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“Good Italian food; a bit expensive”
Review of La Scala

La Scala
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Ranked #5 of 2,047 Restaurants in Baltimore
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Little Italy
Cross street: S. Central/Exeter
Transit: We offer a complimentary shuttle service to and from all downtown hotels.
Description: Chef owned and operated Italian casual fine dining restaurant located in historic Little Italy. Home of Baltimore's only indoor bocce ball court. We offer a complimentary shuttle to the surrounding area and in walking distance to Harbor East, Inner Harbor and Fells Point.
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Good Italian food; a bit expensive”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

I’m an Italian-American raised in NY but living in MD for the past 12 years. After reading online reviews I expected La Scala to be overpriced cafeteria food. But we enjoyed dinner and I’ll add another “eat here!” vote to the mix. Early (5 pm Saturday) dinner and the place was empty – when we left at 6:15 things were picking up.

The wait staff was incredibly attentive. We ordered, then played bocce before our food arrived. Complementary string beans/potatoes were eaten by my teenagers before I got a taste. Complementary bread with fruity olive oil for dipping was good. Antipasti salad had some amazing meats with tasty olives and cubes of hard cheeses over field greens with tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions, dressed with oil and vinegar (if you don’t like a lot of oil you might ask them to hold back a little – I thought it was a nice treat). Calamari was NOT overcooked, with marinara sauce served on the side. Orders of fettuccini Alfredo and chicken parmesan (2 large pieces; comes with a small side of penne in marinara sauce) were both good. Gambari fra diavolo was REALLY good – spicy spicy with 6 jumbo shrimp that were NOT overcooked over a generous serving of angel hair pasta. Gnocchi with pesto was very good – tender plump gnocchi with fresh garlicky pesto. We took half of the fettuccini and fra diavolo pasta home with us. Montepulciano del Abruzzo (red wine) was very good. We were stuffed but asked about dessert…and got a half-and-half hazelnut/chocolate cannoli (amazing; get the hazelnut) to split 3 ways (1 cannoli-hater in the group; the half-and-half was suggested by our server when he overheard us having trouble making up our minds). Played more bocce before heading to the theatre.

My advice? If you don’t like olive oil and garlic, you might not like everything here, but my impression is that speaking with the staff could get you what you would enjoy. The restaurant’s website has prices, so look and decide if prices are acceptable to you. I agree that the pasta is overpriced (it is almost anywhere), but the sauces were good. I would suggest looking over the salumeria (cured meats: salami, speck) offerings – we did not order from this, but it looked very interesting. After tasting the paper-thin prosciutto and sopressata from the antipasto originale I think this would be a fantastic option (I don’t know if they serve the meats sliced or not, though). At $9 the cannoli was very expensive (and there was no menu with prices), so I advise you ask about special/dessert prices before ordering to avoid shock. But I recommend the restaurant. Mangia! (fyi this same review was posted to Yelp)

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Loribbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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665 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, MD
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A bit pricey but very good Italian food”
Reviewed January 2, 2013

La Scala is a very avant garde Italian restaurant, setting it apart from the other Italian restaurants in Little Italy. The decor is modern and chic, and the food is excellent. You pay a bit more for the glitz, but if that's your thing, it's worth it.

Thank LarryMason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tempe, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“My Favorite in Baltimore”
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Recommended by those in the know with my company. Every time I have had to travel to Baltimore or the DC area I make an extra effort to eat here. Once even taking the train from Union Station in DC and hoofing it the last 3 miles because I couldn't hail a cab.

Since they moved into the new bigger location several years ago, it is much easier to snag a table. The service is outstanding, and the food is excellent. The Caesar Salad is off the charts. I don't believe I have ever had even an average dinner here. Always top notch. If you are lucky, you will dine there when Mama is in from Italy and she makes cannoli that are amazingly delicious. Can't wait to travel back to visit again.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 75JacksFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Great neighborhood gem, from the time you walk in the door till you finish desert you will see the service and food are fabulous. The owner Niño has created a masterpiece with his personal touches to the menu. Don't miss your chance to visit the next time you're in Baltimore.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Mrcs4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaverton, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Fun place for a group”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

Went here with a dozen friends and had a great time. There are several levels, and we had a large table in a sort of private dining area upstairs. Service was leisurely, but the waiter was determined that we have a good time and made helpful recommendations. First courses were excellent (including anchovies - a surprise) and everyone was happy with their main dishes, from excellent ravioli to saltimbocca to fish. Rather traditional cooking, with lots of oil, butter, garlic - yum! Also an interesting and extensive wine list with both domestic and imported choices. We didn't get to play bocce, but it looked like fun, too.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Travelguy51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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