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Jan 2, 2009 08:08 AM

Baltimore -- La Tavola 'one of the best Italian places' .... seriously?

Went there with a bunch of friends for NYE, somewhat loosely based on the reviews here about their great selection of fresh pasta.... and thought it was mediocre at best.

Don't tell me NYE is amateur night, as we mainly ordered dishes from the regular menu, not any crazy specials; the restaurant wasn't particularly packed or anything. It was just really, really underwhelming. I should add that I am a big snob when it comes to Italian food on one hand, on the other hand, my standard is merely for the restaurant to do a better job than I could at home. This was not the case.

Perhaps I misread and it said 'best Italian in Little Italy', which isn't saying much and would've probably have me avoid going there altogether.

IS there any decent Italian (not Eye-talian) in Bawlmer, or should we venture out to the more reliable Greektown next time?

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    1. Have you tried Aldo's or Cinghiale? Aldo's is more traditional little Italy venue, but very nice - we especially like their private room downstairs for groups of 8 or so. Ask Sergio, Aldo's son to show you their wine cellar.

      Cinghiale is part of the Cindy Wolf / Tony Foreman empire, and can kill your budget if you play it wrong. Stick to the Enoteca side. Super excellent wine list, and the selection of meats is wonderful.

      If you want to venture a few blocks east, try Black Olive - Greek not Italian - but outstanding if you haven't tried. ...and NYE IS amateur night, but I'm still not a Tavola fan.

      1. It has been mentioned on this board a gazillion times before and I may be partial because it's in my neighborhood, but we have never had a bad meal at Pazza Luna. It's essentially Sotto Sopre's little sister. Wednesday nights are a great $10 pasta deal and they have some good happy hour martini deals as well. It's the hidden gem of Locust Point.

        1. Agree with locustpointgirl about Pazza Luna and Sotto Sopra. My wife and I have travelled frequently in Italy, and these two places have the best/most authentic pasta in Baltimore.

          We haven't been to La Tavola in quite some time, but Aldo's is definintely LI's best, although you will pay for it. Also, their menu can be a bit more traditional American than Italian (not a lot of pasta), but their ingredients are top-notch (especially the imported mozzarella) and the execution of the food is excellent.

          1. I thought that Amicci's was pretty good Italian/Eye-talian. Of course, my expectations and yours may differ considerably.