When you want an authentic Italian meal, is your first thought Little Italy in Baltimore? I love Little Italy, but my first thought is Cafe Troia in Towson.
The Troia family, from Naples, opened Cafe Troia in 1986. They feature chicken, beef and lamb that are naturally and humanely raised in addition to fresh clams, shrimp, calamari, and fish.
When my husband and I visit, if we don’t dine in the restaurant or outside, we eat in their, elegant cherry-wood bar. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxing.
I enjoy their Caesar salad because it crunches and they toss it with a creamy Caesar dressing that has a mild garlic flavor with a slight punch.
Their grilled eggplant accompanied by whipped goat cheese is one of my favorite appetizers. Grilling enhances the eggplant’s pungency and goat cheese balances it. In addition, they occasionally serve a nice beet salad with goat cheese and apple slices in a lemon dressing.
One of my favorite entrees is usually one of their specials, Branzino, a Northern Italian sea bass. They serve it many ways: in parchment paper, pistachio encrusted or with tomatoes, capers and olives. You can’t go wrong with any of these preparations.
The spinach and ricotta filled ravioli with salmon, shallots, dill and cream is tender and melts in your mouth. The smooth sauce complements the smoky salmon and is not too heavy.
For dessert, their Creme Brulee is excellent. The custard is sweet with a crispy-caramel top. It is the perfect finale.
If you want to celebrate an event or just prefer a good meal, you should try Cafe Troia.