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B'more Little Italy recs

We're meeting the in laws in B'more next weekend for dinner (good meeting spot w/ us in DC and them in Harford county). We have dined in Little Italy a couple times and always enjoyed it (step mom in law picky). But i would love to get local's inputs on the BEST italian spot in little italy. Price isn't a factor, nice surroundings would be good but real, authentic italian food is the top priority. Also, are there any wine bars in Little Italy or at least the inner harbor where we could have some wine and maybe an app before we go to dinner? thx

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  1. Amicci's is a good budget place. I really like Chiapparelli's for boring traditional Italian-American red sauce dishes. Cafe Gia was good and a little more trendy - they're kind of new. If you don't mind expensive Aldo's is suppose to be the best. I would definately make reservations for whichever place you choose.

    1. We've lived in the neighborhood for eight months now, and while we haven't gotten out as much as I'd like, we've only tried one restaurant that I'd consider in any way to be Italian. We had a really nice dinner at La Tavola, the chef is Venetian, and it's pretty much straight-up traditional Italian.

      As for the rest, I'm all for some good old red sauce Italian-American, but they've all been pretty awful so far. We haven't yet tried Amicci's, which people seem to love, but one glance at the menu should tell you there's nothing authentic about it (not that there's anything wrong with that).

      1. Just thought I'd mention two other places that I have been to just once but wasn't over the moon about:
        La Tavola: Some dishes were good, others boring and service was mediocre. I was insulted that my lasagna entre was such a small portion.
        Caio Bella: Service was great, atmosphere was nice but on both our meals the chicken was dried out. My Fiance was displeased, but I actually like burned dry chicken.

        1. Can't go wrong with Sabatino's. Service is always good for me and the food is usually very consistent.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AlexDer

            I have to disagree. I used to love Sabatinos (granted back then it was one of the only little italy places we ever went to). But in the past year and a half I've taken three trips there and it's been extremely disappointing each time. Two out of three times we've had either rude or uncaring service, and all three were marked by mediocre to downright poor (my chicken was cold to the touch) food. I plan on giving it one last shot, but not too soon.

            Like the others say, if the price isn't an option, Aldo's is a good way to go.

          2. Aldo's is a truly memorable meal, if you aren't to worried about cost.
            It is very beautiful and the service great. I had a shaved truffle pasta there a while back and I can still vividly remember the dish. Great cocktails and a special experience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: poached

              thanks everyone, lots of great choices it sounds like. i'll get on line and hopefully check out the menus.

            2. La Scala on Eastern Ave.

              Only go to Sabatino's if you like pump 'em in - pump 'em out red sauce italian.

              1. I recommend Boccacio's. Excellent food (best in the area IMO), lovely interior, and good service. It's my favorite resto in the area. It's always been relatively quiet as well. Its not a red sauce place like some of the others on this thread; instead, much more Northern Italian.

                3 Replies
                1. re: tartuffe

                  I've been to Bocaccio's. My wife and I had dinner at Bocaccio and the Lab on successive nights a couple of years ago. I haven't been back to Little Italy since.

                  1. re: Joe H

                    Joe H: "I've been to Bocaccio's. My wife and I had dinner at Bocaccio and the Lab on successive nights a couple of years ago. I haven't been back to Little Italy since."
                    MY RESPONSE: Does that mean you liked it or disliked it? What is the Lab?

                  2. re: tartuffe

                    Yes, yes, yes. Had a fabulous meal and amazing service at Boccacio last weekend. I've never been less than wowed.

                  3. Definately Aldo. The carpaccio is fantastic, as is the tournedos entree! Request the complimentary homemade lemoncello at the end of your meal. It is house made and devine!

                    1. If you want advice from a real italian... Aldo's is the place for authentic and good food.

                      Sabatino's is a lost cause.

                      1. Boccaccio and La Tavola are my top two favorites!!!! Always wonderful, never been let down by either place.