Sometimes life works out, the planets and stars align, and the universe does look out for you. It looks out for us in more ways than we realize. We might not always see it. I know I don’t always see it. And even with all the good that is about to transpire this weekend, I may not fully grasp how beautiful the next few days are going to be, until way after its over. I know I’ll love it while it’s happening, but I’ll look back fondly on it even more as time goes by. This is more than nostalgia or reminiscing. Some thing just hit you. You wish time would stand still, you could do this all day, you could do this forever, and you could be around these people forever.
What I’m referring to is the annual CASAblanca Gala presented by Anne Arundel County CASA, this Saturday, November 4th.
I mentioned Anne Arundel County, which is synonymous with Annapolis. I’ve said plenty of good about our state capitol in the past, yet I can never say enough.
My dear friend Rebecca is the Executive Director of Anne Arundel County CASA, and it’s an amazing time to share with friends and to support a wonderful cause. This their 20th year holding the event, which takes place at the beautiful Westin Hotel in Annapolis. It’s my third year attending, and the third time is a charm to finally write about…
Carpaccio Tuscan Kitchen is literally footsteps from the Westin, and has been as convenient and a go-to for me as any. Well why do I say convenient and go to? Isn’t this a sit-down restaurant with fine dining, a place to relax, and appreciate the food and surroundings? Well yes, but I’ve actually never eaten here. What I’m actually referring to is Carpaccio 2go which is adjacent to the restaurant, and I mean this with all sincerity, looks like something I’ve never seen. I almost feel like it’s too good to be true in a way. I don’t know how to explain it but the location is perfect, and I can’t exactly put my finger on why.
Maybe because many pizza places with slices to go don’t look as beautiful as this. But if you look around the vicinity, the tiny of white colors of the building, the hotel, and the residential units across the way, all match. While the area looks pricey, and of course it is, it almost feels supernatural in a way. Again, it’s all open to your interpretation, but there’s an architectural and metaphysical force that worked in concert with each other to create all this. In some ways, it”s almost too beautiful. But I should appreciate all the beauty for what it is.
I’ve been to the carry out side many times and because of the location and the aura I was feeling, I had immensely high expectations. Now, not every time is going to be mentioned or will every slice be featured. I will reserve it to two visits for now, which means a total of four slices.
The first visit I will discuss was back in late Summer. Now it’s hot and pizza is hot, so what am I trying to say? I really don’t know haha, but my slices on this day were the Sausage and Peppers, and then Chicken Pollo. Now I know what I was trying to say. I think some slices work better in different climates, similar to how we drink wine, and how we eat other foods during certain times and certain seasons.
While I’ve had mainly good experiences here, I know the best was still to come. The sausage and peppers with onions was really good, and went great with your standard mozzarella cheese slice. I will say without sounding like a broken record, the crusts on all these slices were heated tremendously. You can see the colors across the board. There was a lot of time and care put into the making of the dough and the heating. You don’t need to be an expert. You can just tell those things.
Now I had high aspirations for the pesto. I’ve ranted and raved about my love for pesto throughout my journey, and I wanted to love this one so much. It was good but I know the best was still to come. The pesto aioli was fantastic. Maybe for me the white pizza with chicken, tomatoes, and those yummy mushrooms (more on the mushrooms shortly), caused a little bit of the flavors to be lost. But still a good slice I would definitely have again.
Now moving on to earlier this week, this is where expectations were matched and succeeded.
It almost seemed like the pizzas on display looked shinier and brighter, and I could do no wrong no matter what I ordered. I was spot on and then some.
The Margherita looks like art and tastes like art. The marinara sauce is heavenly. The photo doesn’t say it all but it says a lot. Oh my goodness. This is up there with one of the better slices I’ve had. The basil, garlic, mozzarella, and olive oil just makes this simple pizza one of the best I’ve had not just here but anywhere. And the crust was even better today.
Not to be outdone is the Wild Mushroom. I love mushrooms and can have them with just about anything. But when you throw gorgonzola, you’ve got to be kidding me, this is a gem. Cremini and portobello mushrooms really make this pie but the combination of two contrasting cheese in mozzarella and gorgonzola also make this an absolute masterpiece.
Recall how I said you look back on things with even more love and romanticism as time goes by? This is how I felt about this visit. I’ve been here many times and something about this one was just a cut above the rest. I sensed it and maybe the universe did too. This won’t be the last time I talk about them. The next time will be from the actual restaurant itself, which is gorgeous inside and in the patio area as well. If you’ve visited then you know I’m talking about. Yes I’ve never eaten there but was in awe of what I saw.
For more on Carpaccio, here is their menu (which serves many of the same pizzas as Carpaccio 2go, click here to make a reservation, their story, and contact information.
It’s going to be a beautiful weekend in the Annapolis area. Not only is the CASAblanca Gala going to be amazing, but I’ll also be at the First Sunday Arts Festival footsteps away on West Street the following day. It will be their holiday edition, yes it’s that time of year already. In addition is the Bay Bridge 10k this Sunday, the Eastport vs. Annapolis Tug Of War on Saturday, and the City of Annapolis General Elections are this Tuesday.
What an exciting time to be in the area. If Annapolis wasn’t great enough, all these events just make this place all the more magical.
It all begins with CASAblanca and I so greatly look forward to it.
For more on Anne Arundel County CASA, here is more about them, volunteer, and donation information.
Thanks so much and I look forward to an incredible weekend!
Peace be with you and happy beginning to the holiday season…