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Authentic Italian needed (Baltimore)!

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I am going to Baltimore with 3 pure blooded Italians and need REAL GOOD ITALIAN DINNER! We'll be staying at the Tremont on St. Paul. Any recommendations for authentic (not touristy) Italian? Little Italy or otherwise?

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  1. Pazza Luna
    www.pazzaluna.us

    1. Northern Italian? Southern? Italian-American?

      I think without further info, my choice woul be La Tavola, but "authentic" is a matter of perspective - authentic "like Mama made in Brooklyn" is different from "Like Mama made in <Naples, Florence, Rome, or...>

      1 Reply
      1. re: Warthog

        Within easy walking distance of your hotel is Sotto Sopra, but it gets mixed reviews here (i.e. it's seen better days). I'd say it's northern to mid-Italian fare.

        Depending on when your trip is, there will be a new place just south of Little Italy called Cinghiale that sounds promising. It's been discussed on this board as well.

      2. My favorite Italian in Balto is Bocaccio's, also in Li'l Italy (if you're a native you pronounce it w/o a "t"). Fine service and atmosphere and high-quality food. Will it remind you of the Old Country? Not really, but a lardo appetizer is hard to find in this city.

        1. where is Cinghiale located? are they open yet??

          4 Replies
          1. re: rcooperman

            Cinghiale will be across from Charleston in Harbor East but won't open until mid-September - Chef is of former Maestro fame - Stefano Frigerio was the right arm of Fabio

            1. re: Barney Parker

              We're big fans of Aldos in Little Italy for a slightly expensive, but AMAZING Italian dinner. We go there for special occasions sometimes and it seems more authentic and much less touristy than some of the other ones there.

              Also, Amiccis in Little Italy is very good and has great prices and a nice bar area for before/after dinner drinks.

              Good luck!

              1. re: terri.m.peters

                Must agree on Aldo's. The food and service are sublime and the setting is gorgeous. We were given a tour of the place from the wine cellar to the private rooms. The craftmanship is beautiful.

                1. re: terri.m.peters

                  Amiccis is fair, but nothing they serve would be close to being considered as "authentic Italian."

            2. just let me tell you that the only place have decent italian in Baltimore it's only Boccaccio, don't listen anyone else about the various La Tavola or Mimmo's or Amicci's or anyone else.
              those place they serve food that's not even close to be italian and this come from an Italian.

              3 Replies
              1. re: raveforfood

                ciao raveforfood,
                vivo a roma ma vengo a baltimora la settimana prossima. sai se é aperto l'osteria cinghiale? se sí, é buona?? aspetto notizie... grazie mille, -domenico

                1. re: domenico

                  Benvenuti a Baltimora, domenico. I'm not sure if l'Osteria Cinghiale is open yet, if it is, there haven't been any reports on it yet. The owners are well regarded here in Baltimore, so it is definitely expected to be good.

                  With that said, and regarding the OP, I'm not sure I would recommend trying to find an "authentic" Italian dinner here. You certainly won't find a pasta first course, main dish type of service. You can try to make your own by splitting a pasta course with a friend and then ordering a main dish. If that's your thing, La Tavola has the best fresh pasta around. For the best meal, Boccaccio is the place.

                  Why not take your guests, or you yourself domenico, to some local "authentic" Baltimore places? I'm sure you will get many suggestions on the topic.

                  ciao.

                  (dirmi se ho bisogno di una traduzione o altri consiglii).

                  1. re: fam0913

                    I ran by last night. L'osteria Cinghiale is not open. They have a now hiring sign out front.

                2. Boccaccio
                  925 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21202 · 410-234-1322

                  hands down the best

                  1. Boccaccio is good - a little stuffy though - but it is northern Italian - is that what you are looking for. I think DaMimmo is also quite good - expensive as well.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: jstroose

                      I'm trying to decide between Boccaccio, La Tavola and La Scala....any input?? Not picky as far as region goes...just don't want canned sauce/gravy and overcooked pasta!

                      1. re: avirgo916

                        than you should go to Boccaccio, i personally know that they cook everything at the moment, and you will love they're fresh selection of fish, veal and beautiful wine list.
                        But yes if you would like something more cheaper but still good the chef from La Tavola it's from Italy and does a pretty good job, La Scala good ambience but the food it's ok at best, thet're famous only for Mom cannoli.
                        but let us know where you went

                        1. re: avirgo916

                          La Tavola is good and has some inventive dishes, but IMO the atmosphere sucks. It's just one big room with almost no decor and horrible lighting. Imagine taking a classroom and carpeting it.

                          La Scala has never disappointed. Ask to sit upstairs as the downstairs is having some work done because Nino is expanding next door (with a rumored indoor bocce ball court in the middle of the restaurant!)

                      2. I've never been to Aldo's but the best I have been to is Bpocaccio. La Tavola iss pretty good as well

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tartuffe

                          I second Aldo's. It's great.

                        2. I've been to Amicci's, Caesars Den, Da Mimmo and Sabatino's. My favorite is Sabatinos. Being a fan of gnochi, they always made the best. Their atmosphere is great too.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: JoeyCannoli

                            I like Sabs as much as anyone else, but I think its cuisine is much more Italian-American than modern Italian (as in European Italian). I think your friends may be disappointed.

                            I personally find Bocaccios a little too formal, but yes the food is more authentic.

                            1. re: bordeauxfan

                              Well, La Scala will be closed the weekend I'm going so the choices are: La Tavola, Boccaccio, or Sabatinos..... I can't decide!! HELP!

                              1. re: avirgo916

                                Boccacio - hands down...best combo of food and atmosphere of the 3, though I would have recommended La Scala.

                          2. Definitely Bocaccio's--and you may even see Peter Angelos. La Tavola has good food, but not in B's class and not much else. sabatinos' is basic red sauce Italian.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tartuffe

                              pazza luna near ft. mchenry has new owners and is serious, upscale, and not touristy

                            2. You can't go wrong in Lil' Italy - with the possible exception of Sabbatino's. I know, I know some people think it's great because it's heavy and has a lot of red sauce and cheese but if your going to be with some true ginni-wap's...don't even think about it. I recommend Dimimmo's, Rocco's Capricio (across from Sabatino's) Aldo's is very, very nice - but it's prob the most expensive place in L.I. Della Note out on the main drag is good. I've not been to La Tavola or Bocaccio but I hear their both good and want to try them. The bottom line is no "Italian" restaraunt is going to last long in little italy if they suck. In the end - the frutti di mare at Dimmimo's is prob the best I've ever had. Oh and by the way - don't forget to pick up your pastries at Vaccaro's

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: akrause

                                just ate at Cio Bella last night in little italy. very good northern italian. it is on high street.

                              2. Cinghiale in Baltimore is opening next week starting with just lunch from 1130am-2pm. Can't wait to try it...

                                1. Cinghiale started serving dinner September 20. Hope to partake this weekend.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: DollarBill

                                    http://www.cinghiale-osteria.com/