Brothers Giovanni and Carlo Morra arrived in the United States in the mid-1980s, thousands of miles from their picturesque sea-side Italian town of Monte di Procida outside of Naples. They were only teenagers at the time, but they brought with them an incredible wealth of culinary knowledge and experience. By the time each turned 6 years old, the Morra children would begin working and observing the operation of their family bakery, owned and run by their father, Mario. By the time they were ready to depart for the United States, Giovanni and Carlo were experienced in the kitchen.
The Morra brothers opened Trattoria da Enrico in Columbia, Maryland in 1988. Their mission was to bring truly authentic Italian cooking to the people of Howard County. With dishes and hot-from-the-oven specialties from every major region of the old country, customers were able to experience flavors of all regions of Italy, from Florence to Sorrento to Milan and, of course, Naples. Giovanni and Carlo also brought over what has become award-winning pizza to central Maryland. Naples, after all, is the historic birthplace of pizza, and the pies at Trattoria da Enrico keep with the tradition of Neapolitan excellence only using the finest Italian tomatoes, rich mozzarella, and a crispy delicious crust born of fresh dough made daily and tossed to order.
Trattoria Enrico has enshrined itself as a part of the community; hosting fundraisers, providing pizza to voting judges during elections, and earning a frequent visits from local leaders, such as Lt. Governor Boyd Rutehrford and former Howard County State Attourney Dario Broccolino.
Every year since its founding and, Trattoria Enrico has hosted a fundraiser for Hammond High School, giving back 20% of proceeds from restaurant revenues back to benefit school music and sports programs. Pepperoni pizza and cheese was the favorite pizza of students and parents of Hammond High School. Another popular dish among families was Chicken Parmesan.
With the tremendous success of their first location, in 2002 Carlo and Giovanni expanded to a second location in Ellicott City they named Trattoria Amore. Carlo became the face of the restaurant bringing with him his warm, jovial personality to the Dorsey Hall neighborhood. Customers can experience the same regional trip through Italy along with a handful of additional items unique to the location.
Trattoria Amore offers homemade fresh mozzarella, a variety of fresh seafood dishes, and over 250 regionally inspired pasta specials rotated daily. Carlo will even be happy to help customers select a wine to pair with their food.
Amore continues the Trattoria brand’s community engagment through fundraising. Trattoria Amore hosted a fundraiser for Centennial High School in early summer 2019, giving back 20% of proceeds from restaurant revenue.
After the 2018 flood of historic Main Street in Ellicot City, Trattoria Amore provided pizza to displaced families and volunteers aiding in recovery efforts.
In 2017 Giovanni and Carlo along with their brother Paolo, who arrived in the United States last, proudly unveiled their newest in the Trattoria restaurant family: Go Primo’s New York Pizza company in the Marriottsville, Maryland. Go Primo’s does offer a host of hot oven specialties such as Stromboli, calzoni, various pasta dishes, and oven-toasted subs made on homemade sub rolls. Rest assured, the hallmark and focus of this establishment is the pizza. Go Primo’s does a serious New York style pie with big, cheesy, thin crust slices loaded with all your favorite toppings from the traditional favorites such as pepperoni and sausage to gourmet toppings such as artichoke, arugula, spinach, and red roasted pepper.
Go Primo continued the community outreach of its sister restaurants with a fundraiser for Marriott Ridge High School giving back 20% of proceeds from restaurant revenue for school programs.