By Mary Cobbler
Feeling hungry and in the mood for something delizioso? Check out the newly renovated Romilo’s Restaurant & Bar — located in the Robinson Crossing shopping center — for scrumptious Greek, Italian, American and seafood cuisine.
Romilo’s was a cozy go-to for my family when I was in my teens, so I was intrigued when I heard that the new owner had renovated the facility. When my family and I showed up for a dinner around 7:00pm on Monday night, I immediately noticed the modern beiges and light grays on the walls and seating, the brighter lighting, and the updated window treatments designed to allow natural light to flood into the restaurant. My kids happily settled into the clean, roomy booths and began coloring. Our waiter, Alex, showed up almost immediately to take our drink orders.
The restaurant specializes in several types of food, so I’d determined that I wanted to try something Greek, something Italian, and some kind of seafood when I arrived. I asked Alex for some recommendations and he offered a few fan favorites for us to choose from, including a crab pretzel. I’m a sucker for a good crab pretzel, so I went with that. The crab pretzel was thick and warm, chewy on the outside and soft on the inside, smothered in a thick layer of creamy crab dip, jam-packed with crab meat, topped with melted cheeses and dusted with Old Bay. What a delicious start to the meal.
It can be hard to find a good gyro sandwich in Severna Park (almost as hard as it is to find someone who can pronounce it correctly), so my husband was excited to order the gyro platter. I remembered having some great pizza here in the past, so I ordered a pizza to share. It was hard to choose our entrees, however, because there were so many to choose from!
There were several gyro options, including chicken, vegetarian and lamb, along with several other Greek sandwiches. Fancier Greek dishes included a baby rack of lamb, a chicken breast over baby spinach and orza, and a filet mignon shish kebab. Italian choices included some common entrees — “pastabilities” as Romilio’s calls them — such as stuffed shells, fettuccine and ravioli. The restaurant also had an extensive list of pizza choices, including a gluten-free option that the kitchen carefully and considerately prepared for my 5-year-old with Celiac disease.
The gyro was the real star of the show. Thick slices of tender, savory meat lay nestled inside a thick, toasty pita, drizzled with a cool cucumber-yogurt sauce. The sweetness and chill of the sauce mingled with the warm, spiced meat like a flavor-packed work of art. This was technically my husband’s meal, but I couldn’t resist sneaking bites off his plate.
This dish was served with crispy fries, and we ordered a Greek side salad. The salad was mostly crunchy iceberg, which is not my favorite (I tend to like romaine or darker leaves), and the veggies were sliced large, but the crumbled feta portions were generous and the house dressing was phenomenal.
I was thrilled when I tasted the pizza and realized it was just as I remembered from years ago — a thick, chewy crust and a gooey layer of melded cheeses. I am not a thin-crust person; I love the consistency of a more doughy pizza, and Romilo’s really nailed the crispiness of the crust edges along with the thicker, softer interior of the pizza overall. The only real criticism I could offer would be on the sauce — there wasn’t a lot of it, and it could have used more flavor. More seasoning and more sauce would have gone a long way. The freshness of the dough, however, along with the hearty toppings, still allowed me to give this pizza a solid A and enjoy it for dinner and breakfast again the next morning.
We wrapped up the meal by enjoying a large cannoli filled with a delectable, fresh cream filling and chocolate chips. Between the pretzel, salad and pizza, I was stuffed, but I managed to eat more than half the cannoli before my son dove in to finish it off.
We had the pleasure of sitting next to a frequent customer named “Marge,” who told us that she had patronized Romilo’s for years and loved to visit now by herself and with friends. She told us that they had “the best Greek salads in town,” as well as some excellent soups, and that the wait staff was friendly and efficient. Marge told us about some affordable lunch specials the restaurant offered throughout the week, as well as live music in the sectioned-off bar on the weekends. She was full of great advice and was a lovely dinner partner!
The whole meal — including a soda, a crab pretzel, a gyro with salad and fries, a gluten-free cheese pizza, a large Hawaiian pizza and a cannoli — came to around $64.
It was an excellent meal, but the real MVP of Romilo’s was Alex, the waiter. When we left the restaurant, my 5-year-old accidentally left some pictures he’d diligently colored throughout our meal sitting on the table. My son panicked, and we were just about to run back in when Alex jogged to the car, pictures in hand.
You may have already tried Romilo’s, but with the variety of dishes it offers, I bet you can find something new and delicious to have for dinner this week. Check out the new interior, and take a trip to Greece, Italy, or just stay here in Severna Park. Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed.
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