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One of Baltimore's best Italian restaurants (and Charm City has lots of them), Sotto Sopra is situated inside a tony Charles Street townhouse. The food, a modern take on Italian classics, is as refined as the gilt-edged dining room decor. At dinner, guests choose between the tender housemade pastas and entrees that were likely recent residents at nearby farms (including braised beef short ribs, pork ossobuco, or duck leg confit—all topnotch). The two-course lunch at $15 is a steal, considering the huge portions; it includes a first course of soup, salad, or polenta (with snail ragout or truffles) and a second course of pasta, omelette, panino, burger, or their marvelous mussels. You can usually waltz right in at lunch or on weeknights but on the weekends you'll need to make a reservation.