron offers a wonderful combination of beautiful decor, intimate atmosphere, and delicious, imaginative food.
Top Class- one of it's kind – First of all, the ambience is perfect, very romantic. Definitely for a special occasion. The food was the best I have had in Baltimore. Service is the best, plus the manager actually takes time to talk to you. The waiters are highly attentive and you don't have to call for them. Very expensive, but well worth it. I would recommend this place to anyone who wants the best of everything: service, food, and a perfect time. Very very nice place!
A culinary journey along the Silk Road can be made at this classy, Indo-European restaurant. – The Scene
Cocooned by saffron-yellow and pomegranate-red walls and a cobalt-blue ceiling, the bi-level dining room makes a single, overt gesture to its Indian roots: a statue of Shiva. Otherwise, crisp linens, gold-accented windows, oversized flatware and hand-blown glass fixtures complete the feel of exotic luxury. A midnight blue-tiled bar and cherry wood wine rack hide the kitchen from view.
The menu is infused with imagination--mixing east and west without traditional Indian cuisine's spicy heat. A parchment-light pastry appetizer filled with cumin-scented tomato coulis and plenty of crab meat earns applause. But the entrees elicit a decidedly more lukewarm reception. Smoked lamb with spiced blackberry, filet mignon with toasted almond and duck breasts in seven spices, all prove most interesting conceptually. Desserts are miniscule in proportion, but what the creme brulee lacks in size it makes up for in texture.
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