‘Facci Ristorante’ Opens at 414 Light Street at the Inner Harbor

Facci Ristorante, an Italian restaurant with locations in Maple Lawn and Ellicott City, opened its third location at the 414 Light St. tower in Inner Harbor/Otterbein last week. Facci fills a 4,500 sq. ft. space vacated by vegan restaurants Double Zero and Liora.

Facci was started 14 years ago by Luigi Palma-Esposito (Gino Palma), who is a native of Monte di Procida, a small town in the metropolitan city of Naples in Southern Italy. He grew up pushing an Italian ice cart on the beach and the Scotto family of THB Bagelry + Deli were some of his customers. Monte di Procida has produced many other Italian restaurant owners in Maryland.

Palma moved to America at the age of 19 to work in Italian restaurants.

Palma named Facci after his wife Pilar. She is a native of Peru and while trying to learn Italian she pronounced facci instead of faccia (face). Palma thought it was cute and funny, and it soon became a nickname for her. In regards to naming his restaurant, Palma said Facci was “easy to pronounce, short, funny, and something related to my wife, who always supported me while I was working very hard to make my way in a foreign country.”

Facci is an authentic Italian restaurant with some influences of Italian-American food, according to Palma. Facci makes Neapolitan pizzas in a wood-fired oven. It also makes its pasta in-house from its open kitchen.

The restaurant imports many of its ingredients from Italy. Some of the most popular dishes include the pizzas, the Pappardelle Bolognese, and the Seafood Marbella with jumbo shrimp, sea scallops, and Maryland crab meat over top house-made fettuccine with a cream parmesan sauce.

Along with pizza and pasta, the menu includes wood-fired salmon and steaks, as well as salads and appetizers. There are also daily specials. Facci is open every day for lunch and dinner.

Facci’s Howard County locations have a wine list featuring more than 375 labels, and the restaurant has won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 14 straight years. However, due to space restrictions, the wine list at the Baltimore location is a bit smaller.

The drink menu also features cocktails, cello, sangria, and beer. Palma noted one of the most popular cocktails is the Facci Sofisticata with blonde rum, sweet vermouth, pineapple nectar, and fresh lime juice.

Palma was encouraged to take a look at the 414 Light St. space by an agent. He noted his two locations in Howard County have been “very successful.”

He immediately fell in love with the building and space.

“I always wanted to be in the city,” he said. “The building is to die for.”

The restaurant seats 130 between the bar, dining room, and lounge. It will also have an outdoor patio that seats 60.

The restaurant features wine racks going all the way up the tall ceilings, a giant mural of Sophia Loren, an open kitchen showcasing the wood-fired oven, expansive tile work, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Inner Harbor.

Palma noted the waterfront views remind him of his hometown.

“I’ve very excited. I think it’s going to be a big hit and the best Facci I have,” said Palma.

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About the Author: Kevin Lynch

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O’s fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and “bar food” foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.

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