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Feb 17, 2009 07:05 PM

Baltimore - Little Italy question

I'm being treated to a dinner and tasked with finding a few options, while I've made a shortlist from here and other sources, given the abundance of choices within a few blocks (I'm always able to find something appealing and it being not on my dime) I have to ask, is it common to post menus out front so we can go by whim/instinct once in the neighborhood? some cities do, some don't.

I have to admit I've never spent more than a few hours in Baltimore for a work meeting with a no-fun boss.


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    1. Yes, you'll see menus posted in front of most. I wish I could recommend the two favorites that we have been to, but I have completely forgotten their names. Just alot yourself enough time to wander a bit, because they really aren't all along the same block. You do have to go around a few blocks to cover a lot of ground. I've never had a bad Little Italy dinner.

      1. i love the salad at chiapparellis (or something like that), it is incredible — tons of feta cheese, garlicky pungent dressing, they are famous for it — but the rest of the food isn't the best of the area, so if you're not big on salad don't bother. we have been to rocco's thrice and really enjoyed ourselves each time. so you might want to check that out. there are more popular restaurants there but i haven't been to them so can't speak for it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: littlew1ng

          Chip's salad haas parmagian cheese, chopped hard boiled egg, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and chopped (as well as sliced0 onion--no feta cheese to be found.

          But, you are quite right, apart from the salad, the remainder of Chiapperelli's menu is uninspired.

          You might want to consider Fells Point--there is Mezze, Kali's Court, Meli, Black Olive, Fin, Miss Irene's, etc. There are lots of bars and downscale places to entertain you and distract you from a lackluster boss. FoiGras

        2. There are far better italian restaurants in Baltimore than those found in Little italy.
          I won't bother with names though if you're committed to going there.

          3 Replies
          1. re: michael4ny

            Thanks for the suggestions, looking at the online menus I'm sure there is more adventurous Italian to be found, but the locale (and a certain level of tradition/stodginess) was the parameter.

            1. re: hill food

              michael4ny we are totally with you. We stay far away from little italy Just curious if your list is our list. What are your favs outside of little italy

              1. re: sas

                I'm sure there are a number of others out there but the first two that come to my mind are Sotto Sopra and Sammy's both on Charles. I realize they're nothing like each other. Sotto Sopra being a little more upscale and esoteric but they're both good in their own way. And I haven't been to Cinghale (Tony and Cindy's place) yet but I'm looking forward to tryng it. Their menu is somewhat similar to one or two places in Manhattan run by Mario Batalli which I've enjoyed in the past.

          2. If you are "stuck" with dining in Little Italy--and are being "treated"), I highly suggest going to Da Mimmo's. Order the veal chop (which used to be the standard by which all others were measured). Also, the lobster dish (forgot the approximate name--perhaps, thermidore), is succulent.

            Aldo's is also a bit off of the standard red sauced dishes offered in the Little Italy establishments. It's a lovely restaurant--too bad you aren't interested in a romantic atmosphere. I've had delicious lamb chops and osso bucco there. Excellent wine selections.

            So, if you have to dine in Little Italy and can't make it over to Fells Point, those are my humble suggestions. FoiGras

            5 Replies
            1. re: FoiGras

              I am totally floored by the Da Mimmos' post ... my wife and I ate there for Valentines Day and I had the house specialty veal chop. It was nearly inedible, served with pretension and exorbitantly overpriced at $55. The side serving of pasta looked and tasted amazingly like Chef-boy-ardi. I definitely advise all diners to avoid this overpriced and overbearing establishment.

              1. re: cantonite

                Ditto on avoiding Da Mimmo. Horrible quality at outrageous prices. You're better off at La Tavola or even Della Notte. Della Notte is over the top in terms of decor and style (roman busts everywhere, I feel like I'm in a Mel Brooks movie) but I had fabulous gnocchi there once upon a time. I've had some good meals at La Tavola, too, way back when.

                The one time I went to Aldo's, I couldn't understand why they were in Zagat's and raved about. Yes, the service was uber-European, but boy was the food average. And the fish dishes had sat in the window and were cold.

                Search this board for Little Italy, you will find many other recs. If anything, you can get a good consensus of what places to definitely avoid.

                And yes, you will find menus posted throughout, so you can wander about prior to choosing.

                  1. re: venera

                    One thing about Della Notte is that they have an amazing wine list, with lots of older vintages, and really reasonable pricing. If my boss were paying, I might go just to drink vino and forget about the food entirely (well, maybe just to line my stomach).

                    1. re: venera

                      I disagree. Aldo's has exceptional food. I have tried the following dishes:
                      Colossal Lump Crab Cocktail

                      Caprese Tower

                      Salad of Sweet Red Beets, Mixed Greens,Crumbled Gorgonzola Toasted Ennis Walnuts,Champagne Vinaigrette

                      Tender Baby Spinach Leaves, Toasted Walnuts,Thompson Raisins,Gorgonzola Dolce Cheese, Creamy Champagne Vinaigrette

                      Porcini Agnollotti tossed in Italian Black Truffle Butter

                      Fresh Orecchiette Pasta, Broccoli Rabe, Housemade Italian Sausage and Parmigiano Reggiano

                      Fettuccine, Diced Maine Lobster, Tomato-Cream
                      Rosé Sauce

                      Aldo’s Ossobuco • Slow-Braised Veal Shank, Porcini Mushroom Risotto

                      Aldo’s “Tournedos Rossini” Grilled Prime Filet Mignon, Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras Italian Black Truffle and Porcini Mushroom Sauce with Four Cheese Risotto

                      Double-Cut Prime Wisconsin Veal Chop,“Milanese Style” • Butterflied, Pounded Thin, Breaded and Pan-Fried, Tomato Concassé

                      Lobster Bolognese

                      Eggplant Parmagiana

                      Sage Wild Boar Pappardelle

                      Meatball Appetizer

                      Gnocchi in Rose Cream Sauce

                      Only a couple of these have not been to die for.
                      Ask for Jim, he is a phenomenal server.

                      306 South High Street, Baltimore, MD 21202