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Italian restaurants in MD?

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Loved Il Pizzico, haven't tried any others.
Olazzo vs. Buon Giorno?

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  1. Olazzo is very good. I have had lunch a few times. Not fancy at all, but good food at reasonable prices.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hm

      With the caveat that I have not been to Olazzo, I must say that it _looks_ overpriced to me, particularly the pasta dishes.

      For a "traditional" Italian American red sauce kind of place, that emphasizes portions and price, an old standby is still Pines of Rome. Inconsistent quality, but some gems.

      1. re: Dan

        Two more "traditional" choices:

        Ledo's in Langley Park (don't miss the minestrone)

        Vicino's in Slver Spring

        1. re: Dan

          I second Pines of Rome in Bethesda, for an old-fashioned type of experience. Red-checked tablecloth decor, bargain prices. Reminds me a little of AV.

          1. re: Dan

            I much prefer Olazzo to Pines of Rome.

            Red sauce at Pines of Rome reminds me of canned stewed tomatos. Their white pizza has been consistently delish over the years, though.

            Olazzo is a bit faancier than Pines of Rome, but the flavors taste fresh fresh fresh and never canned. (With the exception of fried calamari - but maybe I had it on an off night...)

        2. Haven't been to Buon Giorno in years; lately have enjoyed Mamma Lucia (numerous MoCo locations) for their tremendous pastas (quality and quantity!) I would also consider La Panetteria in Bethesda; it's a family-run red sauce kind of place, with a beautiful interior and nicely done whole fish specials. The linguine al pesto also lingers in the memory.

          Link: http://www.lapanetteriaitaly.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gareth

            I also have been enjoying Mamma Lucia lately. However, only the Rockville Pike or Bethesda location. The location at Fallsgrove (by Shady Grove hospital), is very inconsistant.

          2. No one has mentioned Pasta Plus in Laurel. We lived in Laurel for 27 years before moving to Bethesda, and it is about the only thing we miss. Predictable menu plus specials, run by two brothers, with Max in the front of the house making sure everything is done correctly. And the food is very tasty.

            Located between the two side of Route 1 and the two sides of Route 198,(that will make sense once you get there) in a small strip mall next to Arby's. Not a promising location. Only problem is no reservations and often a wait - which is worth it!

            1 Reply
            1. re: JML3

              I'll second this. Pasta Plus has great handmade pasta with a wide variety of sauce options. Get there early or prepare to wait, even on some weeknights.

            2. What about Letterio's in Frederick?

              1. Il Pinito is similar to Il Pizzico and is very good. It's on Nicholson Lane between White Flint and the big chinese grocery store.



                1. In Columbia, AIDA Bistro, off 175 & 95 in an office industrial area. It was First Runner Up as Best New Restaurant in Maryland....Worth finding it. Homemade pastas, extensive & reasonably priced wine list and creative special list. Check out link below.

                  Link: http://www.aidabistro.com

                  1. Bella Notte in Olney is good. This is a nice family Italian restaurant. There is no wine list to speak of (mostly bolla) but the house wine is drinkable.

                    Try the Osso Bucco, it is delicious. There are always several specials and the pizza is pretty good if you like it with thin crust. Service is friendly and the food well prepared. Great bread. There is often a wait, but never too long. The pasta in olive oil and garlic is good.

                    Another place to try in Olney is Ricutti's for wood fired oven pizza, a good (for Montgomery County) wine list, and good specials and pasta.

                    I also wholeheartedly second the recommendation for Pasta Plus in Laurel.

                    1. Mamma Lucia sucks, this is not italian...this is boxes of pre cooked pasta with generic sauces mixed with a different ingredient to make a menu of 300 dishes. All oversized, overpriced and so inconsistent. I remember their menu reading, pasta with mushrooms, pasta with sausage, pasta with meatballs, pasta with shrimp, pasta...blah blah blah...19 bucks for 5 shrimp with a huge plate of pasta....

                      Pasta Plus is the best italian, and 2nd goes to il pizzico

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bones21

                        I agree re Mama Lucia. I recently had the Veal Parm and it was awful, obviously a frozen patty thrown into the deep fryer, along with something trying to passed off as spaghetti. Pines of Rome has good white pizza, that's about it, the sauce is awful as previously mentioned.

                      2. Piccolo Mundo at Leisure World on Georgia Avenue.

                        1. If you might be willing to cross the Maryland line by about 5 minutes max (really), I'm quite fond of DeCarlo's in NW DC, on Yuma Street (behind AU's law school), barely over the DC/Bethesda line. All the pasta is homemade, the sauces are fresh and delicious, a nice dessert menu, and all.

                          And the service is impeccable, white tablecloth and all.

                          From the outside, it doesn't look anything. I must have driven by for 8 months before noticing it was there. But on the inside, it is gorgeous and the food is great.