If you happen to be in Bel Air and hungry over the next few weeks, I recommend longtime casual Italian establishment Buontempo Brothers on Main Street.
It was one of the first places we discovered when we moved to Bel Air in 1987. I have many fond memories of after-school pizza with my St. Margaret friends, especially since it was a five-minute walk from the parish. Now, I enjoy taking my own family there for great food at a great price. It’s counter service with class. And you can’t beat the booth space for large groups like ours!
While we were enjoying our Monday pasta specials ($5.99 for a heaping portion of pasta, salad, and bread), I found another reason to love Buontempo Brothers: a Lenten menu! Richard and Renato (the big guys in charge) have put together a selection of seafood and vegetarian dishes suitable for those abstaining from meat. All for less than $15.
Richard (l) and Renato (r) proudly display the Lent Specials at Buontempo Brothers in Bel Air.
My personal favorite is the gnocchi pesto, pillowy potato dumplings tossed in herbs, garlic, and olive oil. I also love their spaghetti for its robust sauce. From what I hear, the crab cakes and shrimp scampi are hearty and packed with flavor. And the pizza is near perfection – hand-tossed, crispy crust topped with the finest cheeses.
Everyone who works at Buontempo Brothers is friendly and eager to serve. It’s clear that Richard and Renato carefully choose their staff. They are especially accommodating when it comes to children. Collin decided he wanted a slice of pizza. I got up to return to the counter, but an employee bussing a nearby table insisted on taking care of it. He even asked if we wanted it cut up into small pieces.
It’s great to see places like Buontempo Brothers weather time and the changes it brings. It takes talent, dedication, and faith, all of which Richard and Renato possess. Come see for yourself, but not on Sunday – they’re closed.