The events calendar at Annapolis’ Italian Market & Restaurant is a testament to the kind of place this is: There are pizza days, pasta days, free wine tastings and evenings of opera singing. For anyone who loves Italian food and culture, this is the place to be.
The Italian Market has been a culinary and cultural hub for about twenty years, ever since its founding by Raymond Lubrano. Lubrano moved to the United States from Naples in the 1970s, initially settling on Long Island before heading to Maryland. It was here that his entrepreneurial spirit flourished; he founded more than 40 establishments, including, as his final business, the Italian Market. Today the market and restaurant remain family owned and operated, with Lubano’s wife, children, and grandchildren ensuring that his vision is honored and preserved.
What that vision looks like in practical terms, for market and restaurant visitors, is an abundance of eye-catching, mouth-watering Italian fare. On the market side, visitors can browse rows of goods imported from Italy, including cheeses, sauces and pastas, as well as homemade breads, Italian sausages and more. The wine section features wines from all regions of Italy. On the restaurant side, menu options range from pizzas and calzones to veal and chicken dishes, sandwiches and, of course, plentiful pasta dishes. “Maryland Monthly” asked Jeraldine Lubrano co-owner of the market and restaurant, what her favorite dish is; she picked linguini vongole — with fresh clams in either marinara or a white wine sauce — as one of them.
Explaining the restaurant and market’s loyal patron base and decades-long popularity, Lubrano said, “We serve quality food. Service is great. We give people what they want at a decent price.” The Italian Market & Restaurant also provides full off-site catering for groups small and large.
A particular highlight of 2018 was an evening of opera in September, with local opera singers performing while diners enjoyed a prix fixe menu featuring pear-and-Gorgonzola-filled sacchetti pasta and Chilean sea bass glazed with brown sugar and orange. The event sold out quickly, but those who missed it can look forward to a sequel on February 7, 2019. Visit https://theitalianmarket.com to learn more about upcoming events, including wine tasting dinners, and for coupons and menus.