A flame erupts, nearly as tall as the chef standing just inches away. In just a moment, however, the blaze retreats, vanishing as suddenly as the splash of wine that conjured it. Such a sight is commonplace in the kitchen of Vittorio Scotto and Diego Colamonaco, who grew up steeped in the passion for food and healthy living that characterizes their homeland, Italy. After moving to the United States, the duo opened Scotto's Café to celebrate the flavors of their upbringing and give diners a more personable alternative to chain restaurants. Each day, rich aromas float from the kitchen into the dining space, tantalizing diners as the chefs finish dishes with drizzles of freshly prepared sauces. The culinary team also portions meals in bulk to cater events ranging from birthday parties to millinery-school graduations.
Welcome to MaGerk's Pub and Grill. We are located in the historic downtown area of Bel Air. Come on in and enjoy one of our Philly Cheese Steaks or a Jumbo lump crab cake! We've recently expanded and our new side has plenty of seating, Shuffleboard, and several plasma tv's for all the games!
My Three Sons whips up hot and cool comestibles with a Mediterranean theme, sourcing many of its ingredients from local farms and dairies. The Edgewood menu boasts pitas resplendently stuffed with pesto chicken ($6.99–$7.25) and greek salad ($6.99–$7.99). A mixed greens salad stars a team of roasted walnuts, cranberries, pears, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing ($5.99–$6.25). Although prices and food items vary between the Edgewood and Churchville menus, both locations concoct a homemade soup of the day, made by the family’s matriarch, who simmers hearty ingredients along with a life lesson about pyramid schemes. Dine in or take eats elsewhere, such as Broom’s Bloom Dairy to thank the cows who’ve donated themselves for the cheese in My Three Sons’ cheeseburgers ($5.50–$5.99).
A blue and gold-leaf sign emblazoned with ornate fraktur script welcomes guests into Josef's Country Inn, hinting at the restaurant’s old-fashioned European charm. Like a formalwear bathrobe, the dishes here are simultaneously homey and elegant: try the wiener schnitzel, crab-covered chicken Baltimore, or pork medallions, all of which have rich flavors and elegant presentation. There’s something for every meal of the day: for brunch, shrimp salad and eggs benedict; for lunch, a bacon-topped burger, and for dinner, Chilean seabass.
There’s a warm, cozy ambience to the interiors here: chairs and drapes are decked out in floral print, chandeliers glow overhead, and the walls are covered in framed portraits and parchment-colored paper.
To get a sense of The Greene Turtle's commitment to the neighborhood, one need only sit at the bar and look up. Dozens of mugs hang above the counter, emblazoned with the pub's logo and a unique number—each one belongs to a recurring patron. The Mug Club awards its members with draft-beer discounts and other specials, but more importantly, it allows loyal patrons to feel as though they own small slices of the venue without tattooing their names on the bartender's arm. This sense of shared familiarity is what fuels the entire franchise, which refrains from calling its locations "restaurants" in favor of friendlier terms: gathering places, communities, havens.
Many of the locations contribute more than mugs to their districts. Staff members who participate in the annual Tips for Tots program donate the entirety of one day's tips to a nearby Toys for Tots initiative, and Tuesday Funds for Friends events benefit local organizations. These efforts have been chronicled by press sources such as Food and Drink magazine, with features that liken The Greene Turtle's philanthropic generosity to the generous portions of comfort food that leave the kitchens.
From cheeseburger sliders and flatbread pizzas to handmade lump-crab cakes, the offerings on the menu embrace barroom traditions along with ingenuity. The steak and chicken entrees arrive with classic sides of green beans and yukon gold mashed potatoes, whereas the eastern shore mac ‘n’ cheese updates a comfort staple with chopped bacon, lump crab, scallions, and Old Bay seasoning. Diners can enjoy their meals by the glow of private flat-screen TVs—there's one in every booth—or beneath one of many larger televisions broadcasting sports games throughout the venue.
From a kitchen inside the Clarion Hotel, executive chef Jeff Kirby concocts a diverse spread of Southwestern-influenced dishes from sandwiches and Tex-Mex favorites to tender, perfectly cooked steaks. Kirby and company keep the Maryland crab soup and other crowd-pleasing dishes on the menu and conceive new menu additions and daily specials to keep diners on their toes and to prevent cooking utensils from dulling due to complacency.
When talking about his commitment to his store, Andrew Maggitti recalls the only day he didn’t open his shop himself¬—the day his son was born. But the new dad was back at it that very evening, overseeing the shop's daily bread kneading and sauce bottling to keep the goods flowing for his loyal customers. An award-winning executive chef and caterer, Andrew has cooked in restaurants across the country, but he seized the opportunity to showcase his passion for Old-World Italian cuisine when an old farmhouse in the area went up for sale.
Inspired by his Italian grandmother’s recipes, Andrew now rolls out meatballs and simmers from-scratch tomato sauce, helping the kitchens of locals to look and smell just like the ones he grew up in. Like the iconic delis of Baltimore’s Little Italy, he wraps capocollo subs in thick butcher’s paper and offers a small dining nook where customers can share his hot deli fare and whisper nutrition facts to one another. But it is the human bonds that come with being a part of his customer's lives, Andrew says, that ultimately connect his deli to its Old-World traditions. “Whether it’s me or my wife,” Andrew says, “you’ll always see a recognizable, smiling face when you walk in.”