I just thought I'd update everyone on my recent Baltimore Italian experiences. My Fiance and I had lunch at Chiapparelli's on Sunday and it was a wonderful experience. The food was great, service satisfying and I really liked the decor and atmosphere. I had ravioli with ricotta cheese and spinach and she had penne pasta with vodka sauce. I'm looking forward to going back again.
We also tried Ciao Bella for lunch on a Sunday and although it's a pretty place and our Waitress was very professional and helpful, my Fiance did not like her dish - the breaded chicken was sort of dry and I had chicken parm and the chicken was a little dry as well. I actually liked my dish - I've always preferred my chicken cooked "well". I would go back, but I don't know about my Fiance
We have had good luck with Amicci's. We've been there about 4 times recently and the food was always good and they are probably the least expensive Italian restaurant in Little Italy. The decor looks like a Ruby Tuesday's or something, but the food and reasonable prices make up for it.
We tried Giovanna’s on Harford Road once and I just loved this little "hole in the wall" place. Their prices are dirt cheap and the food was so good. The people that run the place were very nice and seemed to appreciate our business. They don't have Servers, so you either take out, or grab one of the few tables when you can.
Roma's in Cockeysville actually had outstanding food. I had spaghetti and meatballs and my Fiance had swordfish. The garlic bread was amazing - especially if you like soft bread with tons of melted cheese on it. The Waitress was nice, but it seemed like a quirky place. They had some kind of Persian rugs for sale in the dining room, and everything seemed so "no frills" (plastic table clothes, thin cheap paper napkins, wall hangings from the 1970s)- kind of a Working man's place. Our tab was only $30.
We tried La Tavola in Little Italy several months ago for dinner, but all in all I don't think I would go back. The calamari appetizer was good, table bread was boring, my Fiance liked her dish although I thougth it was bland and I was really dissapointed that my piece of lasagna was such a small portion. The Waiter was sort of awkward as well. I did not enjoy it enough to recomend them. To their credit they did have lots of seafood dishes to choose from.
Liberatore's in Perry Hall is not too shabby. I've been there a couple of times in the past year. The decor at Liberatore's is very nice which make it the kind of place where you can make an impression, or take your time over drinks. I had been to Liberatore's in Timonium, but it was too many years ago to make any current judgement about them - it was good at the time.
I pretty much enjoy the red sauce, basic Italian type places. Some Italian restaurants on my list to try are Pasta Plus in Laurel, Sabatino's, Rocco's Capriccio, Vinnie's in Dundalk, and Fazzini's in Cockeysville. I'm sure there are more - I am open to suggestions. Another idea is too find a really good basic/red sauce place in New York City. I have family up there and would love to find one of those ledgendary old places where people line up because the food is so good.