Saturday, August 02, 2008

Baltimore Restaurant Week: The Spice Company

Please pardon the quality of the photos. I forgot my camera so I'm using my new, lower quality (!?) camera phone.

Cathy and I went to the Spice Company yesterday for lunch. It will be our last Restaurant Week outing since we just don't have the money to do anything else (and I want to save up for Body Worlds anyway). Spice Co. is a lovely place, located conveniently across from JHU, with a vaguely British Raj-like decor. We went for lunch, since the food was only $20.08 - the normal cost of an entrée.*

Just as the decor was appealing, the service was wonderful, and if money were no object (note the use of the subjunctive here), I would eat there more often. The menu for Restaurant Week lunch was more varied than I have ever seen at a participating restaurant. Each of us varied our menus, to maximize what the other could taste:

  • Appetizers: Maryland Crab Soup, Grilled Vegetable Bruschetta with Fresh Mozzarella (my selection), or Small House Salad (Cathy's)
  • Entrées: soooooo many, from crab cake to cheeseburger to roasted vegetables with couscous to "Crab Lauren" featuring blue crab meet, beets, avocado and maché in citrus vinaigrette. Cathy got the Blackened Chicken with peas, pine nuts and tomatoes over penne in parmesan sauce. I got the Soy Ginger Glazed Salmon with mound of mixed rice and little pieces of roasted squash.
  • Dessert: three items to choose from: Cheese Cake (which neither of us got, which is a surprise), Key Lime Pie (Cathy's choice) and the mocha-flavored Pot de Crème (my choice).

Le bruschette. Cathy snapped photos of her foods with her camera phone, but for some reason they haven't gotten to my inbox yet.

We each loved our first courses, which came just after our complementary bread and butter (hot bread, cool and spreadable butter). Cathy's salad covered the whole plate, and had some nice flavors: a variety of greens with little strips of baby zucchini, plus what I think was a little feta cheese on top. My bruschetta plate was, well, smaller, but surprisingly filling. Three bruschette topped with tomato, mozzarella, and little pieces of squash (I think). Very tasty. They actually filled me up more than the salad would have.

Soy-Glazed Salmon with Squash and Mixed Rice

Our entrées surprised us. Cathy was surprised because what she got was so different from what we normally picture as blackened chicken. She hadn't read the "penne and Parmesan sauce" part of the description, and even though she liked it, it was a little rich for her. But the chicken didn't seem blackened to me at all. As for the salmon, I liked the flavor and the overall texture. The white-wild rice mixture was a little clumpy for my liking but, again, a good flavor. The squash was okay, but mostly forgettable.

My pot de crème, with a big-ass strawberry slice and dollop of whipped cream

Unlike with Vīn, our desserts were not only satisfying but could be found without the aid of a microscope. Cathy loved her smallish-though-not-stingy slice of key lime pie, with real key lime rind on the top. I loved my big ol' pot o' cream. Not usually a coffee fan here, but the mocha flavor was a nice surprise. The texture was smooth and the flavor was just wonderful.

Including $3 each for drinks, our lunch with tax came to a grand total of about $47. We left a $9 tip and headed on our way, bidding Restaurant Week (which technically ends on Sunday, August 3, so you still have time to take part in it) farewell until sometime in early February.

* That is the way to do it - don't go somewhere for Restaurant Week where most of the entrées normally cost $10 - being charged $20 or $30 will therefore be a rip-off. Café Hon's odd participation in Restaurant Week is a good example.

The Spice Company on Urbanspoon


Jamaila said...

We went to Gertrude's on Wednesday and were happy with the flavors but disappointed in the portion sizes. Alas.

Katie said...

I went to Spice Company for lunch during the winter Restaurant Week. I was very impressed with the food for being a hotel bar/restaurant and the service was impeccable however, their lunch menu this restaurant week is the same as the last... I would have probably gone back if they had changed the menu.

I went to Pazo for dinner tonight, delicious!

Sassy Critic said...

Would you mind if I used your "pot de creme" image on my blog?

Would you mind shooting me an email at