HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?
TELL US

Baltimore Italian

c
Chesterfielder Aug 10, 2007 03:30 PM

Am going to Baltimore this weekend for Red Sox-O's. What are some good Italian restaurants in the Little Italy section of town?

  1. b
    bordeauxfan Aug 10, 2007 03:33 PM

    Sabatinos is an institution. Go after the game.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bordeauxfan
      c
      Chesterfielder Aug 10, 2007 03:57 PM

      Thanks. Looked at the menu on their website. Looks good.

      1. re: Chesterfielder
        p
        pamd Aug 10, 2007 06:01 PM

        just an FYI...their pastas (Baked Rigatoni in meatsauce is my favorite) are better than their meat type entrees (ie..chicken parm) IMO. You can order half portions - a good size still. The bookmaker salad is a trademark there - great dressing!

    2. j
      jrussd Aug 10, 2007 06:30 PM

      Also check out Viccaro's, which sells desserts--and lots of them! It's in the Little Italy section. If there is a wait, definitely stay, because it's worth it!

      9 Replies
      1. re: jrussd
        h
        Hal Laurent Aug 11, 2007 06:53 AM

        That would be spelled "Vaccaro's",

        1. re: Hal Laurent
          a
          atarah Aug 11, 2007 09:43 AM

          Germano's is very good, and Chiparelli's (all yours, spell-checkers!) is an old famous standby, but I haven't been there in years and can't comment on its recent quality.

          However, many native Baltimoreans will tell you, there is really only one Italian Restaurant in Bmore, and that is Sabatinos.

          1. re: atarah
            h
            Hal Laurent Aug 11, 2007 11:33 AM

            I'm not crazy about either Chiaparelli's or Sabatino's, but they certainly both have a following.

            1. re: atarah
              BmoreHound Aug 11, 2007 07:28 PM

              Most native B'moreans who know anything about food will tell you that Sabs, along with Chiapparelli's are tourist traps that are waaaaay overpriced for the quality of food.

              The Italian in B'more is not nearly as good as the Italian in Boston or NYC, so be ready for that. I'd go to Germano's or La Scala if I have to go anywhere in Little Italy. My next choice would be Rocco's Capriccio's.

              1. re: BmoreHound
                c
                charmedgirl Aug 12, 2007 08:17 AM

                Most, but not all "native Baltimoreans who know anything about food." I can't recommend Chiaparelli's, it's true, mainly for service issues, which is sad, because the salad is quite satifsying. Not gourmet by any standards, but sharp, cheesey and yummy. Luckily, Sabatino's, which I can and will recommend, has a salad that is a decent substitute. My qualifier for Sabatino's that again, it's not high end, delicate or thoughtful food. It's heavy, filling, comforting and often delicious food. Go expecting italian american grandma "you're too skinny!" food, and you'll leave happy.

              2. re: atarah
                e
                eat_n_run Oct 18, 2007 06:29 AM

                I had dinner last night at Germano's followed by dessert at Vaccaro's. Germano's was extremely disappointing.

                The food was lackluster, at best. I started with a minestrone soup, of which I literally ate two spoonfuls and pushed aside. It was unlike any other minestrone soup I've been served - it was extremely bland with only celery, carrots, and potato and it was so oily that the entire surface was covered with pools of oil.

                For entrees, we ordered the gnocchi with tomato sauce, cheese ravioli (a daily special), tagliatella al sugo di carne, and chicken parmigiana. My gnocchi was barely lukewarm. And even though my gnocchi wasn't hot, my friend's chicken parmigiana was not ready when my gnocchi and the other dishes came out. It took another two minutes for the chicken to make it out. None of us thought that our food tasted bad, but none of us were impressed by any of the entrees.

                The service was below par - not rude, thankfully - but very slow and not very customer-service oriented. It took quite some time for drink orders to be taken and filled/refilled. Salads ordered without dressing were served already dressed. The wrong dressings were served on the side. And when the server picked up my very full bowl of soup, she did not even ask if it was okay.

                To their credit, we spoke with the manager after the meal regarding our service and some other restaurant issues, and he was very apologetic and comped two of our meals.

              3. re: Hal Laurent
                j
                jrussd Aug 11, 2007 04:40 PM

                Apologize for the misspelling, but judging from the fact that there is only one place in Little Italy that resembles the spelling, I'm sure the visitor would have found it nevertheless. Even a misspelled google search with the word Baltimore added still leads you to their information.

                1. re: jrussd
                  h
                  Hal Laurent Aug 11, 2007 04:49 PM

                  I didn't correct the misspelling to make fun of you, I corrected it to make it easier for the original poster (and others) to find the place you were talking about. If I spell a place's name wrong, I hope someone else will correct my spelling as well.

                  Please don't take it personally.

              4. re: jrussd
                e
                eat_n_run Oct 17, 2007 08:32 PM

                I just shared the most phenomenal desserts with 3 friends at Vaccaro's. The service was friendly, the atmosphere loud and unassuming, and the food and coffee fabulous!

                We shared a Sampler plate - which included cannolis (I especially loved the one with chocolate filling), butter cookies, cream puffs, and almond cookies - and we also shared some kind of dreamy mocha ice cream cake set on godiva liquer and some other strawberry dream cake.

                Our stop here was a perfect end to our evening!

              5. e
                elgringoviejo Aug 11, 2007 08:45 PM

                It has been awhile since I have been there, but I have had quite good food at La Tavola in Little Italy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: elgringoviejo
                  a
                  a70wilson Apr 16, 2010 12:03 PM

                  We were there for lunch last week and were a bit disappointed. Good food but expensive for lunch - $16.00 for only about 6 Agnolotti pockets. Usually when I pay that much, I think there will be enough for left overs and there wasn't. And this didn't include a salad, which is why I do like Chipparelli's better. Prices include the salad. The lasagna was also small and quite pricey ($19.00).

                  I didn't realize until I just looked that we were given the dinner menu prices even though we were there at 3:00 and they say lunch goes until 4:00. I should have known something was up. This is another strike against them.

                2. w
                  Whitemarshjohn Aug 12, 2007 07:54 AM

                  I enjoy Amicci's. They have very good food and they are reasonably priced. They recently won some kind of "Cheap Eats" award in Baltimore. If you are looking for very high-end fine dining I hear that Aldo's is suppose to be the king of them all - they're also rated the highest for food in Zagat for Little Italy Italian places, but bring lots of money!

                  1. o
                    onocoffee Aug 12, 2007 08:40 PM

                    I've been to quite a few of the restaurants in Little Italy, from the cheap eats Amicci's to the fanciest DaMimmo, and my go-to restaurant for southern Italian is La Scala, northern Boccaccio's, and for late night gnocchi - Sabatino's

                    1. b
                      BigGVa Apr 14, 2010 10:50 PM

                      We have been going to Sabatinos for years but I am concerned that it is not the quality restaurant it used to be. They have the best garlic bread I have ever tasted and per our most recent visit there a week ago, the garlic bread was still amazing. The mussels in maranara sauce was also great. My wife daughter and I each got three different veal entrees. The veal parmigiana I order was not bad but the other two were absolutely terrible. I think my wife got the saltimbocco. It tased like it had been cooked in beef bullion cubes. If you go, avoid the veal, get the garlic bread. The salad was nothing to write home about either. After being loyla Sabs followers for years I think we will try a different Italian restaurant the next time we go the Bal'mer.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: BigGVa
                        keithlb1 Apr 15, 2010 03:30 AM

                        Sabatino's is a little to touristy and is not what I even call real Italian.
                        If anyone who knew how to cook real Italian food ate at half the restaurants in Little Italy they would laugh. Most places are way over priced for the quality you get. Or they are just cheap places that have lost the desire to give what their predecessors succeeded in doing. And that is sincere desire to make you fell like you're at home and they're glad to have your business.

                        -----
                        Little Italy Restaurant
                        6920 Bradlick Shopping Ctr, Annandale, VA 22003

                        1. re: keithlb1
                          f
                          flavrmeistr Apr 15, 2010 06:08 AM

                          The last time I ate at Sabatino's (on the recommendation of a Baltimore native) it was not very good at all. Make that embarrassingly bad. The staff was snide and disinterested and the food captured that attitutde perfectly. I've eaten better Italian from the frozen food section at Food Lion. DiMimmo's, on the other hand, is pretty decent though expensive.

                          1. re: flavrmeistr
                            h
                            hon Apr 15, 2010 06:52 AM

                            Sabatinos is horrible, I can cook better Italian food and I am Polish.

                            1. re: flavrmeistr
                              m
                              mejesster Apr 16, 2010 12:11 PM

                              I was very satisfied at Da Mimmo, but have found Chiparelli's to be lackluster.

                              -----
                              Da Mimmo
                              217 South High Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

                              1. re: mejesster
                                j
                                Jeremy303 Apr 16, 2010 01:51 PM

                                Sotto Sopra is a wonderful Italian restaurant, that is better then any of the aforementioned restaurants. I have been to all of those, If you want to eat in Italian in Little Italy I would recommend Amiccis in Little Italy and make sure you get the Pane Rotundo there. Sotto Sopra is much better though. Go there you will not be dissapointed. Vaccaros is a great spot for dessert for cannolis, ice cream or pastries. Enjoy.

                                -----
                                Amiccis
                                231 S High St, Baltimore, MD 21202

                                Sotto Sopra Restaurant
                                405 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

                                1. re: Jeremy303
                                  f
                                  FoiGras Apr 16, 2010 03:10 PM

                                  I concur with Jeremy303 with regards to Sotto Sopra. The staff and chef are very accommodating and it's a lovely restaurant.

                                  They usually have outstanding risottos. FoiGras

                                  -----
                                  Sotto Sopra Restaurant
                                  405 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

                                  1. re: FoiGras
                                    p
                                    piafoodie Apr 17, 2010 11:48 AM

                                    Is Sotto Sopra in Little Italy? If not, where is it?

                                    Thanks!

                                    -----
                                    Sotto Sopra Restaurant
                                    405 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

                                    Little Italy Restaurant
                                    6920 Bradlick Shopping Ctr, Annandale, VA 22003

                                    1. re: piafoodie
                                      h
                                      Hal Laurent Apr 17, 2010 01:13 PM

                                      Sotto Sopra is not in Little Italy. It's in the 400 block of N. Charles St. in Mt. Vernon.

                                      -----
                                      Sotto Sopra Restaurant
                                      405 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

                                      Little Italy Restaurant
                                      6920 Bradlick Shopping Ctr, Annandale, VA 22003

                                      1. re: piafoodie
                                        f
                                        FoiGras Apr 17, 2010 03:16 PM

                                        Make sure you try Sotto Sopra. I haven't been in a little over a year. (SADLY!!!)

                                        I just perused their menu and it appears to be more outstanding then what it used to be. Okay, so now it's on my "near future to go to list."

                                        It used to be very good food, service, atmosphere. NOw it appears to be above board.

                                        Hope you go soon. If Hubby and I get there in the near future, we will certainly post a "review" on the cuisine. FoiGras

                                        -----
                                        Sotto Sopra Restaurant
                                        405 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

                          2. n
                            Nancee Swartz Apr 18, 2010 01:50 PM

                            Sabatinos. definitely

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Nancee Swartz
                              j
                              jvanderh Jul 28, 2010 12:55 PM

                              I have had mediocre food at most restaurants in Little Italy, as well as Sotto Sopra. I can't imagine how anyone could like Vaccaro's. The only good thing I've had there was the pignoli cookies. Everything else tastes stale, crappy, and storebought. I've had some good food at Aldo's, but it's pretty expensive, and even that is hit or miss. In my opinion, good Italian food here is a lost cause.

                            2. ClevelandDave Jul 28, 2010 01:31 PM

                              Boy it sounds if there is absolutely no consensus at all here. I've never heard anything so scattershot. Perhaps a list of the top five for taste, value, service?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: ClevelandDave
                                e
                                elgringoviejo Jul 28, 2010 02:56 PM

                                Baltimore has better Greek food than Italian. Can't go wrong at 1)Acropolis 2)Ikaros or 3) Zorba's with an honorable mention to Samos.

                                1. re: elgringoviejo
                                  e
                                  edresner Jul 29, 2010 07:49 AM

                                  Only an honorable mention to Samos? I would argue it's better than any of the three you listed ahead of it.

                                  1. re: edresner
                                    e
                                    elgringoviejo Jul 29, 2010 09:41 AM

                                    De gustabus non disputandum. I enjoy the dolmades, fried calamari, and lamb giouvetsi at Acropolis the best. Samos seems to have more of a Greek-American menu for a particular clientele, and they do Greek-American without a doubt in a superlative manner.

                              2. f
                                FoiGras Jul 29, 2010 05:30 PM

                                Oh, I forgot to suggest, Cafe Troia in Towson. It may not be in the Little Italy section of Baltimore, but is definitely worth the drive to dine for wonderful cuisine and atmosphere.

                                I love the ravioli with fresh salmon. Their veal chop is delectable. Hope you can travel out of the downtown area of Baltimore to dine in a very wonderful Italian restaurant. FoiGras

                                -----
                                Little Italy Restaurant
                                6920 Bradlick Shopping Ctr, Annandale, VA 22003

                                Cafe Troia
                                31 Allegheny Avenue, Towson, MD 21204

                                1. r
                                  Rileyobo Aug 14, 2010 01:21 PM

                                  I would just add that Sabatino's and most of the other restaurants in Baltimore's Little Italy cook southern Italian. Meaning more olive oil, thicker pasta, meatier sauces, more green peppers and onion along with more heat from pepper flakes. Sotto Sopra cooks northern Italian. Meaning more butter and cream, less olive oil, thinner pasta. You can also see it in the Modern Milan decor.

                                  -----
                                  Sotto Sopra Restaurant
                                  405 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

                                  Little Italy Restaurant
                                  6920 Bradlick Shopping Ctr, Annandale, VA 22003

                                  1. d
                                    Dr_Gonzo Aug 20, 2010 07:52 AM

                                    or ditch Little Italy (and the tourists) and take a ride down to tha 'Dalk to check out Vinny's Cafe. Slung on the side of Holabird Ave in Dundalk in a completely unassuming concrete block building, they have some great Italian food in a very casual atmosphere.

                                    Show Hidden Posts