La Posta Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen Serves First-Class Food

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My husband and I were excited to enjoy a rare date night at La Posta Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen, located at 513 Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, on a beautiful Tuesday evening.

The restaurant is comfortable, with warm shades of red and yellow, dark brown tables and the big pizza oven surrounded by a roomy bar. The owners seamlessly integrate the history of the former post office with an authentic Italian atmosphere. Colorful canvases are made to look like giant stamps, and the placemats resemble envelopes.

With warm cappuccinos in hand, Italian menus and soft music, we basked in the feeling of dining in an Italian villa while staying right here in Severna Park.

We started with an appetizer of Burrata alla Posta, a baseball-sized ball of mozzarella stuffed with seasoned stracciatella cream cheese, served over lettuce, grilled zucchini and roasted peppers, tomatoes and olives. This colorful appetizer was a light dish packed with flavor and texture. The sliced vegetables were perfectly grilled to bring out their natural flavors, and the fresh tomatoes and olives were crisp and paired nicely with their cooked counterparts. The cheese was beyond creamy; the texture was velvety soft and satisfying. This appetizer teased at the authentic Italian dinner to come without making us feel stuffed — the perfect amount of food.

Our waiter, Tim, was attentive all night. He stayed on top of our beverages and answered all of our questions about the menu, making helpful recommendations while handling several tables at the same time without seeming rushed. He left us to enjoy our food but materialized beside us whenever we needed anything.

Tim brought out a basket of bread and an oil-and-spices dipping concoction that knocked our socks off. He told us in conspiratorial whispers that it was a secret recipe they cooked up in the kitchen. We could taste the olive oil, parmesan cheese and pesto, but the other elements of the delicious dipping sauce were a mystery — so, naturally, we had to finish the entire dip to try to figure out what it was. The warm bread was perfect for dipping; the inside was airy and light, while the outside was crispy. It soaked the oils in beautifully.

Frank Sinatra’s “The Best is Yet To Come” drifted over the loudspeakers as we enjoyed our appetizer and nibbled our bread. With good aromas in the air and the cozy woodfire stove nearby, it felt like Sinatra was making a promise exclusively to us about our dinner. We weren't disappointed.

My husband and I ordered an entree and a pizza and split both of them. He ordered the tagliata bistecca di manzo, a sliced flat-iron steak paired with arugula, cherry tomatoes and parmesan, and I ordered the pizza bianca.

The only real downside I could mention about La Posta is that it is so authentic that sometimes the menu can be a bit confusing — formaggi, melanzane, ripieno and other Italian words felt intimidating at times. The restaurant does an excellent job of defining the terms in the description of each item, though.

I enjoyed the pizza here once a couple of years ago, and I was hoping it was as good as I remembered it. I was thrilled when I chomped down on the first bite and tasted everything you could hope for in a pizza, with the dough as fresh as it gets. Topped with olive oil and baked in an oven that exceeded 900 degrees, it was scrumptious. Honestly, my husband said you could put anything on that crust and it would taste good, but the bubbly melting cheeses topped with thinly sliced sausage, and the spices, were delicious. Even though I did not expect the broccoli, I found it soft and well-cooked, a welcome addition to a perfect pie.

The steak was impressive. It seemed impossible that so much flavor could fit on the end of my fork, but La Posta achieved the impossible. This was the melt-in-your-mouth steak of your dreams. It was so tender I could slice it with my butter knife — seared and seasoned on the outside and tender all the way through. The arugula and tomatoes added an element of freshness to the savory meal, and we were delighted to finish it without feeling too stuffed to move.

Contemplating dessert, I had tried the tiramisu and loved it before, so I was anxious to try one of the other dessert options. Tim recommended the limoncello gelato. It's a limited summertime treat, so you better hurry to try this one.

The bottom of this layered dessert was a sweet lemon puree topped with fresh lemon gelato, and then cream, strawberries and mints all served up in a tall champagne glass — a taste of summer. This dessert was bursting with lemon flavor. It was sweet and paired well with the steak and sausage from our dinners.

The entire bill including an appetizer, a soft drink, two cappuccinos, two entrees and two desserts (I took an excellent cannoli home) came to just less than $90. The menu is varied, with pizzas, meat, seafood, pasta dishes, salads and soups, so one could easily choose less expensive meals. A lunch menu offers some delicious-sounding sandwiches.

This cozy restaurant is perfect for a simple date night or for any time. Reservations are suggested.

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