Downtown Baltimore gets taste of Little Italy

TableTalk

January 30, 2003|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A little of Little Italy -- that's what restaurateur David Cangialosi hopes he's bringing to downtown Baltimore. He opened Cangialosi's this week, next door to David & Dad's, the lunchtime eatery and carryout he has owned with his father since 1993.

"I wanted Cangialosi's to be a really comfortable, warm, inviting place, and I want people in the neighborhood to come all the time," Cangialosi says. That's why he says he decided against the formality of tablecloths, instead opting for uncovered contemporary wood tables, set on the building's original hardwood floors. The walls are yellow and blue and exposed brick.

Cangialosi wanted to keep the menu warm and familiar, so he's offering "traditional Italian food, a lot of standards." Appetizers include antipasto ($8.95) and mussels with garlic, white wine and marinara sauce ($7.50). Salad choices include Caesar ($4.95 or $7.95) and fresh mozzarella with tomatoes and fresh basil ($6.95).

Entrees range from chicken cacciatore ($16) to grilled swordfish with fresh rosemary sauce ($18) to beef tenderloins grilled with a brandy and black peppercorn sauce ($25). And there are a dozen pasta dishes ($14-$15).

You'll find Cangialosi's at 336 N. Charles St. Hours right now are 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Cangialosi expects to tweak them a bit as time goes on.

At Patterson Perk

Speaking of tweaking, the month-old Patterson Perk has just added foccaccia sandwiches to its small list of food offerings.

Los Angeles interior designers Barrie Livingstone and Janet Bussell opened Patterson Perk after they moved into the Canton/Patterson Park area and noticed there wasn't a nearby coffee shop. Livingstone said they spent six months researching what would appeal to folks in the neighborhood and learned a fact that Baltimoreans are very proud of: They are loyal to their own.

So that's what Livingstone and Bussell are giving them -- Patterson Perk's own blend of coffee, which is roasted in Baltimore every week. "Strong, nutty, but nothing tastes burned," is how Livingstone describes the flavor.

The pair also sell baked goods -- bagels, croissants, pastries -- all from local bakeries. Prices are pretty down-home, too. Most of the bakery items run between $1 and $2.65. There are three foccaccia sandwiches ($5.85) and a soup of the day ($3.50).

Livingstone says they're getting lots of customers from Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as folks who live in the neighborhood.

"We get a really good morning crowd," he says, "and then from 5 on, there's a really good dog-walker crowd."

Patterson Perk is at 2501 Eastern Ave. Its hours are 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Ciao Bella night life

Another Baltimore restaurant is adding a little night life to its menu. Every other Saturday, Ciao Bella -- 236 S. High St. -- will offer the dance music duo Topaz in its VIP room, from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Owner Tony Gambino Jr. is hoping to provide a place where his customers can enjoy drinks and dancing after dinner. For those who do want a little something to nosh on, Ciao Bella will offer its full menu until 11 p.m.

Shine up your dancing shoes! The music starts Saturday.

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions by fax to Sloane Brown at 410-675-3451, or by e-mail to sloane@livetabletalk.com.

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