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Sep 18, 2008 07:30 AM

BWI - Cinghiale v. La Tavola question

Hi, I'm coming into Baltimore in 3 weeks. I'm looking for one italian dinner with excellent (preferably homemade) pasta. After persusing the board, I've narrowed it down to Cinghiale and La Tavola. Both look to have delicious food as well as great pasta. Moreover, both are within less than 1.5 miles from my hotel.

This is a carbo loading dinner. I want the portions to be adequate, but I am seeking more for deliciousness. Specifically, I also want to know which restaurant has stronger pasta dishes as well as great bread.

Thanks for the help.

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  1. Good narrowing... great choices both (especially considering the stunning amount of mediocrity surrounding them).

    I wouldn't call one better than the other when it comes to pastas. They're different. La Tavola is fairly simple, traditional but very well-executed, while Cinghiale is significantly more upscale and refined. But if volume is important to you, you can immediately scratch Cinghiale off the list. Of course, when you say "carbo loading", if you're talking from an athletic standpoint, neither is the heaping pile o' pasta type of place (a good thing, IMHO). But one of the most consistent criticisms of Cinghiale (one I take issue with, but that's another long-standing debate) is that of portion vs. price. Cinghiale's portions are, undeniably, quite modest. This has proven to be a problem for some and not for others, but it sounds like it will be a problem for you.

    1. Overall I think Cinghale is the better restaurant, but La Tavola does make superb pasta. In this case, and this case only, I would give the nod to La Tavola.

      1 Reply
      1. re: KAZ

        You took the words right out of my mouth, Kaz. If you are into pasta, La Tavola is the way to go. Cinghiale's pasta was less than traditional, and just didn't quite do it for me.

      2. Cinghiale's is way overrated!

        1 Reply
        1. re: sas

          I totally AGREE--Cinghiale's is overrated. It's a beautiful restaurant, but the food is not exceptional. Sotto Sopra would be better and probably their Paza Luna. I've never been to La Tavola, but after visiting their website and perusing their menu, it appears as though the food selection is more conducive to "carbo loading." FoiGras

        2. Thanks so much for the feedback. I spent a lot of time culling and weeding other people's suggestions prior to posting. Looks like, La Tavola will suit my purposes better. While I am carbo loading in an athletic sense, I'm not looking for troughs of pasta. Just well prepared, delicious (preferably homemade) pasta with an excellent sauce to go with it.

          The other plus is that La Tavola is 2/10 of a mile closer to my hotel. Every little bit helps.

          I'll report back after Columbus Day weekend.