Della Notte Brings Savory Italian Classics To Cape St. Claire


Just a short drive from Severna Park, nestled in the Cape St. Claire shopping center, a new restaurant is serving Italian classics in an inviting atmosphere. Della Notte Restaurant & Wine Bar opened in the fall of 2023 in the space formerly occupied by Riverbay Roadhouse.

My husband, Scott, and I love exploring local restaurants – and are equally unenthusiastic about cooking – so we were especially eager to try Della Notte after a couple of our friends gave it two thumbs up. We decided to check it out on a Friday date night in February.

The unassuming white exterior gave way to an expansive dining room separated from a large bar by a sea of high-top tables. The well-stocked bar featured four large-screen TVs airing various sports highlights. Black and white walls served as a backdrop to large art featuring scenes from Italy throughout the restaurant.

We were seated next to a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. The tables around us filled up quickly, and the place was packed by 6:00pm.

A friendly server soon greeted us and brought fresh bread served with a delightful small dish of olive oil, dried tomato, cheese, herbs and balsamic. I had previewed the menu earlier in the week and was set on trying calamari as our appetizer, but a friend who had dined there the previous evening gave the steak rolls ($13.99) a glowing review and we needed no further persuasion. Her recommendation proved to be on point. The large, fried steak rolls were generously stuffed with chopped ribeye and caramelized onions, and they were served with truffle aioli and spicy ketchup. Other appetizers available included meatballs, buffalo wings, oysters and more.

Selecting our main courses required a little more deliberation, as the menu had plenty to offer. For those seeking something lighter, salads, soup and sandwiches are offered on both the lunch and dinner menus. Della Notte also features several pasta dishes including eggplant parmigiana and lasagna, and land and sea selections ranging from shrimp scampi and crabcakes to veal and chicken marsala.

I’ve been chasing after good gnocchi since my brother introduced me to the dish at an upscale restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, roughly 15 years ago, so I was excited to discover that Della Notte had three house-made gnocchi options on the menu. Though the Gnocchi al Pesto had my attention, I opted for the Gnocchi al Forno ($19.99) and chose the bolognese sauce over the rosé. It was finished with ricotta cheese and fresh basil, topped with a blend of parmesan and mozzarella.

Scott gravitated toward the “From the Sea” section of the menu and settled on Fettuccine Mediterraneo ($29.99) after learning Della Notte had just run out of lobster ravioli for the night. Our knowledgeable server was able to answer questions about specific menu items, which helped us make our decisions.

Shortly after we polished off the steak rolls and bread, we were served our entrees in generous portions. The gnocchi was love at first bite, as the soft dough dumplings were perfectly cooked and the bolognese was a worthy accompaniment. Scott also enjoyed his fettuccine, for which he had selected an alfredo sauce. Though the lump crab meat piled atop the pasta was ample, the three large shrimp and two scallops in his dish left him craving more.

Our server was very attentive, refilling our drinks often and inquiring about how our food came out. We didn’t hesitate when she offered us a dessert menu, but we did have difficulty deciding on a treat to share from among the eight enticing options listed. It seemed the sensible thing to do was to each select a dessert and share them both, so we passed over the tempting crème brûlée, chocolate lava cake and cannoli and settled on one of our favorites, tiramisu ($7.99), and the skyscraper cake ($13.99).

Both were large and nicely plated, not to mention tasty. An Italian classic, Della Notte’s tiramisu featured sponge cake soaked in espresso, layered with mascarpone cream and dusted with cocoa powder. It did not disappoint, but it was pleasantly light and not overly sweet. The skyscraper cake featured New York-style cheesecake layered with chocolate cake and fudge frosting. We agreed the cheesecake was the star of this dessert, as its chocolate encasement was good but very rich.

Overall, we enjoyed the food and service at Della Notte and were glad to have tried the new local Italian establishment. Della Notte would be a good option not only for date night but also for work luncheons, family dinners and other occasions both casual and celebratory.

Della Notte Restaurant & Wine Bar is located at 1374 Cape St. Claire Road in Annapolis and is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. The restaurant also offers online ordering for takeout. To learn more or browse a full menu, go to


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