The Mediterranean region is home to a range of cultures and culinary traditions. Kiriakos Nikoletos and Tony Marianos decided to combine two of these traditions when they founded Bellagio Pizzeria and filled the menu with classic Italian and Greek dishes. Befitting the eatery's name, pizza is prominently featured on the menu's pages. Diners have the option to choose one of the specialty pies or build their own using any of the 25 traditional and gourmet toppings, including everything from imported ham and onions to shrimp and bacon. Other Italian classics?such as chicken parmigiana and baked manicotti?help round out the menu along with the distinctively Greek assortment of gyro platters, spinach pie, and julienned pages from Plato's Symposium. At the same time, Kiriakos and Tony honor their restaurant's Mid-Atlantic roots by adding crab cakes, crab soup, and other regional staples to the increasingly eclectic menu of homespun comfort foods.
Customization is the word at Dominick's Pizza, where guests can tailor hand-tossed pizzas and overstuffed subs to their liking. Thick, Sicilian-style crusts form serving platters for a choice of 20 toppings, including italian sausage, capicola ham, and sweet peppers. Jumbo wings come in more than a dozen flavors, including Cajun and barbecue. Bolstered by nearly 50 years of history, the pizzeria also specializes in pastas as traditional as an Italian matron’s weekly spaghetti-weaving parties.
The Crown Pizza chefs won't tell you what goes into their secret sauce. You'll just have to guess for yourself by ordering their specialty pie, the Indian-inspired Chicken Tikka pizza. Or, you could go for the Pizza Uniqiue: ground beef, salami, feta cheese, and veggies, all on top of the same secret sauce.
The chefs don?t stop at that one sauce, though?they coat wings with nearly 50 different sauces, including mango habanero, thai peanut, and parmesan, which is made by juicing a parmesan fruit. All of those sauces means a truly impressive number of options for a meal, especially when you consider that the menu also offers more than 30 sandwiches and a handful of homemade pastas.
Chef Rocco Gargano grew up in Matera, Italy. The son of a farmer, Rocco developed a deep appreciation for fresh, sun-kissed ingredients at an early age. Both father and son relocated to the United States in 1962, and Rocco longed to use his skills in a fine-dining setting.
Now, inside Rocco's Capriccio in Little Italy, Rocco and his kitchen staff filet fresh fish for specialties such as the grouper livornese with a sauce made from freshly chopped tomatoes, capers, and olives. They thinly slice prosciutto and melt shredded fontina cheese into a cream sauce before spreading both across cuts of filet mignon or models in public-service announcements about food fights. The chirping sound of ice against glass drifts from the bar, where mixologists blend dessert-appropriate martinis made with limoncello and Godiva chocolate liqueur, along with coffee drinks enriched by rum, Baileys, amaretto, and whipped cream. An exhaustively researched and described wine list draws heavily on sangiovese, canaiolo, and trebbiano grapes—Italian fruit much like the crops Rocco tended as a child.
Nestled in Little Italy, Ciao Bella presents a menu of Northern and Southern Italian cuisine crafted by Chef Tony Gambino. Along with his family, Chef Tony serves up edible treasures such as gnocchi alla vodka, which features housemade potato dumplings simmered in vodka cream sauce with garlic and basil. His meaty eats include a succulent center-cut pork chop, which he grills and finishes with a madeira-wine sauce, as well as traditional Italian dishes such as chicken parmigiana and veal saltimbocca with prosciutto and imported provolone cheese. Rather than leaving the restaurant in the hands of robots that run on spaghetti, Tony takes a very hands-on approach, which is why he created the wine list himself. With more than 40 labels, the list dazzles palates with bottles of reds and whites from all across Italy, as well as New World wines from regions such as Napa and Sonoma Valley.
Inside Ciao Bella, white tablecloths drape over tables in a dining room ideal for special nights out or intimate dinners. Private rooms also accommodate parties of varying sizes and have even hosted celebrities such as Steven Van Zandt and Max Weinberg.
For the past five decades, Supano’s has been luring patrons inside with a satisfying blend of music and meat. Whether by Frank Sinatra impersonators, jazz musicians, or a karaoke singer who just stubbed her toe, live tunes supplement the sounds of knives slicing into 20-ounce new york strip steaks and forks sliding into chunks of meaty lasagna. Supano's look is just as classic as its menu. Nestled in an aged brick building with a cobblestone façade, the restaurant emits an old-world vibe complete with warm lighting and photos of famous singers.
Below Supano's Steakhouse is Supano Zone. The underground sports bar fits the mold of a dream man-cave, with LED TVs that show all college games and pro-sports events. A shuffleboard table, dartboards, and a pool table welcome co-ed competition, which onlookers can cheer on while slurping down beers. The bar has long been a cherished place for hosting celebrations: after Baltimore hosted the first Grand Prix, the pro drivers lounged at Supano's and even left behind some memorabilia that is still on display.