Infused with the culinary methodology of Italian and Greek cuisine, Bellagio Pizzeria's menu of pizza, pasta, and sandwiches is expertly culled from fresh ingredients. Served with dip-worthy blue cheese dressing and crunchy celery, buffalo wing appetizers whet the appetite with their savory piquancy, and bubbly 2-liter sodas cleanse the palate for impending pizza slices. At 18-inches across, pies are capable of spanning most scale models of the Grand Canyon, and come freshly baked with your choice of two toppings from Bellagio Pizzeria's stockpile that includes imported ham, ricotta cheese, steak, and shrimp. As today's Groupon is valid for dine-in, carryout, or delivery, hunger havers can transform nearly any locale into an impromptu pizza party, be it at home, at the office, or on the witness stand.
Squire's Italian Restaurant dishes out an eclectic menu of heaping, hearty pizzas and pastas under the watchful eyes of Bob and Lorenzo Romiti, who took up the mantle after their parents built the restaurant more than half a century ago. Gratify growling bellies with a comforting bowl of cream of crab soup ($6) or a plate of steamed mussels in a white-wine and garlic sauce ($8.25) before indulging in Squire's homemade lasagna ($10.25) or imported tortellini, which melts local cheeses with its flawless pronunciation and thin mustache ($8.75). A children's menu featuring an assortment of pastas served with tomato sauce ensures overstuffed offspring ($6.25–$7.95), while carnivorous comfort-seekers can dig their knives into a land and sea platter, which find a quintet of shrimp landlocked on a 6-ounce island of New York strip ($21.95). Squire's menu also boasts a formidable selection of wines, cocktails, and beers, as well as a modest collection of aperitifs, which ease pleased palates into a state of pacified slumber ($4.25–$8.50).
Café Einstein's chefs wield German roots, Swedish roots, formal training in Italy, and fresh, seasonal ingredients to create a weekly rotating menu of European fare that earned accolades such as "a work of genius" from the Baltimore Guide. Culinary journeys begin when diners strap on their tongues' fanny packs, sit amid exposed-brick walls and sconce lighting, and explore bites of appetizers such as the spinach frittata infused with smoked salmon ($9.95). Dinner entrees then take to the tables in shapes that may include edible skyscrapers of lasagna bolognese, in which a hand-minced, browned sirloin steak mingles with a homemade sauce of fresh tomatoes, carrot, organic milk, and onion ($15.95), and a meat-free version that piles up cheese and seasonal vegetables ($14.95). Diners can bisect the day with lunch bites of the curry wurst, a german frankfurter served with curry ketchup and a fresh-made pretzel roll ($8.95), or the pancake sushi, a savory german crêpe stuffed with spinach and cheese ($8.95). Desserts end meals with a sweet note and offer quarreling knights post-treaty bites to feed each other, with selections such as the black-forest cake, with rich chocolate, cherries, whipped cream, and Kirsch liqueur.
Having grown up in the Bronx, and perhaps best known for writing and starring in A Bronx Tale, actor Chazz Palminteri has a close affinity for the New York City borough. So, it only seemed natural for him to team up with Baltimore restaurateurs Sergio and Alessandro Vitale and bring a little bit of the Bronx to Harbor East. First, they tackled Bronx-style pizza by equipping their restaurant with a coal-fired oven. Then they rounded out the menu with dishes often found on Arthur Avenue, one of the Bronx's main culinary strips. They hark back to Chazz’s home with pan-seared cuts of filet mignon and handmade pastas such as gnocchi in brandy-cream sauce. Cocktails tangle together juices squeezed fresh daily, brandy-soaked cherries, and syrups made in house, and the extensive wine list pairs with cannoli, ending meals smoothly, unlike a carpenter who just has to show off how strong his table is.
Ciao Bella Salon's savvy stylists treat unruly head fur in their comfortable studio, replete with shiny wood-toned floors and walls colored in warm hues. Clients can iron out frizzy hair with a keratin replenishing treatment, in which tiny keratin irons work to flatten curly hair to a silky smooth texture. Or infuse brown, black, or neon yellow into your golden follicles with a full foil and color treatment. Ciao Bella Salon’s expert staff will listen intently to your description of the ideal haircut while giving confident advice as to how to achieve such a flawless hairdo. And since it’s just a short jaunt from neighborhood eateries and antique shops, Ciao Bella Salon makes for a convenient stop on the way to a romantic date or in the midst of a shopping trip to purchase a Latvian submarine. Customers must call ahead to schedule their appointments.
Germano Fabiani fills the menu at his eponymous trattoria with recipes from his native Tuscany, a region known for its extra-virgin olive oil and chianti wine. Artfully weathered teal and orange paint evoke the colors of its landscapes in the spacious dining room, where housemade pastas twirl around fork tines in tomato, besciamella, and parmesan-gorgonzola sauces. Germano's pasta-making demonstrations, infused with cultural context and history, draw school field trips as well as parties to the Little Italy location. The restaurant also hosts cabaret dinners in an onsite performance space, where a special menu keeps diners' mouths too full to sing along.
In a warm family home in Calabria, Italy, young Aldo Vitale grew up amidst artisans and apprenticed in his father’s woodworking shop. Though he developed a craftsman’s skills, he was more deeply influenced by the family’s kitchen, which, true to Italian tradition, was the axis on which the entire house revolved. Upon emigrating to the US in 1961, Vitale enlisted in the army only to end up bounced right back to Italy, this time stationed around Florence and Siena in Tuscany. Heeding his homeland’s obvious role in his destiny, he honed his culinary skills there before returning to Baltimore, where he refined his style in local kitchens before opening Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano.
With a Tuscan wine cellar, crimson-hued library, and airy main dining area tucked inside the shell of two converted brownstones, Aldo’s opulent decor has since earned effusive press acclaim. The New York Times tells patrons they can “expect to be treated like royalty” in the “oh-so-grand atrium dining room,” and _USA Today recommends it for “special occasions, when you want to dress up.” The restaurant’s splendor also bears a personal touch—drawing from his woodworking ancestry, chef Vitale himself carved each piece of elaborate woodwork on display, including the mahogany bar.
Chef Vitale’s background also emerges in his balanced Southern Italian cuisine, which prioritizes subtle harmonies of bold, simple flavors. Local and organic ingredients shine on a menu that evolves regularly to incorporate seasonal truffles and myriad housemade products, helping Aldo’s earn spots on Baltimore magazine’s 2010 and 2012 Best Restaurants lists. Cold antipasto plates draw from a climate-controlled artisanal cheese cave on the premises, and housemade sausage pairs with fresh orecchiette pasta and parmigiano reggiano. For meaty main courses, chefs grill double-cut Prime Wisconsin veal chops as well as prime filet mignon, which they pair with seared foie gras and wild mushrooms.
To ensure an apt pairing with each dish, Chef Vitale stocks his redwood wine cellars with thousands of bottles carefully curated from a blend of prominent wineries and obscure small-batch producers. The resulting wine list comes annotated with tasting notes, Wine Spectator-numerical ratings, and helpful servers that happily recommend or improvise musical numbers about any given bottle.