I had previously posted about Facci based on their pizza, which was not to my liking. Those curious about that, see the canonical Baltimore pizza thread. That said, in those two posts, I mentioned that the pasta dishes I saw going by looked promising. I even conjectured that with the look of the place and good Italian, they could give Pasta Plus some competition.
I've now tried a few of their appetizers and pasta dishes on subsequent visits, and I think my initial impression was right - go for the pasta, not the pizza. I particularly liked the Orecchiette Vittorino, with its spicy interplay of garlic, sausage, broccoli rabe and chili peppers over "little ear" pasta, and the Papardelle Bolognese. For those whose only exposure to supposed "Bolognese" sauce is something akin to plain old marinara with some ground beef tossed in, the complexity of this more traditional version (the use of milk or cream is evident) will be a pleasant surprise. While the usual "pseudo-Bolognese" is usually seen in restaurants over spaghetti, here it is served over the wide, flat, papardelle, which is the sort of pasta that (along with tagliatelle) is the more traditional sort of choice for a Bolognese
I'd also suggest the Italian Boat appetizer for a really nice antipasti assortment of cheeses, olives, grilled vegetables, cured meats and mortadella. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that during my visits, they had a half-price appetizer deal as an early bird or Happy Hour special, though I'm not sure what the cut-off time is, or whether this will be a regular on-going deal.
If you like soup, I found both the Italian Wedding soup and the Cream of Crab to be nice examples of their respective types.
The only slight disappointment during my "pasta, not pizza" visits were the desserts and a change to the bread from prior visits. The desserts I've tried were OK, not exceptional. For cannoli fans, I'm told they're using Vacarro's. The bread on my first visit was slices of a sort of a rustic sort of Italian variant on a baguette. Crusty, chewy, coarsely textured, very flavorful and absolutely wonderful dunked in the olive oil provided. On the recent visits, this bread has been replaced by a slightly different sort that has been lightly toasted. While nice, it's not memorable, especially when one knows what that first bread they were serving was like.
If any of the owners read this - PLEASE bring back the bread you were serving early on!!!!
I still think the pizza needs some work to warrant the price point, but one's tastes in pizza styles is a rather personal thing. If you like Facci's pizza, all the better. But despite the push on their menu for the pizza as their flagship dish, don't ignore the rest of the menu, which is where the real treasure lies, in my opinion.
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