Sunday, October 21, 2007

Review - Velleggia's

If I could add one thing to the Washington DC dining scene, it would be a little Italy. A small neighborhood filled with little bakeries, mom and pop pasta shops, and pork filled deli's would really add something to our already great food town.

Yet, a little Italy just doesn't spring out of the ground overnight. In fact, if it's not already there, you're not going to get one at this point.

Luckily however, Baltimore does have one, and it's Velleggia's where myself and a group of friends ended up last night.

Entering its 70th year, this landmark was owned by the Velleggia family for 68 of those 70 years before being bought back in 2005 by Terry Coffman, a local real estate developer.

I don't know what Velleggia's was like when the family owned it, but I would have to assume that it was better and more well attended than it was last night.

The food, to sum it up, was medicore. It wasn't particuarly good, or particularly bad, it just was - decent.

A heaping bowl of pasta was nearly ruined by dry, undersized meatballs. A friend's bowl of pasta was swamped with pesto that seemed to be mostly oil, and the pizza seemed a little too much like that I can find at the Cosi's downtown rather than a neighborhood landmark that's been there for seven decades.

On our way out we were stopped by Coffman who decided to ask us where we were from and took down our email addresses on some business cards he had in his pocket so he can advertise the restaurant's 70th anniversary celebration this week.

I want places like Velleggia's to succeed because it's one of a dying breed. I just hope that Coffman can put as much focus into the food as he has into his renovations over the past two years.

Velleggia's Restaurant
829 E. Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

1 comment:

Richard Nixon said...

So I take it Sabatino's is still tops for Baltimore's Little Italy. Ah, a history-making meal.