October 23, 2017
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  • Soft and slightly buttery, the black squid ink linguini comes with shrimp and scallops.
    Sharon Mager
    Soft and slightly buttery, the black squid ink linguini comes with shrimp and scallops.
  • Served with crabmeat, tiny clams and shrimp on a bed of arugula, the tender sea bass imperial contained a variety of succulent herbs and seasonings.
    Sharon Mager
    Served with crabmeat, tiny clams and shrimp on a bed of arugula, the tender sea bass imperial contained a variety of succulent herbs and seasonings.
  • The chocolate soufflé was dusted with powdered sugar, perfectly baked with a lava-like center, and paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and berries.
    Sharon Mager
    The chocolate soufflé was dusted with powdered sugar, perfectly baked with a lava-like center, and paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and berries.

Step Off Crain Highway And Enjoy Arturo’s Trattoria

Sharon Mager
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February 22, 2017

Looking for a cozy Italian restaurant for a special night out? You don’t have to search farther than Arturo’s Trattoria, a real find in a nondescript strip center at 1660 Crain Highway South in Glen Burnie.

It’s an intimate and inviting restaurant with a small bar in the front. The ambiance is romantic with muted earthy colors of deep mauve, brown and green. A variety of pictures hang on the wall depicting Old World cities, flowers and a variety of other beautiful artwork in different sizes and shapes, all colorful and comforting. Drawn back curtains separate entrances. Wooden tables are covered with taupe cloths, and chill buckets sit to the side.

My dining companion and I visited for dinner on a Tuesday evening, so it wasn’t too busy, but I’m sure the place is crowded on the weekends.

The gentleman who greeted and seated us was friendly. He asked whether we had been to Arturo’s Trattoria before, and when we replied in the negative, he said, “You’re in for a treat!”

Our waitress, Saakirah, was kind, efficient and knowledgeable. Our bread arrived hot and smelling wonderful. It was crusty on the outside, warm and chewy on the inside. The olive oil provided with the bread was good, but it could have used an infusion of herbs.

We began our meal with a sampler of shrimp, calamari and scallops served with fresh arugula. The seafood was grilled and topped with extra virgin olive oil infused with lemon juice. The combination of perfect grilling and the lemon oil was pleasant, offering sensational seafood taste with a bit of a tangy kick.

For an entrée, I ordered sea bass imperial served with crabmeat, tiny clams and shrimp on a bed of arugula. My companion reached over to taste the sea bass and said, “That’s succulent, and I don’t use that word very often!” I agreed; it was prepared to perfection, tender, with a little bit of slightly crusted, barely sweet seasoning that added just the right touch. All the seafood was incredibly fresh, and the dishes were hot. The flavors were complex — a variety of herbs and seasonings combined just right by a “seasoned” chef. It also came with mashed potatoes, a nice complement to the meal.

My dining companion chose the black squid ink linguini with shrimp and scallops. I’d never tried black linguini, and I was surprised that it was soft and slightly buttery, with a hint of fishy taste, and altogether pleasant.

We finished big. The dessert was four star and more. We chose a chocolate soufflé, a special off-menu item offered that evening. It was presented beautifully on a large blue plate with powdered sugar that looked like it was dusted with snow, but perfectly baked, soft, warm, and chocolaty all through with a lava-like center surrounded by a scoop of vanilla ice cream and berries. My dining companion said if no one was around, he would have licked the plate!

My companion also splurged on an after-dinner Trattoria coffee, and I took a sip. Oh my! I make my own whipped cream at home, but this was hands-down the best I’ve ever tasted — thick, with a slightly vanilla taste, enhanced with Grand Marnier and three other liquors.

The menu is extensive and includes a variety of classic and unique homemade pasta dishes ranging from $19 to $22.

Offerings also include veal, beef, lamb, duck, chicken and seafood. The restaurant also has “power lunches,” with soup, salad and a choice of three entrees for just $17.50 each.

For group dinners, Arturo’s Trattoria has a variety of limited menus with an appetizer, main course and dessert starting at $50 per person.

The staff was exceptionally attentive and friendly, which added to the relaxing sensory experience, and isn’t that what we’re looking for at restaurants? The whole experience? Otherwise, well, we’d just order takeout or cook at home! Check this gem out when you’re driving down Crain Highway during the week, or better yet, make a reservation for a romantic weekend dinner.


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