baltimore eatery: grano emporio

grano emporioA few weeks ago, my girlfriends and I stumbled upon a small restaurant in the heart of Hampden, an area of downtown Baltimore. We originally had reservations some place else, but a super fast change in direction landed us literally across the street at the most charming local Italian eatery–a split second decision that couldn’t have had better results if we tried.

We walked into Grano Emporio and while small and packed on a Friday night, they did everything they could to accommodate our party of 3. We ran into one of my co-workers who was with his own party of 3, while waiting in the bar area. And then had the pleasure of sitting at a table next to someone we think was an owner and quite charming in his own right.

There was a lot of Italian being spoken, the wait-staff was awesome, our wine glasses were never empty (at the direction of aforementioned owner), the bread was hot out of the oven, and the seasonal desserts were delish!

I was intrigued by the specials, so I ordered them…all of them. The appetizer of salmon, prosciutto, mozzarella pinwheels, the main dish of lobster with crab stuffed ravioli, and an apple custard pie. And while my dessert was super yummy, one of my girlfriend’s had the tiramisu and it was to die for–highly recommend. Actually, that’s the point of this post–in case you hadn’t noticed, I would highly recommend Grano Emporio–I also would highly recommend you make a reservation.

Normally, when I go out for Italian, it’s some place in Little Italy–Amicci’s anyone? And when I got to Hampden, it’s usually for Holy Frijoles. Dining at Grano Emporio was a delightful experience all around and one I plan to repeat–did I mention the yummy French press coffee? Don’t miss out on this hidden Baltimore treasure. Buon appetito!