After another looooong day of seeking employment, my fiancee wanted to treat me to dinner. Earlier in the day, she had met some friends at The Falls, located at 1604 Kelly Avenue in Mt. Washington and upon her return she noted how taken she was with this new spot. She definitely wanted me to check it out so I agreed that it might be fun to stop by for dinner.
If the address sounds familiar don’t be surprised, this location previously played host to Freda’s, which was a nice spot for a sandwich and I was a little sad to hear that it had closed. Well I am melancholy no longer, The Falls is definitely a more than worthy replacement.
The first noteworthy element is the interior. To say that it has a little bit of everything is an understatement. It is obviously still a work in progress but they are headed in the right direction. Are you into the lounge thing? They’ve got some low-slung black couches for you to slink down into. Do you prefer a more traditional dinner setting? They’ve got that too. Are you a sucker for diner style tables and booths? You guessed it, everything but the table mounted jukebox loaded with out of date 45’s. If you wish to chill at a bar, theirs is very attractive. There are even bookshelves that are half full. I can only assume that it’s a take a book-leave a book situation.
We were greeted by the gentleman behind the counter who let us take our pick of tables and being booth people, we slid into a high-backed getaway.
I had noticed on our way in that they served Zeke’s coffee so I happily ordered a cup and was rewarded with a good sized cup of this hearty local brew. My lovely lady was in the mood for a nice glass of wine and I noted that she was sure to get her hands around a good one. It appears that the wine list has been developed by Al Spoler, he of WYPR’s “Cellar Notes” program that he hosts in tandem with my former employer and local beer hero, Hugh Sisson. The list is not skimpy and my dearest ordered a domestic rose with a hint of fig in the nose. She was mighty pleased.
We immediately jumped at the mussels appetizer but was informed that they had been unable to get a delivery of fresh mussels so they were unavailable this evening. Our server offered that the wontons were quite good, so without even knowing what was in them we ordered those and were delighted to find the wontons hot and fresh out of the oil, perfectly crispy and delicious! The wontons were stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese and red chilis and served with a fresh tomato salsa that was highlighted by a noticeable dash of white wine vinegar.
For dinner, I ordered the bison tenderloin. It was accented by a mushroom red wine demi-glace that I’m positive had a hint of Worcestershire sauce and I don’t consider that a bad thing. The tenderloin was grilled to a near-perfect medium. It was lean and supple with hints of smoke and sweet. The bison was served with very thinly sliced, scalloped potatoes with the right amount of cheddar barely clinging to them. Lovely as the potatoes were, the grilled bok choy was an unexpected delight. Just bitter enough, and possessed of a good solid crunch when bit into.
My bride-to-be ordered the salmon from the specials list and it did not disappoint. The salmon was grilled without being overcooked. The first and last bites were equally moist, displaying that sheen that salmon gets when it isn’t left too long on the flame. Admittedly, the butter dill sauce that accompanied it wouldn’t get anyone accused of overreaching, but it was perfectly balanced and handsomely adorned by a sprig of fresh dill. The salmon was served with the same bok choy that came with the bison but the side that set this dish off was the hot potato salad. Sounds a little odd but it indeed tasted quite similar to traditional potato salad and the fact that there was some thick chunks of bacon just made this a truly hearty dish. I could easily see myself eating a huge bowl of this and I hope that it becomes a staple of their menu.
After all this happy mouth time we HAD to have dessert. It was refreshing to see the server bring over a modest but handsome enough tray of sweet offerings. From first blush, it appeared that we might be ending our meal on a slight downturn. The desserts were obviously not made in-house but right when thought we might pass, we were informed that all the desserts are made by Baltimore legend, Mrs. Posey. Upon hearing this my fiancee perked up, noting that her parents had a Mrs. Posey wedding cake when they got hitched. Actually they are made by her daughter now but that is no reason not to indulge. We chose a beautiful little lemon cake. It was blissfully light, gently sweet and touched by a modest caramel sauce.
Before gratuity, our bill came to $60. A very fair price for a dining experience such as this. My only negative comment is that the floor could have used a quick sweep and there were some paper towels in the restroom that didn’t quite make it to the trash can. I’m sure that this detail will be remedied as they move forward and are able to hire more staff.
All in all a wonderful dining experience and we look forward to going back soon. You should give it a try and do order the wontons!