Here's a question for you: How many restaurants do you know that offer live, free entertainment at least 10 times a month? Time's up.
I'll give you one. It's Gianni's Italian Bistro, 3720 Washington Blvd. in Arbutus. It opened with an Italian-side only in February 2007, and in November 2011 the seafood side opened. So what we have here are two restaurants in one. The same menu on each side, however.
The owners are Greg and Colleen Orendorff, former owners of Luigi Petti in Little Italy. They ran that restaurant for 17 years. Greg has been in the restaurant business for 45 years, starting as a busboy in a Little Italy restaurant.
At Gianni's, the signature seafood item is the 10-ounce jumbo lump crabcake. On the Italian menu it just might be the old fashioned meatball sandwich. I know they sell a lot of them.
They also do well with the italian sausage and ricotta, both made on the premises. But as you'll see when you look at the menu, it's filled with many items. My favorite happens to be the calamari.
In my opinion what really makes this restaurant different from many others is the live entertainment.
You can hear all kinds of live music there at least 10 days during any month. The music ranges from Elvis, to oldies and from country to today's hits.
It's all free but people generally make reservations (a good idea) and come in for dinner.
Gianni's has crabs year 'round. Monday is all-you-can-eat crab night. For $27.95 you also get corn on the cob and french fries. This is a very popular night and reservations are recommended. If tables are filled, just sit at the bar, many people do.
For Ravens games you can enjoy a halftime buffet. If you're going to the Ravens games, Gianni's offers a bus. You must have tickets and the cost is $20. With that you'll get beer and Ravens Purple Passion Shooters on the bus.
So for a good dinner and a show, try Gianni's Italian Bistro. You might even find me there doing my Barry Manilow medley. Please don't leave. I'm very sensitive.
More travel and restaurants blog posts by Eddie Applefeld: