Saturday, September 8, 2007

Donna's Cross Keys

It was a gorgeous end of summer evening and the last time the three of us had eaten dinner together was exactly the same time two years ago, in Paris where Mr. & Mrs. Bee spend part of the year. We wanted a Baltimore place, outside, easy parking and convenient to all of us. Donna's in Cross Keys was the result.

As many people know, Donna's is the creation of Donna Crivello, ex-Sun staffer and current chef, recipe-creator and on the night we were there, general greeter. There are a couple of locations, but I like the Cross Keys one the best, for it's huge outside patio and abundant parking. The evening we visited, it was full but not crowded, and Donna's parents were on floor duty, her father serving as the host.
I got there before the Bees, and ordered a small bottle of prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine. It's chilled bright taste was perfect for the evening. Mrs. Bee ordered a martini, which came in a martini glass the size of a wading pool, and Mr. Bee ordered Jack on the rocks. He started with a beautiful gnocci with portabello mushrooms and basil. We all tasted bits of it and it was lovely. Mrs. Bee ordered an eggplant cannoli, Mr. Bee ordered a four-cheese pizza and I got a summer pasta with farfalle, tomatoes, garlic, basic and a light white sauce.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Bee has problems with peppers and her cannoli was loaded with them, despite not being mentioned in the ingredient list on the menu. She hailed the server, explained the problem and within minutes has the same dish I had. The servings were huge, and none of the three of us could finish them, so we had the leftovers wrapped to go.
We did manage to find room for dessert and coffee. I had a tiramisu and Mr. & Mrs. Bee had a bread pudding, which we had a long discussion about earlier in the evening. Dinner at Donna's with the Bees was the perfect ending to the summer!


Julie said...

I always think of Donna's as a place for coffee and nothing else. I had no idea that it was the sort of place you'd go to for a meal. (Good thing I'm able to come here and dispel my wrong ideas.)

Dan said...

I've eaten at Donna's (the one by the Walters) a handful of times and I've found the food to be horrible. Terrible sandwiches, boring pasta, forgettable soup. I love tiarmasu, though, so if I'm ever forced to eat at one again I'll have to try it. Usually I go to Vacarro's in Little Italy when I need a fix.

Fairfax said...

I am not wild about their sandwiches - the bread is usually too crunchy and hard - but we all loved our dinners.