Baltimore’s Best Italian

Ok, to be fair, when I think Italian, I think pasta or noodles or even risotto.

So… for a long time Sotta Sopra has been my favorite.  It might still be, but I am adding in another too on the rotation – Aggio and Sammy’s Trattoria.

Sotta has this incredibly rich, and I find rather unique and inventive pumpkin pasta dish with a sausage and sage cream sauce.  I wish they would make it an appetizer; it is full of flavor and a little heavy.   I am always blown away by something on the table every time I step into that place.  Most recently, it was the seafood risotto and the octopus salad.   The service is also usually really good, the wait staff being attentive and friendly without being overbearing.

Aggio – These guys have some of the best octopus and fantastic pasta dishes.  Their pasta isn’t a huge portion, as it is designed to be smaller second course.  I think it’s plenty of food.   I don’t even usually get my own entreé because I am stuffed.  The menu changes seasonally – but the quality is always the same.  Most recently the squid ink pasta – Tonnarelli Nero – with crab, jalepeño, and a little uni (sea urchin).  Oh, and the lasagna – we actually ordered a second one…

My first time at Sammy’s was quite recently, but I was so very very pleased with everything.  The duck ravioli – for reals – pasta was tender since it is made fresh in house.  The duck confit filling – gamey and rich.  Plus, they have the family friendly relaxing atmosphere.  The kinda where you can leave work on a long day, not have a plan and still grab a quality meal.

I definitely like Cinghiale– food is spot on, and they have a great wine list.  I can’t quite put my finger on why I don’t love love it there.  And can Bottega please please re-open???

Next up is Da Mimmo’s and La Sacala… Any other recommendations?

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