|In the Sun, this would be a classy photo of prosciutto and cheese|
Facci Ristorante on Johns Hopkins Road has created an entire covered patio with a stone floor, canvas walls and heaters to keep the place working into the fall. They also added a special bar with Italian meats and cheeses that they're offering on make-your-own plates. We enjoyed both tucked under the warm patio.
The problem with fall is the crisp air comes with early sundowns, and amateurs can't snap good pictures after dark. At least not with a cell phone in a nice place with low lighting. So I don't have photos of the prosciutto or the goat cheese that we paired with a mushroom pizza.
But they're absolutely worth going to see yourself. About five dollars per item gets your choice of something delicious and unusual -- for us, a few slices of rich dry-cured ham and a rectangle of a mild, but flavorful cheese contrasted with small condiments. (The low light is tough on the waitstaff too. Our waiter set down our plate and pointed out the cheese, blueberries and olive oil. Olive oil? Actually, it was cherries and honey.)
I understand why people fret about Facci's uncaring or even unfriendly service. I just think the kitchen sources great ingredients and often uses them really well. The cheese-cherries-honey was interesting and paired nicely. They're putting whole clams on pizza. They're making pasta in house. They're putting a wood-oven char on pizzas. It's not cheap, but I appreciate that it's my choice what to order -- and I can do what I want. (Although I'd have to concede that the marinated vegetables with the prosciutto had little flavor.)
You can still carry out at Facci. The eliminated the dedicated takeout counter to install that special bar with the cured meats hanging behind it. Now, you use the main entrance and walk right back to the register in the open kitchen.