Last night, I went back to Chef Rocco's (of Rocco's Cappricio in Baltimore's Little Italy) Glen Burnie outpost, Cafe Amore. Once again, I'm puzzled why it is that the local Olive Something outposts with the unlimited salads and breadsticks seem to be more popular than a place like this that serves real Italian food.
As before, the only clinker was the side salad that came with the meal. Nothing really wrong with it, it was just kinda there, while the rest of the meal shone.
I had the Tortellini in Broth, Lasagana, Cannoli (made on the premises, NOT Vaccaro's!) for dessert, and I started out with the most wonderful rustic bread with a bowl of olive oil, minced black olive (flavorful black olives, not the canned faucet gasket type) and garlic dipping sauce. The rest of the meal was very good, but in all honesty, I could have contentedly sat there dunking and eating bread the whole night.
In all, the meal served as a reminder of how good a meal can be had by using good ingredients and allowing them to speak for themselves, with little pretense. And the bread served as a sad reminder of the dark side of food culture in the U.S. Comparing that wonderful bread to the prepackaged tasteless product that most Americans associate with the word just seemed absurd. It was as if there ought to be another word for REAL bread, to distinguish it from that other mass-produced dreck.
Folks, if you love good food, and you're in the Glen Burnie, Linthicum, Pasedena area, try Cafe Amore. Let's keep places like this in business!
We have been twice for the original Rocco's Neopolitan pizza (cooked well done), and were eyeballing the loaves of fresh bread on the counter that they will sell to go. I worked at Rocco's Pizza in the late 70's and the pizza his son is making at Cafe Amore is identical with the freshly mixed dough made on the premises, homemade pizza sauce and high quality mozzarella.
The atmosphere is casual and nice but I also noticed on the carryout menu some great deals on takeout family style complete meals and pizzas.
I've been to Cafe Amore a few times now. While it didn't knock me off my feet, it is a good sturdy Italian place. I do have one suggestion (perhaps they check the board?). Half plates for the pasta. One time I ordered the gnocchi and I got a bowl of potato pasta that could feed a family of four. The dish was very good, but I felt like I weighed about 40 lbs more than when I walked in. I would have gladly paid half the price for half the size so I could order something else off the menu.
Why don't more places offer half orders on the menu?