Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bronzini at Kali's Court in Baltimore, Maryland

Kali's Court:  A Restaurant Review



Ever heard of  a Bronzini?

Sounds like the ideal word for the game Balderdash or a few off-color jokes.  I, however, discovered the meaning: a species of fish also known as Mediterranean Sea Bass.

On a recent trip to Baltimore I  arranged to have dinner with a former college friend, one whom I hadn't seen in about 15 years.  Leslie chose the restaurant: Kali's Court in Fells Point, the wharf area of Baltimore. From the moment I arrived,  I couldn't have been more pleased.

I valeted my car at the curb (a necessary service provided in this crowded district) and walked through an enchanted sidewalk garden.  Some fortunate diners were eating al fresco among hanging and potted ferns, large leaf philodendrons and votive candles that created an elegant, yet informal vibe.

Leslie was waiting by the maitre d' and as I approached we both burst out laughing.  Had we tried, we could not have dressed more similar-- both of us in black skirts with white swirling designs, tailored black tops with sleeves that came just above the elbow. The only difference: Leslie wore a scoop neckline, mine was V-necked!!

Once we recovered from feeling like twins, we sat at a quiet inside table. Our waiter explained the specials, then left to let us to catch up on old times and new happenings in our lives. Naturally, he returned with the requested glasses of wine as our laughs continued.

For starters, I ordered the pear and walnut salad: green leaf lettuce, chunks of feta cheese, slices of pear and candied walnuts.  Very lovely.  Leslie choose the anchovy salad: greens topped by truffle vinaigrette and five little fishes in a star shaped design.

As an entree, I selected the house specialty-- whole grilled bronzini, presented filleted and de-boned on your plate.  I've long been a fan of sea bass, but never tasted this scrumptious variety. The chef added a simple fresh herb and olive oil sauce , then added capers as the finishing touch to the delicate seafood.

Leslie ordered the other house specialty- jumbo lump crab cakes.  What can I say? When in Baltimore one should have the authentic Blue crab dish.  Kali's prepares an honest version, mixing very little fillers or binders, yet managing to hold the cakes together with a prayer. Leslie gave divine praise in the highest. 

The main room shimmers around a classic carved wooden bar with beveled mirrors and red and gold accents.  The atmosphere creates is the rich feel of a fine restaurant, yet an unpretentious ambiance.  Our waiter acted professional and timely without being pushy.

If you're looking for an upscale seafood restaurant in Baltimore, I highly recommend Kali's Court in the Fells Point district.  

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