Cantina D'Italia solves parking headache


January 13, 2000|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

There's no denying parking is a problem at the Annapolis Harbour Center, but Raymond Lubrano came up with a solution. At the end of the month, the owner of Cantina D'Italia will move his restaurant from the center to a new building he constructed on Defense Highway -- with plenty of parking.

Lubrano, who was also an owner of Vespucci's at City Dock until he sold the location to Phillips last summer, says the new Cantina will seat the same number, around 200, and will have the same menu. "It's north and south Italian," he says. "And we use a lot of fish."

What's new, besides the parking, will be a trellised terrace for outdoor dining.

For day-trippers

Chesapeake Life magazine started off the new year with a cover story on 25 favorite restaurants, useful for those planning day trips or weekends away from Baltimore. (Baltimore-area restaurants were excluded from the survey.)

Those voting were regional food writers, including The Sun's Happy Eater columnist, Rob Kasper. Only 10 restaurants received multiple votes from the 10 critics, which shows how personal such lists are. Those 10 were the Back Porch in Rehoboth Beach, Del.; Michael Rork's Town Dock, 208 Talbot and the Crab Claw in St. Michaels; the CD Cafe on Solomons Island; Le Zinc and Schooner's Landing in Oxford; Cafe Europa in Portsmouth, Va.; Mizuno in Virginia Beach, Va.; and the Smithfield Inn in Smithfield, Va.

Brave new world

Baltimore has a new full-service vegetarian restaurant. The just-opened One World Cafe near the Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus has a strange and colorful decor, a liquor license, a pool table in the middle of the dining room, many vegan as well as vegetarian offerings and not one but two waitresses with lip piercings.

Who's serving whom?

When a friend asked her waiter at Corks in Federal Hill why she had to order every course of the prix-fixe New Year's Eve dinner in advance, he told her it was easier for the kitchen. (Not what you want to hear when you're spending $65 a person before wine, taxes and tip.)

When she said she wanted to wait to decide on dessert, he asked her why. And when she explained that she wasn't sure how full she would be, he had a snappy comeback. "I don't care," he said.

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; fax to 410-783-2502; or e-mail to

Elizabeth Large's reviews of restaurants appear inside the Sunday Home & Family section. This Sunday: Ristorante Donatello

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