Luna Blu?s walls showcase hand-painted murals of an idyllic Naples coastline, its cerulean hues echoing the dining room?s candles and blue glass accents. While the decor evokes the Italian landscape, the cuisine barrels straight into authenticity. Owner and executive chef Erin Dryden peppers the pasta dishes and stews with fresh seafood, just as cooks in Naples might fill their entrees with fish from the Tyrrhenian Sea. Additionally, sweet Italian sausage or artichoke hearts mingle with colorful cheese tortellini, and an ample wine list complements entrees.
Before chefs at Carini's Pizza, Subs & Pasta pick up a single pepperoni or shred of mozzarella, they mix, knead, and hand-stretch dough and prepare sauce from scratch. Then, and only then, pizzas are personalized with more than two-dozen toppings, from chicken and bleu cheese to ground beef, sour cream, tomatoes, nacho chips, and mozzarella. But the menu also includes alternatives for guests who ate pizza for breakfast and lunch: pasta and sub sandwiches can stop them from consuming three round meals.
After working in family-owned restaurants in Italy for years, the chefs behind DiMeo's Pizzeria decided to open their own eatery in the States. Inventive specialty pizzas like the Philly Supreme (topped with rib-eye chopped steak) pop out of ovens before heading to tables alongside plates of veal parmigiana and lasagna bolognese.
Sponsored by the Love for Luca foundation for the second consecutive year, the Italian Wine Market Festival raises glasses and awareness for the fight against cancer. Mingle outdoors below a white-crested tent, sample domestic and international elixirs that enchant tongues with swirling mixtures of tannins and notes of fruit, and demonstrate an ability to speak eloquently while holding a pint of red wine in your cheeks. While not a formal, bow-tie pasta event, the well-seasoned chefs from the Italian Market and Restaurant cater the festival, piling plates with portions of rustic, gourmet cuisine for festival-goers. Between bites, pit the fruitful whispers of pinot noir against buttery compliments from chardonnays or the spritely tongue of a sauvignon blanc. Music and food tastings wind well into the evening, and a portion of the festival's proceeds benefit the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, donated on behalf of the Love for Luca organization.
There's something unmistakably Italian about Toscana Grill. Maybe it's the white marble and ebony wood accents in the dining room, or maybe it's the hospitality with which the servers greet each guest. In all likelihood, it's probably both of these things?plus a menu of northern Italian dishes crafted with local produce and herbs.
All of the traditional favorites are here, including eggplant parmigiana, spinach ravioli alfredo, and chicken marsala with mushrooms. But it's not all classics. There are also plenty of genre-bending pizzas, such as one topped with shrimp, white-wine sauce, butter, and garlic. A bottle of wine from the bar makes a perfect companion to any meal, especially if you dress it up like a person and pretend that it can talk.
A friendly staff serves up generously sized portions at this family-friendly Italian eatery. Children dine on kids'-menu selections as adults choose from a menu of classic pizzas, seafood, and pastas. Chefs' Southern Italian cooking can be enjoyed beneath the stucco archways of the casual dining area or amid well-kept shrubbery on the patio.