If you're looking for liquor, check out the advice on my post about how to pick a liquor store. People suggest places where they have gotten great service, and they make some really practical points -- like Caederus who says Jason's on Rte 40 keeps craft beer refrigerated.
Portalli's in Ellicott City. Lots of detail, plus a comment from co-owner Lee Biars who talks about the place and their concept of small-plate Italian.
If you're looking for pizza, the new place in town in Facci Ristorante in the former Pasta Blitz on Johns Hopkins Road. (Pictured to the right.) There have been comments on my post about Facci, and the Pizzablogger has a great observation about the Neapolitan style of pizza that Facci is trying to serve:
Facci is, to the best of my knowledge, the first pizzeria attempting to offer Neapolitan pizza in that area of Howard County, if not in all of Howard County (and indeed much of the Maryland based DC suburbs).
This style is confusing because many pizzerias mention "Neapolitan" on their menus, but are not selling pizze Napoletana.
Something specific to a Neapolitan pizza is that it is, for lack of a better word, "wet" when compared to many other pizza styles. The very hot wood ovens necessary to make Neapolitan pizza causes the fresh mootz (fior-di-latte)and olive oil to get a tad runny and also to pool towards the center of the pizza, which can result in a "messy" pizza. The softer flour and thin undercrust of this pizza style can also lead to "tip sag" and a good deal of sauce, olive oil and cheese on you if you are not careful! This is one reason many people eat this style of pizza with a knife and fork or fold it "a libretto" when eating it by hand....but that's another story.
One way to alleviate this pooling and "wet" effect is to let the pizza rest for a minute or two before eating it. But even still a Neapolitan pizza will indeed be wetter than other styles of pizza. Understandably some people do not prefer this, but it is an issue related to the style of pizza, not necessarily with the individual purveyor of the pizza itself