Lisa Troia, who is part-owner with her mother, Carol Troia, of Cafe Troia, in downtown Towson, said she can't believe 30 years have passed since the Italian eatery opened.
"It's a shock it went so fast," Lisa Troia said.
To mark the restaurant's 30th year, Cafe Troia is offering customers a $30 prix fixe menu through the end of July.
The eatery opened in 1986 at 28 Allegheny Avenue and grew from a small, gourmet deli to a full restaurant complete with a deck and outdoor garden dining.
Moving to 31 Allegheny Avenue in 2008, the restaurant has stayed true to the traditions of northern Italy, where the family is from. It serves naturally-raised chicken, beef, lamb and veal, and buys its produce during the summer months from the farmers market a few steps away on Allegheny Avenue.
The restaurant business has always been tough, Lisa Troia said, adding that Cafe Troia has lasted thanks to her family's hard work.
"We're here everyday," Troia said. "That's the only way to make it work."
The Troia family has celebrated birthdays, baptismal parties and wedding receptions at the cafe over the years. With some customers dining every week, Lisa Troia said she has watched other people's children grow up at the restaurant.
"We are lucky to have a great customer base," she said. "It makes it worthwhile."
By keeping their food fresh and trying different specials, the Troias say they hope to continue the restaurant's steady success.
"It's been a tough economy, but we always have to stay on top of our game and keep people interested and wanting to come back," Troia said.
The prix fixe dinner menu includes several courses, with an appetizer selection of cool gazpacho, steamed mussels or a summer salad. The entrees include a choice of asparagus and ricotta ravioli, linguine con calamari vesuvio, pollo alle olive nere, or salmone alla griglia. Dessert is gelato or sorbet.
More information about Cafe Troia can be found on its website,, www.cafetroia.com.
This story has been updated. An earlier version incorrectly identified the name of the restaurant's executive chef.