From a guy who saved my bacon (nightly) when we worked the sports desk together, back in the days of Dr. J:
“My contribution, if I may, is what I think is an untapped gem on Carlisle Pike — Juliana’s.
“It’s untapped because it’s so easy to miss, hidden in a strip mall just past Your Place as you travel toward Cumberland Valley HS. It is also the state of the art when it comes to Italian cuisine around the Capital beltway. Macaroni Grill and Carrabba’s are both fine; neither is Juliana’s.
“Fortunately, the first time we went, we were prepared to eat, because we were stunned with the portion sizes. For an appetizer, I tried the Aged Parmesan Risotto ($4.95), and expected a small bowl. I received a full, deep plate of creamy heaven. Only the best Parmesan, too, and I’m sure you know what a range there is in Parmesan cheese.
“Eileen had the Radicchio, Red Onion and Aged Parmesan Salad (half $6.95; full $11). The half is a huge appetizer; the full, a complete meal. You will not want anything more. In addition to what you see there, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts make it a total experience.
“Any one of their seven pastas (half $7.95; full $12.95) come with any one of seven sauces … and one of the pastas is gnocchi, which you don’t see every day. The gnocchi with pesto sauce has been a favorite of mine.
“The Penne Carbonara ($12.95) simply could not be made better, so too the Shrimp and Scallop Fra Diavolo ($16.95), with sweet peppers and pepperoncini augmenting a spicy-sweet dish.
“The wine list is deep, the desserts are first-rate and the atmosphere is truly old-school Italian, with Sinatra’s finest almost exclusively the music of choice.”
To see the menu for yourself: http://www.dineindie.com/custom_file_uploads/20060711050011_PDF_Menu.pdf