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Eat Special Issue

Little Italy

Photo: Tya Anthony, License: N/A, Created: 2011:02:15 14:20:32

Tya Anthony

Caesar’s Den

Photo: Tya Anthony, License: N/A, Created: 2011:02:15 18:33:54

Tya Anthony



$ = Inexpensive; “entrees” barely crack $10.
$$ = Entrees in the $10-$20 range, other than a few specials or the crab cakes.
$$$ Entrees $20 and up.
BYOB = The restaurant has no liquor license but allows you to bring your own booze. You may have heard of this.
P = On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
T = Valet parking (for most places, this is weekends-only).
Out = Outdoor dining in season. Note: It could be a lovely deck, but it may be just a couple of tables on the sidewalk.
10pm = Serves food after 10 p.m. Many local restaurants will serve until 11 p.m. on weekends, but spots bearing this icon go further somehow.
B = Breakfast.
L = Lunch.
D = Dinner.
Br = Brunch on weekends.
Vg = Specializes in vegetarian/vegan friendliness. Almost all restaurants these days offer vegetarian options, and when asked by someone compiling a dining guide, many restaurants say that they can accommodate vegans on request, but this icon indicates vegetarian/vegan friendliness as a primary mission.
Rsv = Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
Del = Delivery to a limited area, though many restaurants that don’t do phone-order delivery use web-based services such as


306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700,

$$$ Vg d Rsv

This Little Italy gem assembles choice ingredients in flawless preparations, nimbly negotiating the terrain between respectfulness for old-world tradition and mindfulness of contemporary diners’ expectations.


231 S. High St., (410) 528-1096,

$$ L D Rsv

A no-frills, moderately priced Italian comfort-food wonder palace. Try the luscious eggplant parmigiana along with one of Amicci’s reasonably priced glasses of wine.


223 S. High St., (410) 547-0820,

$$$ Vg L D Rsv

A testament to the pleasures of basic, solidly-constructed Neapolitan cuisine. Tender veal and plump shrimp star on a menu that respects traditional preparations with food that feels like the home cooking of a native.


410 S. High St., (410) 685-6727,

$$ Out L D Rsv

A happy vibe and hearty Sicilian food without the fustiness (or prices) of most Little Italy restaurants. Nearly everything is made in-house, including traditional desserts like cannoli and tiramisu. If homemade gnocchi is on the menu, try it.


237 S. High St., (410) 837-0309,

$$$ Vg L D Rsv

The cozy family-style atmosphere in this established Little Italy restaurant screams, “That’s amore!” The legendary Italian house salad is worth the trip, and the generous portions of the very traditional house specialties satisfy.


236 S. High St., (410) 685-7733,

$$ Vg Out L D Rsv

All the classic Italian-American dishes served straight up in a friendly environment.


829 Eastern Ave., (410) 539-1965,

$$ Out L D Rsv

The old favorites get some interesting updates and variations in this fine-dining take on the Little Italy usual.


217 S. High St., (410) 727-6876,

$$$ P D Rsv

Old-school Little Italy luxury dining, serving delectable Italian-American standards and huge platters of the freshest antipasti. The food is fantastic, the wine list long, and the prices more palatable after a stop downstairs for a stiff cocktail.


801 Eastern Ave., (410) 837-5500,

$$$ P L D Rsv

Free, on-premises parking in Little Italy is but the first happy surprise. The dramatic exterior belies the goodness inside—an intimate dining room, good bread, and a thoughtful mix of the traditional and the ambitious.


300 S. High St., (410) 752-4515,

$$$ Vg Out L D Rsv

Redoubtable Tuscan specialities rule here, along with weekly cabaret performances.


411 S. High St., (410) 385-4900,

$$ L D

Sauces are the hallmark of really good Indian food, and at this Little Italy mainstay rich, spicy masalas and vindaloos, and tangy chutneys and raitas dress tender cubes of chicken, beef, or lamb. Creamy, sweet kormas complement peas and veggie dumplings.


221 S. High St., (410) 962-8888,


A brick oven makes almost everything taste a little better, not least Isabella’s focused menu of pies and sandwiches.


313 S. High St., (410) 547-7900,

$ L D

This recent addition to Little Italy brings something to Baltimore we didn’t know we were missing: Argentine empanadas. Max’s wraps delicious savory bits into a tightly wound dough wrapper and bakes ‘em to flaky perfection.


1000 Eastern Avenue,(410) 685-6111,

$$$ Vg Out 10pm D Br Rsv

This newish spot boasts a very swank contempo vibe and an ambitious menu of contempo takes on Italian cuisine—including Italian sushi.


502 Albemarle St., (410) 837-1600,

$$$ L D

Combine traditional Baltimore crab dishes with hearty Italian cuisine and a pub-like atmosphere and you get Mo’s.


1300 Bank St., (410) 522-2695,

$$ L D

In addition to 12 bowling lanes and a bar that isn’t a beery afterthought, Mustang Alley’s offers an expansive menu of burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and other pubby stuff.


1300 Bank St., (410) 522-6900,

$$ BYOB Out B L

The world’s friendliest bakery offers up not only a full range of breads and sweets, but also filling focaccias, paninis, etc. for lunch. Serves dinner on weekends during the summer.


901 Fawn St., (410) 727-9414,

$$$ Vg 10pm L D Rsv

The menu is a greatest hits of Italian comfort food, with large servings of chicken parmigiana and fried calamari presented with a large side of spaghetti or salad. The place itself is a Baltimore institution.


1012 Eastern Ave., (410) 783-9209,

$$$ Vg D Rsv

Veal-lovers will adore this mid-level Little Italy restaurant. If veal won’t fly, try seafood or, better yet, chicken, which gets the same loving treatment.


248 Albemarle St., (410) 685-1859,

$$$ Vg L D Rsv

An option in Little Italy for diners looking for some innovation, skillful preparations, and a well-dressed but relaxed atmosphere. The fettucine paglia e fieno alla romana is recommended.


222 Ablemarle St., (410) 685-4905,

$$ Out 10pm L D

Vaccaro’s gives delightful lie to the notion that Italian sweets go no farther than spumoni and cannoli. Buttery cookies in a myriad shapes, frostings, and flavors, gargantuan éclairs, mountainous ice-cream confections—dessert has never been bigger.

Eat 2011 Contents
  • Pleased? Eat: City Paper's Annual Dining Guide | 3/2/2011
  • Federal Hill ABBEY BURGER BISTRO 1041 Marshall St., (443) 453-9698, $$ 10pm L D A bar devoted to gourmet burgers, not French fare. And we’re grateful, because who wouldn’t savor local Roseda beef topped with a drippy fried egg (or foie gra | 3/2/2011
  • South Baltimore BARRACUDAS: A LOCUST POINT TAVERN 1230 E. Fort Ave., (410) 685-2832, $$ L D Br This small Locust Point neighborhood spot serves pubby standards with a few beachy twists (jerk chicken salad) and some serious local flavor (coddies). | 3/2/2011
  • Canton/Highlandtown ACROPOLIS 4714-4718 Eastern Ave., (410) 675-3384, $$ L D There’s hearty and wholesome fare for Olympian appetites at this casual and cavernous Greektown mainstay. Lamb, seafood, and crab cakes are the house specialties, and al | 3/2/2011
  • Fells Point ALE MARY’S 1939 Fleet St., (410) 276-2044, $$ Out 10pm L D Br You can get tater tots as an appetizer or alongside any of the well-crafted sandwiches in various states of loaded-ness. The menu ranges from bar food standards to more ambi | 3/2/2011
  • Little Italy ALDO’S 306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700, $$$ Vg d Rsv This Little Italy gem assembles choice ingredients in flawless preparations, nimbly negotiating the terrain between respectfulness for old-world tradition and mindfulness of contem | 3/2/2011
  • Harbor East BAGBY PIZZA CO. 1006 Fleet St., (410) 605-0444, $$ Out L D Bagby is the pizza place you wish was in your own neighborhood. Pie crusts are cracker thin, pastas and salads are homemade and generous, and service aims to please. CHARL | 3/2/2011
  • Downtown ALEWIFE 21 N. Eutaw, (410) 545-5112, $$ L D Alewife’s biggest draw may be its 40 beer taps, but the newest pub to fill the space across from the Hippodrome offers decent gourmet sandwiches and entrees too. Look for various in-ho | 3/2/2011
  • Mount Vernon/Bolton Hill/Station North ABACROMBIE FINE FOODS AND ACCOMMODATIONS 58 W. Biddle St., (410) 837-3630, $$$ D B Rsv This basement spot has long held a culinary reputation that dwarfs its intimate size. It’s current menu of care-taken upscale comfort foods uphold | 3/2/2011
  • Charles Village/Waverly ALIZÉE 4 W. University Pkwy, (443) 449-6200, $$$ P Vg B L D Br Alizée has gone from fusion to high-concept comfort food. The menu changes seasonally, but look for bistro-inspired fare—roasted chicken, lamb confit, rabbit—all done | 3/2/2011
  • Roland Park/Mount Washington ALONSO’S 415 W. Cold Spring Lane, (410) 235-3433, $$ L D There’s been an upscale revamping and the pizzas have been gussied up. The immense burgers, though, are still here. BANSKY’S Cafe Lake Falls Village, 6080 Falls Road, (410) 377 | 3/2/2011
  • Hampden/Remington 13.5 WINE BAR 1117 W. 36th St., (410) 889–1064, $$ Out 10pm D The Avenue gets a very well done wine list, along with a very well-turned-out menu of gourmet nibbles, pizzas, and entrees. ALCHEMY 1011 W. 36th St., (410) 366-1163, a | 3/2/2011
  • Belvedere Square ATWATER’S Belvedere Square Market 529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 323-2396 (and various other locations); $ P Out L D It sells home-style breads and tasty sandwiches at its multiple locations (and the cream puffs at the Belvedere Square ba | 3/2/2011
  • Hamilton BIG BAD WOLF’S HOUSE OF BARBECUE 5713 Harford Road, (410) 444-6422 $$ Out L D Hamilton carry-out joint dispenses tender animal parts in classic regional sauces—Kansas City sweet and spicy, Carolina mustard or vinegar, and Texas pit style, our favor | 3/2/2011
  • County ANDY NELSON’S BARBEQUE 11011 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-1226, $$ P Out L D Everything is slow-smoked over hickory wood. Ribs are a must-eat, the pulled-pork sandwich is orgasmic, and all the homemade sides are fantastic. W | 3/2/2011
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