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“Italian with a Twist” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Troia

Cafe Troia
31 Allegheny Ave, Ste 101, Towson, MD 21204-3910
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Ranked #18 of 138 Restaurants in Towson
Price range: $20 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Washington Avenue
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Italian with a Twist”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

This was a recommendation from our hotel, the Sheraton North Baltimore. Hotel recommendations aren't always all that reliable but this one was. We hadn't booked and there was a rather awkward welcome at first from the young girl at the desk, who didn't seem to know what she was doing. She initially told us we'd have to wait for a table - so she could have lost our custom if a more senior colleague hadn't appeared, fiddled with the computer and found us a table right away. After that little glitch, things got better. The menu was varied and interesting. My ravioli with salmon was rich, creamy and delightful. I shouldn't have finished it but I did. My friend's calamari with linguini pasta was certainly different - spicy and plenty of it. A nice touch for dessert was a selection of three small samples, which we shared and which were all excellent - a chocolate mousse, a blueberry "mojito" concoction and miniature canolo. (I wish more places would offer this). There was a comprehensive grappa list, which is what we were really after. Mine, with rue, was rough and just what it should be, my friend's, with camomile, a little too sweet. The only real downside was the noise - it was a buzzing Friday night and it was hard to carry on a conversation. Perhaps there were quieter tables but we couldn't afford to be choosy. Our table would not have been ideal for a romantic couple, or indeed for old friends trying to catch up with our news, as we were.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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61 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
197 reviews
172 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
“Great Wine List”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

The wine list often provides insight into the philosophy and attention to detail of a restaurant. Dining with friends recently, my husband ended up with the wine list. The list was both creative and extensive in its variety of Italian wines. My husband felt comfortable asking our waiter if he could recommend any additional Southern Italian wines with grapes grown in the volcanic regions of Sicily or Basilicata, other than the Primitivo on the list. The waiter said, "let me check with Lisa. " Then he returned and said "she knows exactly what you want" and then he proceeded to recommend three different wines. My husband selected a wine from Sardinia, a place we have never been visited. It was perfect. For the Primi course, try the Beef Carpaccio. It was very good. As a main course, I had the Spaghetti with clams. The generous portion was flavorful. My husband had Osso Bucco served on a bed of Risotto Milanese, not the traditional preparation from Emilia-Romagna, but never the less very good. Dolce was a cannoli, a bit over sweetened to appeal to the American palate. Now I can better understand the scene from Godfather One when after taking care of business in the New Jersey Meadowlands, Peter Clamenza said, "leave the gun, take the cannoli." A good cannoli is hard to find.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
110 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 336 helpful votes
“Rocked Restaurant Week”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

Visited with 3 friends during restaurant week. Had a great server who was quite attentive, but not intrusive. He recommended his favorite savignon blanc, which was acceptable, not as fruity as I prefer. Our meals were heavenly, though. The appetizers, such as salads and duck breast were truly delicious. The entrees of pork chops were tender and flavorful, accompanied by the best mac and cheese made with gnocchi. The rockfish was the best I ever had, moist with a delicious red pepper sauce....could have licked the plate it was so fab! Haven't been there since they moved across the street years ago, thus was impressed with the ambience. Will definitely return to try the "usual" menu!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reisterstown, Maryland
Level Contributor
102 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Just came back from our first time here due to restaurant week.
FOOD: tasteless, shamefully stingy in portion sizes, not interesting. The RW menu had NONE of the dishes from the regular menu so after this visit we still don't know what this place is about. Isn't the purpose of RW to introduce new and potential patrons to the restaurant's cuisine and attract them with a high quality of food? If so this dining experience reached totally opposite result. First of all they cheated on us advertising 3 choices of apps and entrees on the website menu and cutting it to 2 choices in reality which made a choice practically nonexistent. Secondly from 4 dishes to choose from 3 were the same salad in all of them with either peach or veges or tiniest quail we ever saw. But the last drop of sorrow was the dessert which was nothing but the dry, cold from recent defrosting grocery bought eclair. Shame on you Cafe Troia!!! You sell yourself as an Italian restaurant with these kind of desserts??? Or with tasteless bread with the same tasteless (probably from being so old) olive oil??? Shame on you!
SERVICE: "trying" to be nice until realize you won't order drinks, after that totally ignorant, cold, absolutely not professional. Little example: after 1st course the server took our dirty dishes and forks from the table leaving the same DIRTY knives to us. Or after a long time of sitting and waiting for each course we've noticed a long blond hair right on the tablecloth which didn't add to our appetite either).
AMBIANCE is nice and cozy the only feature that we liked. But the bathrooms were not as clean as expected of that level of dining.
VALUE: Waaay overpriced for what you get (even with RW prices).
OVERALL: place is trying to be fine dining but has SO many flaws and fails that we can't find anything positive in our experience.
Needless to say we are NOT going to be back and don't recommend it to anyone (particularly for RW).

  • Visited August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Extremely disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

This restaurant was extremely disappointing and I would not return. The service was mediocre. Several times I had to asknfor olive oil to dip the stale bread, and they poured only a small quantity as though the oil,was too expensive to dispense. The food was very bland and poorly presented. In fact the table itself was singularly unattractive; it was simply an outdoor plastic table which,though I was on the rear porch, should have had a tablecloth and some settings. Finally, the waiter was clearly untrained. When I asked for a second glass of wine, he simply brought a small pitcher and poured it in my first glass over the residue of that wine. Nothing about this place was inviting nor was there any evidence of caring.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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