Fun Italian restaurant in Baltimore: Cinghiale [classic article]

Cinghiale is Cindy Wolf’s and Tony Foreman’s ode to stylish and comfy Italian dining in Baltimore. The ambiance is lower lighting, but still with a trattoria look. The brushed coppers and colors are very flattering for a date night. I went on a Sunday evening, when they have a special prix-fixe: $29 for Antipasti, Pasta and Dessert. What they aim for – and totally achieve – is a family friendly, social type of evening.

 

The antipasti is served at a station where you go to be served, as much as you like. The night I was there, the selections included a very rich and tasty Parma prosciutto, served with local pears, roasted eggplant, a giardiniera that incorporated pickled local celery, a salad with spinach, kale, and beans, a salad with local arugula and apples, and colossal green olives. As you watch people going to the station or pass them yourself, you feel like you’re at a swanky house party.

 

Cinghiale has a wine menu that’s like an encyclopedia of Italian wines! You can get lots of wines by the glass, too. With both bottles and glasses, you can go from modest to top of the line. They’ve put together flights, as well… so when you go, the wine not only compliments the food perfectly, but it’s also a learning experience.

 

Then, your entrees are presented. This night was a braised pork with Cippolini onions – fork tender and juicy, and also a “Toc in Braide,” which is creamy white polenta with caramelized forest mushrooms. This was an awesome entrée! I wish somebody would make me some now at home.

 

Then, comes dessert. This night was a delicate parfait-like concoction with pumpkin cream, cake, poached pears. With it, I ordered a cappuccino. I almost didn’t, but I’m glad I did. The server recommended it and I thought, “Well… a cappuccino. Okay.” It was great! I don’t what they do that Starbucks doesn’t know how to do, but when you go there, you gotta order it.

 

 

 

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