Harford Magazine - Page 17 - Hearty Italian (2)

Harford Magazine
- Page 17
Hearty Italian (2)
quality of the crisp-edged dough.

The star entree turned out to be crab ravioli. The pasta pillows were al dente, the filling abundant and fresh, the rose sauce delectably snappy.

That sauce was a little too thickly applied, however, a misstep likewise made with an order of veal scaloppini. In this case, a piccata sauce had a nice richness that would have registered with half the amount. More disappointing was the mushy texture of the meat. (The veal can be also be ordered with a marsala or parmesan treatment.)

That said, there was a standout on that plate of scaloppini — fresh-made fettuccine, served perfectly al dente and tossed with just enough Alfredo sauce to deliver intense flavor.

We also chose that excellent fettuccine for a simple, pleasant pasta entree of sauteed vegetables lightly tossed in olive oil.

Two made-in-house desserts capped the meal beautifully — a well-crafted cannoli, its pastry airy and flavorful, the filling not too sweet; and irresistible scoops of caramel and chocolate gelato.

The bar had its role in making the the dinner so pleasant, turning out a smooth and hearty Manhattan, as well as gin and tonic sizable enough to satisfy three thirsts. A thoughtful wine list also came in handy, yielding a fruity red from the Varvaglione winery in southern Italy.

Tablecloths would give the dining room a lift. So would a policy of replacing flatware after the first course (we were asked to reuse ours). But those were minor matters, given the overall appeal of the food and exceptionally congenial, attentive service.