At Squisito Pizza And Pasta, Variety Is King

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Craving an authentic Italian dinner but only have the time and budget for a quick lunch or carryout? Make Squisito Pizza and Pasta Restaurant in Severna Park your go-to destination for tasty pies, hearty pasta dishes and fresh, tasty subs.

I visited Squisito on a Thursday afternoon with a few family members. The interior of the restaurant is modern, cool and comfy, with high ceilings and roomy booths. Food can be ordered at the counter and the friendly wait staff will bring it to your table. A variety of pizzas —including traditional crust, deep-dish and thin-crust pizzas, along with white pizzas and toasty calzones — beckoned us from behind the glass. The full menu boasted a variety of other foods: soups, salads, seafood dishes, traditional Italian pastas and more.

Our group was hungry, and we wanted to sample a few flavors, so we chose the Squisito slice, a bacon-and-chicken white pizza, a deep-dish sausage and pepperoni, and classic pepperoni. We also got an order of ravioli, an Italian cold cut sub, some drinks, tiramisu and a gluten-free cheese pizza.

The Squisito features a classic hand-tossed crust with tomato sauce topped with meat and veggies. It was a nice vegetable flavor medley. I could really taste the sweet notes of caramelized onions, peppers, and mushrooms coupled with the sausage and pepperonis – quite a flavorful burst. The sauce leaned a bit sweet, but it balanced out the veggies and meat well.

The bacon and chicken with white sauce was more savory and quite flavorful. The meaty flavor was enhanced by the rich undertones of the creamy white sauce, so the pizza felt like more of a decadent experience. My meat-loving husband would approve of this one.

You’ll get filled up quickly after one slice of the deep-dish sausage and pepperoni pizza. The crust is perfectly brown on the bottom and pillowy soft on the inside, exactly what you want from a deep-dish pizza. I didn’t feel like there was as much flavor with this pizza, but the sweet sauce did compliment the meats well.

The real issue with all three slices was the temperature — the slices were lukewarm, not bubbling hot. This left the vegetables a bit on the soggy side; I believe this could be easily remedied by asking the front wait staff to heat it up more (something I plan to do on my next visit).

Actually, our final slice was pepperoni, and it was put in later (one of the kids decided he wanted old-fashioned pepperoni). This slice came out much hotter than the others, and it made a huge difference in the taste and texture; it seemed the first few pieces were taken out a little too soon.

Our salad was a standard house variety — nothing special but not lacking either. The colorful, crunchy vegetable array included lettuce, pepperoncini, olives, cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes and a tasty house vinaigrette.

I’ve always felt that you need a side salad when you’re enjoying Italian food — probably to atone, in some small way, for all the carbohydrates you down during a visit like this.

The ravioli will give you the classic cheese and marinara fix you’re looking for. They are what I would describe as a “standard” pasta dish — soft dough filled with ricotta and mozzarella and covered in marinara sauce (the sauce on this dish didn’t seem as sweet as the sauce on the pizza, so if you like a different kind of sauce, you may go for this).

Our Italian cold cut sub was outstanding. The crunch of onions, sweet peppers, shredded lettuce, tomato, and (at my request) extra hots on top of sliced deli meat hit the spot. The bread was chewy and crusty in the best way. This was one of the best subs I’ve had in a long time; it took me back to my teen years when I used to walk to the local deli in Pasadena.

We wrapped up our meal with a creamy Italian favorite, tiramisu. Layers of fresh, sweet cream atop mouthwatering espresso-soaked ladyfingers made me feel like I was having dessert in an expensive downtown Italian restaurant. I am very particular when it comes to my tiramisu (so many restaurants serve it soggy or overly sweet), but this one exceeded my expectations.

Lastly, I want to comment on the gluten-free pizza. I have a grandson with Celiac disease, so eating out at any restaurant, especially at a pizza place, can be a challenge. Fair warning, there is no guarantee that cross contamination will not occur (just like in any restaurant). I called ahead of time to make sure that the staff would be able to prepare and cook this specialty item separately. After consulting with a manager, they promised they would be careful and handle everything separately.

My grandson has had some bad experiences with gluten-free pizza before, but he said he really liked it this time. It came in a distinct aluminum pan, so I felt confident that the staff designated all the gluten-free ingredients to be separate. We usually choose to go to places like this at off-times when he is with us, as the staff has more of a chance to keep ingredients separate from flour-contaminated items.

I went back to order a whole Squisito pizza to take home and asked them to bake it a bit longer, which they were happy to do. The pizza was perfect, and my son said it’s the best pizza he’s had in a long time.

The entire bill came to about $85, not bad for that amount of food. We enjoyed our food, our time together, and leftovers for a couple of days. What more can you ask for?

Where To Find Squisito Pizza And Pasta

Magothy Gateway Shopping Center

147E Ritchie Highway

410-891-0925

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