Eat 2017: Little Italy

Little Italy

Aldo’s Restaurant

306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700, aldositaly.com $$$, D, R

Start with cream of asparagus soup and the wild mushroom risotto, then splurge with the Tournedos Rossini filet mignon dish, holding your nose over the foie gras.

Amiccis

231 S. High St., (410) 528-1096, amiccis.com $$, L, D, R

Totally affordable Italian entrees in a friendly, casual atmosphere. A big “yes, please” to tortellini with peas and ham.

Café Gia

410 S. High St., (410) 685-6727, cafegiabaltimore.com $$$, L, D, R

The toasted lunch sandwiches, especially the eggplant alla parmigiana, are classics. For dinner, the penne vodka is homey but not homely.

Chiapparelli’s Restaurant

237 S. High St., (410) 837-0309,
chiapparellis.com $$$, L, D, R

The familial atmosphere and great service here have passed through the generations since 1940. The garlicky salad has long made Little Italy proud.

Ciao Bella

236 S. High St., (410) 685-7733, therealciaobella.com $$, L, D, R

Ciao Bella takes the best from up and down the Boot. Its veal saltimbocca—veal with prosciutto and saged mushroom Marsala sauce—is to die for.

Key

  • $: Average entree price is at or below $10.
  • $$: Average entree price is $10-$20.
  • $$$: Average entree price is $20+.
  • B: Breakfast.
  • L: Lunch.
  • D: Dinner.
  • BR: Brunch on weekends.
  • BYOB: The restaurant allows you to bring your own booze.
  • P: On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
  • OUT: Outdoor dining in season. It could be anything from a few tables on the sidewalk to a dedicated deck.
  • 10 p.m.: Serves food after 10 p.m. on a regular basis. Many restaurants serve until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but spots that get this designation go beyond that.
  • R: Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
  • DV: Delivery for a limited area, including restaurants that deliver through a web-based service such as OrderUp or Amazon Prime Now.

Da Mimmo

217 S. High St., (410) 727-6876, damimmo.com $$, L, D, P, R

Upscale Italian serving both family specialties and finely executed classics—don’t know into which category the divine lobster tetrazzini falls, but it hardly matters.

Dalesio’s

829 Eastern Ave., (410) 539-1965,
dalesios.com $$, L, D, R

Unlike some of Little Italy’s options, this Northern Italian-focused mainstay emphasizes flavor over portion size. A favorite for large parties.

Germano’s Piattini

300 S. High St., (410) 752-4515, germanospiattini.com $$, L, D, R

Get dolled up for a night at Germano’s, especially if you’re seeing one of its many shows, be it cabaret or otherwise. Pair a nice cheese with a cured meat or olive, and then pick an entree from the contemporary Italian menu, like the agnello: grilled baby lamb chops, parmesan, fingerling potatoes, and balsamic.

Heavy Seas Alehouse

1300 Bank St., (410) 522-0850, heavyseasalehouse.com $$$, L, D

The downtown outpost of the Halethorpe brewery serves up a mix of dressed-up bar food—such as sausage sliders and soft pretzel sticks—and fine cuisine, such as flat-iron steak and housemade garganelli pasta. Beer pairings are suggested for each entree. Open for lunch Friday through Sunday.

Isabella’s Brick Oven

221 S. High St., (410) 962-8888,
isabellas.biz $$, L, D

This cozy Little Italy eatery arguably bakes up the best pizza in the neighborhood. Crusts have that nice crispy char, the sauce has a little zip, and the toppings are plentiful.

Key

  • $: Average entree price is at or below $10.
  • $$: Average entree price is $10-$20.
  • $$$: Average entree price is $20+.
  • B: Breakfast.
  • L: Lunch.
  • D: Dinner.
  • BR: Brunch on weekends.
  • BYOB: The restaurant allows you to bring your own booze.
  • P: On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
  • OUT: Outdoor dining in season. It could be anything from a few tables on the sidewalk to a dedicated deck.
  • 10 p.m.: Serves food after 10 p.m. on a regular basis. Many restaurants serve until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but spots that get this designation go beyond that.
  • R: Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
  • DV: Delivery for a limited area, including restaurants that deliver through a web-based service such as OrderUp or Amazon Prime Now.

Joe Benny’s

313 S. High St., (443) 835-4866, joebennys.com $$, D

Sometimes a thin crust just doesn’t cut it. Thankfully, the specialty here is focaccia (aka super thick, breadlike dough for Sicilian-style pizza). It also serves other Southern Italian small plates and paninis—don’t miss out on the meatballs.

La Scala

1012 Eastern Ave., (410) 783-9209, lascaladining.com $$$, D, R

La Scala is known for its innovative indoor bocce court, upscale Sicilian cuisine and affordable happy hour. Be sure to try an espresso martini while you’re there.

La Tavola

248 Albemarle St., (410) 685-1859,
la-tavola.com $$$, L, D, R

Fresh house-made pasta and sauces make for good eats, but the thinly

sliced veal in the Vitello alla Norcina here is truly divine.

Mo’s Crab and Pasta Factory

502 Albemarle St., (410) 837-1600, mosbaltimore.com $$$, L, D, R

Crab dip and clams casino meet ravioli and angel hair at this Italian-and-seafood hub.

My Thai

323 S. Central Ave., (410) 327-0023, mythaibaltimore.com $$, L, D, R

This authentic Thai spot adds some variety to Little Italy’s selections. The ka pow really lives up to its name with garlic and chili flavors—and if you get it “Thai style” it comes with your choice of chicken or pork, green beans, and a fried egg. Careful: The curries can get tongue-numbingly spicy.

Key

  • $: Average entree price is at or below $10.
  • $$: Average entree price is $10-$20.
  • $$$: Average entree price is $20+.
  • B: Breakfast.
  • L: Lunch.
  • D: Dinner.
  • BR: Brunch on weekends.
  • BYOB: The restaurant allows you to bring your own booze.
  • P: On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
  • OUT: Outdoor dining in season. It could be anything from a few tables on the sidewalk to a dedicated deck.
  • 10 p.m.: Serves food after 10 p.m. on a regular basis. Many restaurants serve until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but spots that get this designation go beyond that.
  • R: Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
  • DV: Delivery for a limited area, including restaurants that deliver through a web-based service such as OrderUp or Amazon Prime Now.

Pane e Vino

408 S. High St., (410) 685-3300, cafegiabaltimore.com $$, D

In 2015, the owners of Café Gia opened up this leisurely bar right next door, with well-executed cocktails and all of Café Gia’s menu items available, thanks to a shared kitchen.

Piedigrotta Bakery

1300 Bank St., Suite 140, (410) 522-6900,piedigrottabakery.com $$, B, L, D, R

A vast array of Italian treats greets customers of this Little Italy staple: pane, grottoni, crostates, tortes, and more. You can also buy some freshly prepared lasagna to pass off as your own at home. Piedigrotta also serves sit-down dinners year-round.

Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant

901 Fawn St., (410) 727-2667, sabatinos.com $$$, L, D, R

Southern/Central Italian specialties, but a good bet is the bookmaker salad to open, with the chicken Vincenzo to close.

Tortilleria Sinaloa

415 S. Central Ave., (410) 624-5947, tortilleria-sinaloa.com $$, L, D

The same great tortillas as the original storefront location on Eastern Avenue, but with a bigger menu, full service, and a liquor license. The cochinita pibil is particularly rich and savory.

Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop

222 Albemarle St., (410) 685-4905, vaccarospastry.com $, B, L, D

Sure, this historic shop is known for its sweets, but you can also grab a panini or a salad if you feel weird about eating a ton of cannoli and cookies for a meal.

Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop

E. Brady Robinson/For City Paper

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