Saturday night we went to dinner at Pazza Luna in our favorite neighborhood, Locust Point. We spent so much time house hunting there last year that it felt like coming home as we drove down Key Highway, past Domino Sugar and Tide Point, across the railroad tracks and through the residential streets.
We'd eaten at Pazza Luna during our neighborhood "research" last year, but the dining experience was totally different. We were pleased to find every table taken at the restaurant, so the host warmly offered us a seat at the bar and promised a table within five minutes. I ordered us two glasses of Prosecco while we waited, but the bartender informed me they were out. Instead, he gave us Champagne on the house. Oh darn. But that generous gesture set the tone for the rest of our evening.
The interior is deep and narrow like most restaurants in Baltimore rowhomes. We had a cozy table for two upstairs, which we hadn't seen before. Warm yellow walls, celestial decor, candles on tables. It almost felt like dining at someone's house - very welcoming and comfortable.
I had the artichoke salad with red onion (Insalata Pazza Luna), and Joe got the spinach bisque to start. My salad was great. The artichokes tasted like they'd been smoked. Joe's bisque was a shocking green color, not completely visually appealing, but really delicious. Tasted just like creamed spinach.
For my entree I ordered the Manicotti stuffed with butternut squash, spinach ricotta, butter sage and shaved parmesan. Delicious, and a very manageable portion. Joe was intrigued by the use of ossobuco in a stew, so he ordered the Pappardelle. We were envisioning an actual stew, but it was Pappardelle noodles (large and flat) tossed with ossobuco veal stew. He loved it.
He ordered the Tiramisu for his dessert while I ordered the Apple Streudel. Joe insists you can tell a good restaurant by their Tiramisu. According to him, the dessert should retain a blend of crunch and mousse textures. Pazza Luna's was exquisite, but he said it lacked a distinct crunch. My Apple Streudel had cherries in it, along with the apples, so I was in heaven.
Our entire dinner conversation revolved around Locust Point and how we can't wait to live there at some point. I asked the bartender if they've seen more traffic with the opening of Silo Point, and he credited that and the new townhomes across the street with the surge in popularity. Good! I'm glad things are going well at the neighborhood joint. Hopefully we'll be able to walk to Pazza Luna from our house one day.