Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Scittino's Italian Market- Catonsville, Maryland

It may be off the beaten track in downtown Catonsville but Scittino's Italian Market is a little slice of heaven for those searching for a classic New York style Italian eatery and market. "Authentic Italian food made from scratch" is the store's motto and it lives up to its name.

Since 1973, the store has been owned and operated by the Scittino family- Frank and Tina, and their children Leonardo, Salvatore, Josie and Frankie, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1958 from Sicily, Italy, with the first of their four children.

Seemingly this store has it all -  pizzeria, pastry, cake and cookie display case, deli, butcher counter, homemade pastas to-go freezer, Italian dried and canned goods, carry-out, small dine-in section, and catering menu. Click here for their deli menu. 

Single serve desserts
Pastry and cookie display case 
cannoli - regular and chocolate covered 
Shelves lined with imported Italian canned and dried goods. The deli and butcher counter (in the background) carries Boar's Head products, homemade sausages, meats, seafood, olives and imported cheeses. The freezers (on the right) house homemade ravioli and pastas, plus family style meals like lasagna and meatballs to-go. 

The butcher shop includes over 10 different homemade sausages including Italian sweet, Italian hot, Italian with fennel,
Italian lamb with rosemary, Portugese Linguica, Polish Kielbasa, German Bratwurst, Irish Bangers, Spanish Chorizo and French Andouille

There are freezers full of homemade pastas to-go. Some really interesting ones like ravioli filled with mushroom stuffing and squid ravioli.

Also in the freezer section are cakes such as the Lemoncello mascarpone cake.

After browsing around the store, we decided to order a few things and eat in.  It was really hard to chose because there were so many different items on the menu.

First, my family decided to taste the pizza. We ordered a 20 inch pizza pie with mushrooms. It was so massive it was presented to us at our table on a folding tray.  It was terrific.

 It had gooey thick cheese, large, plump mushrooms, the perfect amount of tomato sauce and an incredibly soft, tasty crust.

My grandfather ordered the sausage lentil soup made with the store's homemade fennel sausage. As you can see from his face, he liked it. He said it was one of the best he tasted... and he's Sicilian. 

Then we spilt a dish of chicken parmigiano with spaghetti. Wow! This was authentic. We all loved the sweet tomato sauce with the breaded chicken smothered in mozzarella cheese.  

Fried chicken 
Stuffed flounder 
We also tried two more items - the flounder stuffed with crabmeat and the fried chicken.  Yes, fried chicken.  We didn't expect to see it on an Italian menu.  But it looked so good displayed in the glass warming case, we had to try.

The chicken had a light, seasoned, crispy skin with moist juicy meat underneath. They sell it by the piece (like we ordered it) or as a platter with fries or in boxes for large quantities. We envision ourselves getting a box of fried chicken for a summer picnic with friends.

Although it took an extra long time to prepare (we were finished with our other items before the fish was served) the flounder was worth the wait. The fish was fresh and tender, the stuffed crab was well seasoned but not too spicy and the sauce tasty. My mom thought the sauce was a bit thick for her liking but she would order it again with less sauce.

Before we left we ordered some Italian cookies and cake slices to-go.  And it was hard to go. We really liked Scittino's.  They are opened 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I know we will be back soon and often.

- Charles

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