Closed & Revamped Restaurants
Note: This review is now over TEN years old and clearly no longer applies. The Baltic, for one, has been revamped and is under new management. Still, it's here for old time's sake.
We visited the Baltic Restaurant in Point Richmond on a Friday night in July 1999. We had read about its colorful history in the Food Section of the San Francisco Chronicle, the restaurant had once been a bordello and, during prohibition, a funeral parlor. The Chronicle said it had a great ambiance, though we found it to be nothing special. The restaurant was much smaller than I'd imagined, but pleasant for an informal meal. Service and some of the food, however, left much to be desired.
The menu is rather short, they seem to have a fair selection of wine, though we didn't try any. The wine might be overpriced, however: a bottle of Martinelli's sparkling cider was $12 (it generally retails for about $2). The food leaned towards seafood, not my favorite. Appetizers were about $8 and main dishes went from $11 to $21.
After being seated and given our menus, bread and water appeared quickly (and the bread was good, though obviously not homemade). Our waitress, however, took forever to come to take our order. She apologized saying that she had a table at the other end of the restaurant - I guess she is not a fast walker. She told us the specials (had some trouble remembering all the ingredients), took our order and disappeared. My drink and Mike's soup (seafood chowder) appeared reasonably soon. The seafood chowder, on special, was very good and Mike was very pleased with it.
It took quite a while before our main dishes appeared. Mike had ordered a sirloin burger, medium-rare, but it was actually cooked medium. He said it was good, but nothing special. Same with the fries that came with it. I had rosemary chicken on linguini with a cream sauce, and this was the blandest, most insipid dish I've had in quite a while. There was a very subtle hint of rosemary on the food, but it mostly tasted of nothing. Definitely something to avoid if you go there. Adding some salt helped the chicken a bit, but not enough to make it anything more than barely edible. Salt didn't do anything for the cream sauce that came with the pasta, and I thought that perhaps some grated cheese might do the trick, but the waitress never appeared to ask if everything was OK or see if we needed anything.
Once we finished eating, our dishes were promptly removed after dinner - I thought the busboy was very efficient - but we again had to wait a long time for the waitress to appear to offer dessert and so we could ask for the bill. She never asked how the meal was. Again, we had to wait for a long time for the bill to come (which was reasonable, $28 for the food above and a coke), and another long time to get our change. I don't know if they were specially short staffed that evening.
We went for an earlish dinner, so we weren't there during the music. They do have a live band which was setting up as we were waiting to leave. All in all, nothing in the place was special enough to make us want to try it again
135 Park Place
Point Richmond, CA 94801