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Jun 4, 2007 11:35 AM

Pasta in Annapolis

Last time I did the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, two years ago, I broke my "high-carb dinner before a race" rule and feasted on crabs the night before the swim. That didn't work out too well.

So this year, I'm going back to pasta. Can anyone recommend a good, not-too-expensive place to get pasta this Saturday? (Or any other type of place I could get a high-carb meal? I'm open to ideas.) The swim is on Sunday morning, so my boyfriend and I are planning a post-race lunch at Cantler's. Can't wait for that!

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  1. Cafe Mezzanote (sp?) in Severna Park has excellent Italian food. Their rose sauce is the best. They also have a gnocchi that comes with crab meat, if I remember correctly, so you can have a happy marriage between the carb loading and the crab. Squisito is another option... less upscale, but pretty good in the taste department.

    1. There are 4 places that I know of in downtown Annapolis to get pasta. I am sure there are more elsewhere, but I am mainly familiar with downtown.

      The first is Maria's Sicilian Ristorante right off of City Dock. It's alright. I went there and got a very decent lasagna. A little too heavy on the tomato, and I thought it was a little overpriced for what I got (I believe dinner for two...entrees and a shared desert, no wine was around 50). It was also quite crowded.

      The next is Osteria 177 on Main Street. I have personally not had their pasta (although my friends tell me its great), but I have had their other entrees and a panini for lunch. I was impressed with quality. The servers were great, but the food itself was very slow. They've only been open about 6 months, so I guess they are still working out some kinks. Its also very classy, so dress up if you go.

      Third is Piccolo Roma (I think that's the name), also on Main Street. I have enjoyed my meals there. I believe it was ranked Best Italian in Annapolis in 2005. They have a very interesting appetizer made with philo, proscuttio, and artichokes. The pastas I have had there are a lobster ravioli and crab pasta, both were very good. (I can't find a website


      Finally there is Luna Blu. I have also enjoyed my meals there, but the pasta is very different from the other places. Whereas Piccolo Roma had very delicate pastas (although filling), these pastas are heavier in flavors, sauces, etc. Their pastas are the type you can do at home by yourself (at least I have been able to replicate the Penne alla Vodka very easily), so its not very exotic, but things are good. The one bonus is they have a make-your-own-pasta menu where you choose the type of pasta, sauce, and all the "extras" ranging from crab to green peas to sausage, etc., this was a big plus for the people I was dining with who happen to be very picky. If you go there for dinner, make reservations, they don't have a lot of room and fill up very quickly.

      Hope that helps!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ebonac

        PRoma and O177 are dressy non-carbo-loading places. Avoid Maria's if you want to actually do your swim. Go to Luna Blu and chat them up for a huge customized pasta dose you'll really like.

        1. re: ebonac

          Luna Blu is pretty good and definitely a better deal than Osteria 177 and Maria's. Haven't been to Piccola Roma though.

          1. re: ebonac

            I just had dinner at Luna Blu. While the service was very good the meal was average. I had the 4 course for $35. escargot, casear salad, lobster ravioli and chocolate mousse. I left alot on my plates.

          2. Osteria 177. Again, and I'm sorry to be so negative about Annapolis, but I dined there last night and found it to be pretty average. The service was very good, however. I ordered the gnocchi which was good but not great, but it was seriously overpriced. $19 for a plate of pasta which I actually finished. I never finish anything, that's just how small of a serving it was. They were also having problems with their HVAC, so it was stifling in there. On the positive side, the wine list was good and dessert was quite tasty.

            4 Replies
            1. re: thatfarmgirl

              Hahaha don't ever move to DC or the pasta will be at least $24! It all has to do with rent...

              1. re: ktmoomau

                Osteria and Piccola Roma are probably the best two, but agree with the others that they will be more expensive. I like both of these, but I don't know about their carb loading rating. Luna Blu would be a bit more filling, but not as good as the others. Yes avoid Maria's. I think it is overpriced and over rated. Actually Mangia, which is owned by Maria's, is better for a casual carb loading meal. They have pizza and pasta is more of a bar setting.

                So for upscale go with Piccola or Osteria. For simple carb loading fare pick Luna Blue or Mangia.

                1. re: Annapolis07

                  I really like Maria's. They have a yummy pink sauce. Mangia's is good too. The old italian owner is a really nice guy once you get to know him. Their antipasta salad is great.

                2. re: ktmoomau

                  I'm not cheap. Heck, I'll pay $25 or more for great pasta! But if it's merely good...that's another story.

              2. What about the little Italian place behind the melting pot in parole? I normally get calzones or etc, but I bet they have good pasta. It is a tiny place, but very good.

                1 Reply