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Friday, March 2, 2012

Supano's Steakhouse, Inner Harbor

The beautiful large wooden bar is the cornerstone of the restaurant

I was invited* to Supano's, a family-owned Italian restaurant and Steakhouse located on the cobblestoned Water Street in the Inner Harbor.  The restaurant pays homage to the Rat Pack, a theme that permeates the entire restaurant, from the art on the walls, to the music and the menu items.

Supano's won three awards in 2011(Best Baltimore Italian Restaurant from the U.S. Commerce Association; Best Baltimore Steakhouse from The Destination Guide and Award Winning Excellence in Customer Satisfaction from Talk of the Town), so it's quite surprising that not many locals have heard of the place, including myself!  It seems that it definitely is popular with tourists coming from the nearby hotels and from the hotel employees themselves, so says owner Terry Coffman.  Not surprisingly, he wants to get the word out to locals!

So let's get to the dinner review, starting with a couple of appetizers.  

Calamari ($11.95) - The large and crispy calamari were served with an ample amount of marinara sauce.  The breading was good, though the calamari itself was a bit chewy.  A good solid appetizer, though nothing special.

"Babycakes" Crabcakes ($13.95) - This appetizer comes with 2 2oz crabcakes, or "baby cakes." The babycakes were yummy, though a bit buttery, with a lot of jumbo meat and served with a tomato-y tartar sauce.  Overall they were tasty, but for the price, there should have been more, plus I felt like it was haphazardly plated.

We then each got a salad to try (not pictured).  I chose the House Salad with Balsamic Dressing ($9.95) and Dan ordered the Caesar salad ($9.95).  My house salad came with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, olives, pepperoncini, cucumbers and onions, and the creamy balsamic dressing was sweet yet tangy - a perfect combination all around.  I LOVED this salad and devoured it hungrily.  Dan's Caesar salad, on the other hand, was not a favorite of mine.  The dressing was a bit warm and there was too much olive oil or maybe too little garlic?   We weren't sure, but it didn't have the usual Caesar-y taste.

For our entrees, Dan and I decided to each try one of the restaurant's specialties.  He chose the massive 24oz Porterhouse ($44) and I chose the Meat Lasagna ($15.95) which was labeled as "Baltimore's Best" (though I was torn between that and the Eggplant Parmigiana which was labeled as "World's Best"). 

24oz Porterhouse

One thing that Supano's doesn't add to their menu is the fact that a lot of their beef is USDA Prime.  This is HUGE because it explains the exorbitant (or so it seems) pricing for their steaks.  Dan's Porterhouse was excellent, and he really enjoyed both the Filet Mignon side and the New York strip side (though my favorite was the Filet because it melted in my mouth like butta).  The menu didn't lie about it being 24oz, I mean it was larrrrrrge, but totally manageable :)  The seasoning was simple - salt, pepper and butter butter butter :)

 Meat Lasagna

My meat lasagna, made with thick and chewy pieces of homemade pasta, gloriously oozed cheese with every stab of the fork!  This is just a good old-fashioned lasagna, so get that Italian bread ready for dipping!!  I think it's important to note that I am not a fan of superfluously saying stuff like "Baltimore's Best" or "World's Best" on a menu (unless an item has actually won an award) because it instantly raises  expectations to the point where a diner will only ever be disappointed.  In this case, I expected the lasagna to blow me away, to attack my senses with magical Italian delights, and although I got a really tasty lasagna that was awesome and cheesy, I'm not sure I would call it Baltimore's Best.

Since the lasagna was a generous portion, I packed more than half away for my lunch the next day and proceeded to order dessert!  I HAD to order the profiteroles since that is one of my favorite desserts (OF ALL TIME) and we were told the Tiramisu is a house favorite.

Profiteroles (background) and Tiramisu (foreground)

The profiteroles were served in an unusual way.  For $7.95 you get three cream puffs that are nestled in dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate mousse on the bottom (though it tasted like whipped cream to me and not white chocolate).  This dessert was AMAZING, I loved the mousse so much and the cream puffs were little balls of heaven!  Although it seems like it would be a heavy dessert, it was quite airy and satisfying. YUM.

Dan, on the other hand, couldn't get enough of the tiramisu ($5.95), so it worked out perfectly for the both of us.  The tiramisu was incredibly rich, heavy on the cream with a slight amount of cake.  This is tiramisu for people who don't know they like tiramisu yet.  There wasn't a lot of coffee flavor, just cream cream and more cream!

Here are some other notes about the restaurant:
The downstairs bar in the "Man Cave"
  • Dan wasn't a fan of the huge screen that plays Frank Sinatra (and probably other Rat Packers) music videos, since it was a bit of a distraction.  I personally didn't mind it so much since I liked the music.
  • The bar is GORGEOUS.  We loved the lighting, the style, the wood.  This is the type of bar that you could sit at and order Old Fashioneds the entire night. 
  • The service was INCREDIBLE, and no, not just to me - but everyone.  The owner walked to every single table to see how they were doing.  
  • There's a "man cave" downstairs that's really neat.  They have a pool table, darts, shuffleboard, a large bar and plenty of seating with a ton of tv's.  I think this would be a great place to watch a game,or come for happy hour after work.
  • This restaurant is open until 1:30AM DAILY!!!!  That is INSANE!  You can order from the full restaurant menu, though it does explain why an Italian Steakhouse has quesadillas and buffalo wings on their main menu.  I wish they moved those items to a bar menu though, so it wouldn't cheapen the main dining menu.
  • They have karaoke Mon-Fri and live blues and jazz on Friday and Saturday night
Another view of the basement

Though there were a few issues with the food, I hope it isn't condescending to say that this restaurant has so much potential!  The location itself is superb, the feel of the restaurant and layout is gorgeous, and a lot of the dishes was very tasty!  I do think the prices are really high on some of the menu items, though.  If they are going to charge that much, perhaps the upstairs could be more of a formal dining area to make it more appealing, and then the awesome man cave could be less formal with the big screen of Frank Sinatra and the karaoke every night.

Supano's Steak House on Urbanspoon * This meal was complimentary, but all opinions and thoughts are my own!


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