Cornucopia (8102 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda; 301-652-1625). Pleasures are many at Ibrahim “Ibo” Selmy’s engaging salumeria/grocery/cafe. Against a backdrop of Italian opera, you can buy a bit of this and that for dinner—pungent anchovy-wrapped olives, tissue-thin prosciutto di Parma aged for 500 days, crostini with fresh mozzarella and roasted eggplant.
Selmy makes sandwiches ($7.99 to $9.99) with deliberateness and a generous shake of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Italian roast beef ($7.99) is scented with oregano and rosemary, salami ($7.99) can be mellowed by red peppers ($1.50), and roasted vegetables ($8.99) are paired with fresh mozzarella. The store sells Superior Pasta Company’s excellent frozen dishes to slide into the oven. Eggplant Parmesan, manicotti, and lasagnas (vegetable, meat, cheese) are all delicious ($13.99 for a portion that makes a light meal for two). For those willing to boil water, there are also frozen uncooked pastas such as earthy porcini gnocchi ($5.99 a pound). A crusty French baguette ($3.50), lush cannolis filled to order ($2.75 small, $4.50 large), and many kinds of biscotti ($12.99 a pound) will round out your meal.