Somebody at Cinghiale deserves a raise. Specifically, the PR person. Not only was their wine list included in a Food & Wine "best of" list a few months back, the restaurant has two appetizers featured in a "favorites" feature in September's Bon Appetit.
That's great press for not only the restaurant, but the city, too. I've heard some grumbly complaints about the food at Cinghiale (I haven't been) but the impression I've gotten is that the people doing the whining expected something much more Italian-American traditional than Cinghiale offers. Since we're Baltimore's not exactly short on red sauce places, but so far has been somewhat short on restaurants that get the city national food press, I have to believe that the upscale-and-interesting menu was a good choice.
So I had all of this in mind when I read this post on Suzanne Loudermilk's Baltimore Mag blog. I'm not a giant fan of Tim Zagat, but it's still nice to hear somebody influential say what I've thought for a while: Baltimore's food scene is just as interesting as other cities, but we get lost in the shuffle because of our size. I'm always comparing our scene to Cleveland's - we're a similar size and have similar cultural roots, but we get none of their great press. I'm wondering now if that has something to do with location. Cleveland's sort of all by itself out there, while we're sandwiched in between DC and Philadelphia, two great food cities that are, themselves, overshadowed by proximity to NYC.
Either way, maybe, thanks to the Wolf/Foreman combo and Tim Zagat (not to mention all the other restaurateurs who are willing to gamble on Baltimore's willingness to take risks), Baltimore might be approaching its day in the spotlight.