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Authentic Italian needed (Baltimore)!

You can't go wrong in Lil' Italy - with the possible exception of Sabbatino's. I know, I know some people think it's great because it's heavy and has a lot of red sauce and cheese but if your going to be with some true ginni-wap's...don't even think about it. I recommend Dimimmo's, Rocco's Capricio (across from Sabatino's) Aldo's is very, very nice - but it's prob the most expensive place in L.I. Della Note out on the main drag is good. I've not been to La Tavola or Bocaccio but I hear their both good and want to try them. The bottom line is no "Italian" restaraunt is going to last long in little italy if they suck. In the end - the frutti di mare at Dimmimo's is prob the best I've ever had. Oh and by the way - don't forget to pick up your pastries at Vaccaro's

Just spent $50 for dinner for 2 at Ray's the Classics and we're stuffed, well fed, and smiling :o)

Wow trippled the length of my lengthy review of OYA - but it sounds like you guys had a good experience all in all. I'd like to try Ray's sometime-did someone say GNO? (inside refence). I'll definitely need more food than you & Julia though!

Oh Yeah!....OYA

As I entered the restaurant I nearly forgot to assemble my "I'm somebody" face but the 3,000 lb. chain link curtain was the perfect reminder that I wasn't in Kansas anymore. My unfashionably punctual buddys were seated and kind enough to have left my name and likeness with the maitre d'(helped me get in character). Moving through joint I was struck by the absence of kitchen aroma I have come to expect and love when gathering my appetite for a new menu. No worries, I spotted my party and shot through the table maze intrigued by the large test tube, beaker-like centerpieces (oh wait...thats water *remember Zengo). After hello's I had a chance to trace my steps across what I now considered to be more of an upscale cafeteria than a fine dining room. The "hall" was abuzz with happy people which would normally impact me in a Jedi mind-trick sort of way but not tonight! I'm judging on my individual experience and thats that!
A waiter dressed in all black delivered an all white menu and in no time the Prix Fixe was the choice for me. $35 & change for ap. - entree & sweets.....whats not to like? I had the spicy crunchy shrimp (crunchy,not spicy) and tossed in a crispy tuna roll ($9) since places like this usually leave me a little hungry in the end. The rolls were...well....rolls - like any other I'd had. The wasabi was perfectly fresh and packed a pleasant punch that I have longed for in recent shushi outings. The un-died ginger was nice to see as I'm trying to cut back on Red #5. I popped a roll in my mouth and wondered what my friends across from me were saying since the tile walls and drywall ceiling create a very noisy atmosphere. An occasional nod and smile reassures them I'm fine chatting with my neighbors once and twice removed (note to self: brush up on lip reading).
My entree was the scallops with hen-of-woods mushroom, truffle and bit of pasta all of which I enjoyed. Other table selections included the Atlantic Salmon (good), Pork ribs ('),Tofu Tempura (bland), Boc Choy (boc choy) and several departures of Tuna all of which seemed to be of little interest to the guys. Of particular note was the Chilean Sea Bass wich by the grace of God was ordered by a pint size chap who could'nt finish it and relinquised the overage to mua! Put simply, it was awesome. Light, soft, delicate buttery flavor whose scraps I was thrilled scavenge.
All things said, Darth Waiter and company did a fine job not withstanding the usual staff blunders - a spilled water, a brief round of musical entree's and a cappuccino no show; all forgivable offenses from such a well rounded guy like myself (no waiste line puns please). The highlight of the evening was the Bannana Bread pudding and the Persian girl in low cut Prada at 3 o'clock. I have to think my forgetting to remove my beat up Nextel from my Old Navy belt was an indicator that the jet black Bently Continental GT out front was'nt mine hence explaining her not making my acquaintance.
The long and short of it is that OYA fell a little flat in my opinion. The waiter said they have been through a few chef's and I'll add that they may want to continue the search. I would return, yet not race back as there are many other favorites and potential contenders on my list.
.....I hear Arby's is coming to Tenley.

Finally went to Citronelle... lounge, for wife's 47th Bday. Our under $50 p/p dinner.

Whats in an atmosphere? after the first ten minutes of sitting at the table of a top restaurant, the minute the first drink hits the table most diners forget all about the world around them and the focus is about good food. Good looking food? ...Good tasting food. I think restaurants and their patrons sacrifice food quality for theme too often. I was one of the guys that was @ Zengo with Steve a few weeks back. Amazing atmosphere - so so food. Everyone I was with raved about the damned place so much i think i was brain washed into believing i had some incredible dish in front of me. NOT! I'm not saying I had a bad meal, but quite frankly no 4 or 5 star has ever compared with some of the smaller, heartland family restaurants i've eaten in. One member of our party was served their entree nearly 20 minutes after the rest of us. When I finally got up and said something to the floor manager - she scoffed "we never serve every thing at the same time here at Zengo, you are supposed to share with the others at your table". Bullshit, ...I'm not buying that. Despite the fact that we had indeed been sharing with the poor chap who would otherwise have been chewing ice cubes, the feeling i got was that i should consider myself privelaged to be in such a place and that next time I'd better check my po'dunk suburb etiquette at the DC line. If i want to visit another dimension....I'll go to Epcot!