Side Dish: Giorgio's Brick Oven Pizza

There's a world of difference between dull, ordinary table bread and the ethereal bodies of wheat born from Giorgio's time-tested brick oven. Hold it up to your nose and you'll immediately sense the difference: There's the sweet, heady fragrance of fresh dough, a yeasty pungency that puts the swirl of great food memories in motion. That bread will arrive at your table with little ramekins of spicy hummus, though a pat of sweet cream butter is just about the perfect complement. It will also come split in two and stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, and tomato; with grilled chicken breast and roasted peppers and gobs of homemade chicken salad laced with chunks of celery. Aside from those stellar sandwiches, Giorgio's oven also produces lovely pizza dotted with crusty bubbles and Old World dishes like yellowtail snapper livornese cooked in a drape of wood smoke. And then there's pasta dishes that go for days, Maryland crab cakes, seafood salad, rotating lunch specials that pack the parking lot to capacity, and the crunch of a perfect veal Milanese — an art Giorgio's has perfected. But perhaps our waitress said it best on a recent visit: "I've worked here over 15 years, and I still love the bread."

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