Friday, March 5, 2010
Facci Ristorante In Laurel (Truly South Columbia)
In January, Facci replaced a Pasta Blitz on Johns Hopkins Road. The practical differences were obvious -- a wood-fired oven, new design, and a menu titled towards house-made pastas and pizzas aspiring to live by the rules of Naples.
In several months of meals, Facci has never disappointed. Like Bon Fresco or Victoria Gastropub, this is a casual place that pays close attention to ingredients. So you just order what you prefer, and it makes for fun meals, whether you're blowing out with wine and three courses or you're splitting three pizzas among four adults just to escape your snow-bound homes for an afternoon.
Facci fills a valuable niche -- interesting food, affordable prices, and a decor that feels more like a date night than a shopping center restaurant. That makes it a restaurant that I want to visit again and again -- a weeknight with Mrs. HowChow, a "snow day" afternoon with neighbors, the Saturday night when my parents drive up from Virginia.
The problem is that I can't get inside. Facci is packed, and they take no reservations. Last night, we waited 20 minutes. The Saturday night when my parents were here, my father and I circled the parking lot for 15 minutes just to find a space, and the wait was still 75-90 minutes once we got to the hostess. We ended up eating southern Indian food instead of southern Italian that night.
In all seriousness, the hostess told us last night that the way to avoid waiting at Facci is to come before 6 or after 8. They're so packed at dinner time that they haven't offered takeout. They literally don't have enough people to stand around. If I can get this Wegmans open, I might bring my cordless drive to Facci and help them expand into the empty store next to them!
There have been a string of comments with detailed reviews on my initial post by Cathy and others and on my post about the opening by Stacy Lyn, Jason and others. They're a fine source for reviews of specific dishes, and you should read the Pizzablogger's comment about how Neapolitan pizza can be "wet" in the center. The PB talks about "tip sag" and suggests how to eat it.
In addition, the Hungry Wanderers blog has a bunch of photos and a detailed review, and Facci has had quick pieces written by both the Sun and the WPost.
7530 Montpelier Road
Laurel, MD 20723
NEAR: The key fact is that Facci isn't in Laurel. It's in a shopping center on Johns Hopkins Road just west of Rte 29. This is the same shopping center as Kloby's for BBQ or La Palapa Too for Mexican, so expect the lot to be full at prime dining times. This sliver of land is south of Columbia and north of Fulton and Scaggsville, but it certainly isn't Laurel.