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Found 283 results

  1. Edan Macquaid, long-time pizzaiolo at 2 Amys, is partnering with the owners of 2941 to open a pizzeria in downtown Falls Church. The name is to be determined, and the location is best kept off-the-record for now. This has been in the works for some time, and, at least on paper, has the potential to be one of the most exciting restaurants to open in 2008. Look for Macquaid back in action as a full partner, serving up wood-fired Neopolitan pizza - possibly with DOC status - antipasti, a full selection of beer and wine, possibly a liquor license, an exhibition kitchen, and seating at the bar. Not all details have been resolved, and I don't wish to overstep my bounds, so this is all I feel comfortable saying for now. Congratulations to everyone involved, and we'll see you soon. Cheers! Rocks.
  2. I have never been to Carraba's and after reading this thread will ikely never go, but I have a funny Olive Garden story. Every year for Christmas my aunt, whom I adore, gives me an Olive Garden gift card (which I don't). My family lost our home in a fire last year, and even my Calphalon and Le Creuset cookware was destroyed - but what survived? You got it - those 3 Olive Garden gift cards were still clinging to the kitchen bulletin board. After that, my kids decided we had no choice but to use them. We ordered many different things to try, none of which we can recall, handed the 3 cards to the waitress, and she returned and announced that we still had $42 remaining. Anyone want a smoky $42 Olive Garden gift card? We continue to seek good, classic Italian cooking in the close-in Virginia suburbs.
  3. That would be my #1 option (YMMV) in Cleveland Park, then. Great news for Cleveland Park!
  4. La Favola

    La Favola opened recently in the old Ovvio space. The menu has pizza and mostly uninteresting Italian dishes. It's not red sauce Italian...I don't know what it is.
  5. I love good rustic fare. Apparently this chain, owned by Outback Steak House, has decided to open an outlet in Reston. Meet those authentic Italian guys Johnny and Damian. Johnny's grandmother's mother (and grandmother's mother-in-law) were both born in Italy in the 19th century. Johnny says he enjoys the rigatoni campagnolo, while Damian prefers the spaghetti and meatballs, though he astutely points out that "Italian food is much more varied than the spaghetti and red sauce that has come to represent Italian food in America." Transportation Options to Carrabba's The preferred method is the ancient horse-drawn cart, but given the restaurant's modern twist on a traditional theme, arriving on a real Bianchi Italian racing bike is always a propos.
  6. My husband and I were recently in Houston and made our second trip to Da Marco with his parents. This is exceptional non-traditional Italian. I started with the artichoke alla giudia, a whole roasted artichoke. I was a little surprised because basically its presented whole, with a sweet sauce (maybe pineapple? its been a while). I think I would have preferred a more savory sauce. My husband had the very tasty mozzarella di bufala with roasted cherry tomatoes, drizzled with a wonderful extra virgin olive oil. My father-in-law had the oyster special, basically a plate of three oysters, which he said he wasn't the best he's ever had, since it was kind of late in year for Houston. We also split an order of corn ravioli served with bits of lobster on the side. The ravioli was good, but quite frankly, I think I would have preferred a lobster-stuffed ravioli. For our entrees, my mother-in-law chose the garganelli mmmmmm. I can't remember what it was, unfortunately, but she enjoyed it very much. My husband and his dad split the 48 oz porterhouse, which they loved (I think they actually got this a previous time). I got the chianti-braised short ribs with gremolata. At the first bite, I swooned. And I finished it all, without sharing. Well, maybe my husband stole a few bites, but I didn't really offer any. We also had a side of polenta for the table. Very rich and creamy. We were too full to have dessert, but they looked delicious. Da Marco only serves wine, no hard alcohol or even beer as far I could discern. We split two bottles of wine, both in the $50 range. I would highly recommend this restaurant for anyone visiting Houston.
  7. Just announced. If my googling is correct this will be in the new mixed development/apartment building along Connecticut Ave currently underconstruction. And given the size, 2,800 sq ft plus 1,000 sq ft patio, that's the only location that would make sense. The developers are going big on this one! Looks like it will be pasta focused with salads, antipasti, salumi, cheese, and meat/fish entrees. Bread Furst on one side of the street and the Trabocchis on the other. "Fabio and Maria Trabocchi are Opening a Van Ness Restaurant Devoted to Pasta" by Becky Krystal on washingtonpost.com
  8. For a short time only (I would guess), but very good right now at 2 Amys: Durham bread crostini with fava bean puree, olive oil and shaved pecorino. Bonus -- watching every member of staff variously set to skinning fresh favas at each lull in their other duties.
  9. I was walking around at lunch today and passed by 100 King St (vacant for awhile) and notice a bunch of permits on the windows and obvious demolition going on. Went back to the office and did a bit of digging and found a submission by Carluccios on the upcoming docket of the Board of Architectural Reviews. Apparently a UK based Italian chain. Carluccios.pdf
  10. I stopped into G Sandwich today to pick up lunch. This is the new sandwich shop by day/tasting menu by night/gravy menu on Sunday nights place that Mike Isabella has just opened next door to his Greek restaurant Kapnos. I arrived shortly after they opened at 11:00 and was among the first to order. I waited maybe 10 minutes for my order to be ready. In that time I determined that I was quite glad that I was ordering take-out and not planning to eat in the restaurant. The music was deafening -- I can't imagine trying to carry on a conversation. It took me 15 minutes to walk home and the food did not seem to have suffered at all in the interim. We both loved our sandwiches. He had the Cubano Panino (pork collar, swiss, pickles, prosciutto cotto, yellow mustard); I had the Spring Lamb (tzatziki, romaine, pickled onion, dill). The lamb sandwich was served gyro-style, but the amount of the filling was such that it would have been extremely messy to eat that way, so I used a knife and fork. All of the roasted meats used at G are cooked at Kapnos, and it showed. That lamb was so succulent! It may have been a bit fattier than I would prefer, but wow, that fat was tasty! The other ingredients provided nice complimentary flavors and the dill really stood out, but in a good way. My husband loved his Cubano and that's saying something since he is a bit of a Cuban sandwich snob, having spent a lot of time in Miami. I'm not saying that this is an authentic Cuban sandwich, just that someone who's pretty picky about that genre endorsed it. In addition to the 12 different kinds of sandwiches they make, G also offers 8 marinated vegetable sides, 4 salads, 2 soups, sweets, house-made sodas and iced teas and a small list of alcoholic beverages, including 4 beers, 2 wines and 2 cocktails. We've been eating a lot of carry-out foods in the past 10 days, as we moved and are still living in chaos. During this time we have also had sandwiches from SundeVich and Taylor Gourmet. I have to say that after this one experience, I'd rank G above both of these: way above Taylor and somewhat above SundeVich. It may not be fair to compare after just one visit, but when I'm looking for my next sandwich, I'm going to G.
  11. Surprised there hasn't been discussion of Batali's extravagant new venture - Eataly. I'm going to be in NYC next week and it'll be hard not to give this place a visit. This is so over the top but the success of the one in Venice makes one think this could actually work.
  12. Nothing makes me angrier than when I am at a restaurant that clearly doesn't care. $136 for POOR Italian food tonight, for four people: hard bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar; bland insalata caprese with radicchio and other lettuces (no seasoning whatsoever - even Frank's recipe has salt); mediocre chicken parmigiana (heavy breaded chicken, bland sauce); bland, underseasoned flank steak cooked with rosemary and vinegar, served with bland fried potatoes and steamed broccoli, and watery balsamic vinegar-tinged gravy; gummy asparagus and mushroom risotto. I was dreading the food once the waiter served the bread. The "loaf" we received was hard as a rock. I had to soak the pieces I broke off in oil and vinegar to render it edible. The waiter handed us a plate of cookies and gummy bears along with the check. The wines were just "ok". We skipped dessert, paid the bill and went to Stella's for mascarpone-filled sponge cake. We went there so you don't have to. I wish I had brought my camera to document everything. Michaelangelo Ristorante and Caffe 579 Columbus Avenue (Union Street) North Beach ps. if it was up to me, I'd have gone elsewhere but that's what happens when you're with friends and they spend 15 minutes deciding on where to go. it's a behavior I've noticed is common in San Francisco. the New Yorker in me just wants to scream.
  13. NEW ITALIAN SEAFOOD RESTAURANT FIOLA MARE SIGNS 15 YEAR LEASE AT MRP REALTY PROPERTY WASHINGTON HARBOUR Washington, D.C., February 26, 2013 "“ MRP Realty, a real estate operating company, today announced that Fiola Mare signed a 15 year lease for 9,000 square feet at 3050 K St., NW (Washington Harbour) in Washington, D.C. The Class-A space will be will be an Italian seafood concept owned by restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi. Fiola Mare is expected to open by end of 2013. "Fiola Mare will be exceptional complement to the restaurant tenant mix we have at Washington Harbour," said Bob Murphy, managing principal of MRP Realty. "Having recently completed a significant renovation project at Washington Harbour, Fiola Mare will add to the level of sophistication that we are bringing to our tenants, residents and the community." Recent renovations at Washington Harbour include: extensive upgrades to the upper and lower level plazas with fully renovated fountains, specialized lighting and animated water jets during the warm weather and the addition of an approximately 12,000 square feet ice rink during the winter months. Additionally, the retail storefronts have been substantially replaced on both plaza levels and a new 3,200 square feet state of the art fitness center has opened with onsite personal trainers and renovated lobbies, elevators and bathrooms. John Asadoorian of Asadoorian Retail Solutions represented MRP Realty during the transaction. MRP Realty acquired the Washington Harbour property two years ago. About MRP Realty Founded in 2005, MidAtlantic Realty Partners, LLC ("MRP Realty") is a real estate operating company focused on the Washington DC metropolitan area. MRP provides a full array of real estate services including acquisition/disposition, development/construction management, property management and asset management services. MRP Realty's senior leadership team has worked together in Washington, D.C. and its surrounding market area in various capacities for periods ranging from eight to 25 years and has wide ranging experience across a multitude of product types in both urban and suburban settings. MRP Realty's managing members have been involved in over 20 million square feet of investment with a total capitalization in excess of $4 billion in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
  14. A joint venture between Cava and Mama Lucias in Park Potomac. Was at a preview party tonight.... 800 degree oven,good pizza's.- not quite orso or pupatello...but much better thah matchbox. And no corporate board driving the food. Had some spicy pork sliders, among other tastes. Should do great and a welcome addition to the wasteland of food in Potomac!
  15. Jul 28, 2017 - "At Venice Beach's New Pasta Palace Felix, Jonathan Gold Admires Noodly Views and Italian Cooking" by Jonathan Gold on latimes.com
  16. I had dinner with friends at Osteria Morini this evening, the Italian joint at "Yard Park" on the right bank of the Eastern Branch between Nationals Park and the Navy Yard. I hadn't been down to that part of town since all of the development of the park and the ballpark, and it's really very interesting and pretty cool. The restaurant is sleek and appealing, though rather uncomfortably noisy. There's extensive outdoor seating, though, which during nice weather, such as we had tonight, is probably very nice, and much quieter than the restaurant indoors. While my friends and I were dining indoors, I was silently wishing we had taken seats outdoors; oh well, perhaps next time. I totally loved the food. My favorite bits: Exquisite, wonderful lardo, very thin slices in a curly tangle, with little slices of toasted bread, just fantastic. I asked the server where it came from, and she said Emilia Romagna, which is a pretty vague answer, but with every morsel I ate I felt closer to heaven (which my cardiologist might agree with, if he believes in an after-life). Charred octopus with "red rice salad": I was less crazy about the red rice salad, which I didn't quite understand, than the octopus itself, which was sumptuously excellent. The lardo and the octopus were the big winners of the evening, to me, but we had a lot of other things that were also smashing. Buttered spinach. Crostini with: smoked trout and goop, which was very nice; finely diced beets and goop, which was also very nice; and a melange of mushrooms and goop, which was rather strangely sweet, and the only dish of the night that I disliked. I had a dish of bucatini with crab and sea urchin, which I adored, and which of course ended up spackling my brand-new white dress shirt, as bucatini will do. There were some other things. Asparagus, which was nice. I forget what else. This place serves up some wonderful food, and the servers do their jobs very well. I recommend it.
  17. My son's baseball schedule has finally stopped, but had us traveling througout VA and beyond this summer. Last weekend saw us heading home from West VA via route 340. In an effort to avoid eating in West Virginia we headed into Berryville to try the rumored Neighborhood Italian Kitchen (NIK) offshoot. For those who are unfamiliar, NIK is probably the best restaurant in Winchester now that One Block West is going away. A strip-mall Italian-American joint that makes it's own mozzarella, cooks everything to order from scratch, and cuts no corners. NIK's Broiler room has opened just off the main strip in Berryville, conveniently located next to the ABC. In addition to the "regular" menu we have come to enjoy from NIK's Winchester, the Broiler room has added a selection of steaks, dry-aged in house. As with the NIK in Winchester, the prices are unbelieveable. $24 for a 20 oz bone in shell steak with your choice of side, and $13.95 for a chicken parm dinner large enough to serve two! While I can't comment on the ingredient sourcing other than to say that (a) mozz is made in house, and (b) suffice to say that the steak isn't wagyu and the chicken isn't green circle I can say that the dishes are made with care. We started with mushrooms oreganata and calamari, both of which were excellent - I prefer the sauteed calamari at NIK's Winchester, but was over-ruled on this order. The oreganata was well balanced between garlic, oregano and parsley - you'll often see versions leaning too heavily on the garlic, but not here. Mains were Rigatoni with Meatballs, Chicken Parm x2 and the 20 oz. shell steak with fries. The Rigatoni and meatballs were enjoyed - the bite i was able to steal impressed me with the brightness of the tomato sauce. The meatballs themselves were large but relatively light - I would guess a ground beef and pork sausage mix. The chickens parm were also excellent - the very same bright tomato sauce worked as well as a topping as it did in a more starring role with the rigatoni. Finally, my son inhaled the 20 oz shell steak, which came cooked to the requested medium rare, and with a generously charred exterior. The fries were potato wedges, and seemed to be made in house vs. the frozen variety. We were far too full to contemplate dessert, and left with basically an entire chicken parm dinner ready for the following day. The wine "list" is short and unremarkable, however they do have at least three offerings from Winchester's Escutcheon Brewing Co on tap, so I'd lean in that direction. We will be back.
  18. You could have knocked me over with a feather. After an excellent meal at Ghibellina, I was strongly swayed that there may be a new king of the 14th Street Shuffle (the Dining Guide Shuffle, that is). Further proof that DC's Italian Renaissance is in full-swing. People are talking about this-and-that neighborhood, but the biggest change in DC's dining scene of late has been the explosion of high-quality, moderately upscale Italian restaurants. And Lupo Verde, at least downstairs at the bar, positively screams Italian. If you've never had a Na Biretta beer, get one, and if you like a lot of malt, get the Na Biretta Rossa ($9) - this is like Moretti La Rossa, but better, and on steroids. Excellent quality, and a very cool-looking bottle to boot. I would get this again in a heartbeat, but there are four Na Birettas on the menu, and I'm eager to try the other three. It took forever for me to get my appetizer, probably close to half an hour, but when it arrived, I knew what took so long: I cannot imagine the labor that went into the Torta di Cozze ($9), and they've got boulder-sized testicoli offering this on a 14th-Street menu. Nominally a "Mussels Cake," this was an incredibly elegant little plate of warm, shelled mussels, sandwiched between two small wafers, with a half-melted scoop of Burrata, a little Parmigiano, and a drizzle of leek sauce. While not a large dish, and perhaps more delightful than delicious, this was not a nine-dollar plate of food; get it now, or pay more later - assuming it can possibly remain on the menu. Lupo Verde has a nice little wines by the glass list, but I went straight for the house white: Pinot Grigio on Tap ($8) from Piemonte, and it was a solid (not perfect, but solid) match with the Torta di Cozze - ideally, you'd want something a bit fuller bodied and bone dry. I recently had a very good spaghetti carbonara at Rose's Luxury, so I thought I'd try Lupo Verde's Carbonara ($14) to compare - there was no comparison. Lupo Verde's is made with homemade paccheri, guanciale, eggs, and Pecorino(-Romano?), and the paccheri is a wonderful vehicle for this classic Roman dish. This was, without question, the finest carbonara I have ever eaten. Like the Mussels Cake, it was a fairly small portion, but it was also a fairly small price - my server came down and almost apologized that the dish, served in a metal bowl, is presented merely warm, not steaming hot, because "that's the way they eat it in Italy," he said. Maybe, but the dish was plenty hot enough for me, and I was entranced by its execution. Lupo Verde's house red is also from Piemonte: Sangiovese on Tap ($8), and while this was a perfectly nice wine, especially for the price, I would counsel having it with a less-delicate, perhaps tomato-based dish, or charcuterie, and I would again recommend a full-bodied, bone-dry white with the Carbonara. Although I was getting somewhat full, I knew I hadn't eaten very much - these were not large courses - and since it was early, I knew I'd be wanting something later. So I got a plate of Three Cheeses ($13) to go which came with slices of bread, walnuts, and apricots. I apologize for failing to note the cheeses, but if you'd like, you can piece the order together yourselves: Lupo Verde is currently offering a total of four DOP (Denominazione Origine Protetta) cheeses, and I got the three that weren't Castelmagno. That was about the most non-helpful thing I've ever written, but the portions were fair, and although the cheeses are stored in plastic wrap, they were in perfect shape (on a similar note, my beer had gone several months past its expiration date, but it, too, was in perfect shape). It is important to recognize that I have now tried only two cooked courses at Lupo Verde, and I am not reviewing the restaurant; I am reviewing the individual meal. And I'm going to come right out and say that these were the two most refined dishes I can ever remember having on 14th Street. Needless to say, coverage is initiated, strongly, in Italic, and Lupo Verde, based on this one meal, is a legitimate contender for the 14th-Street crown. Yeah, you could have knocked me over with a feather.
  19. For all you Chris Bianco fans, here's an interesting article from the LA Times talking about his new LA project and book. As one of the folks who has made the Pizzeria Bianco pilgrimage, I'm super excited about the anticipated opening of a location in the ROW DTLA, a developing high-end, mixed-use area next to the Arts District. Excited enough, probably, to make the trip down with two kids under 3 (yeah, that excited)!
  20. Alta Strada opened three weeks ago and MichaelBDC and I have already stopped in twice for two very good dinners. After returning from a quick trip to New York, starting a new job, and facing an empty refrigerator, I convinced MichaelBDC to go to Alta Strada for opening night. We were surprised that the restaurant was only half full, but one of the GMs told us it was by design in order to allow the restaurant to ease into business. Michael Schlow was on hand to expedite and do some quality control. We started with the grilled octopus with chickpeas, calabrian chiles, and parsley. About 80 percent of the chickpeas were blended with the chiles to form a hummus like consistency and spread in a crescent shape on the plate. This was topped with the perfectly cooked octopus (which was poached and then grilled) a few whole chickpeas, and parsley. MichaelBDC and I both enjoyed this dish, especially the spice from the chiles. We also had the crunchy meatballs to start. MichaelBDC enjoyed this dish a bit more than I did, though I thought it was very good. I agreed with him that the outside of the meatballs were very crisp but did not result in a dry meatball. The restaurant also gave us an order of whipped ricotta to start. This was a luscious and great dish MichaelBDC and I both enjoyed. The only downer was the gratis bread and olive oil. The Italian sesame bread was average and the olive oil needed some salt. But since MichaelBDC and I enjoyed the starters so much, it was easy to overlook this part of the meal. We were already pretty full after the appetizers but had already ordered the Maltagliati with rabbit, fresh fava beans, and pecorino. This was my favorite dish of the evening. I really enjoyed the bits of rabbit and the fava beans. The pasta was lightly sauced, enabling the ingredients to shine through. We also ordered the broccoli rabe and spicy sausage pizza. It was good but not great pizza. There was nothing wrong with the dish, I just felt that the other items on the menu were much better. However, the pizza is perfectly good for an Italian place trying to offer a bit of variety. MichaelBDC and I each had a slice and asked for the rest to go. Last weekend, my brother and cousin were in town to run the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler with me and we decided to have our pre-race dinner here. We ordered everything that MichaelBDC and I had at our previous dinner minus the ricotta and added an order of tagliatelle bolognese and local striped bass with rosemary, white beans, escarole, and lemon. I only had the tagliatelle and thought it was very good. For dessert the table split the lemon sorbet, which was delightfully tart, and the nutella tarte, which was delightfully rich. MichaelBDC and I had two very successful visits to Alta Strada and are looking forward to more. It's so great to finally have a solid and decently priced Italian restaurant in the neighborhood.
  21. Some more pix from a visit a couple of months ago: Porcini with blueberries and pecorino Grilled artichokes with lemon aioli Octopus with pesto Grilled asparagus, caprino cheese, pickled shallots Meatballs Green beans with pesto and pine nuts Chicken liver crostini Rather disappointing. Was dry and needed a bit more "oomph". Charred pork belly, served with sweet-and-sour onions Awesomesauce on a plate Raspberry crostata -- dry and crumbly. Not too bad though -- with two glasses of white wine, coffee and herb tea, came out to $120 pp (incl. tax and 20% tip).
  22. Next time you're looking for a great, civilized meal in the West Village, try i Sodi (Tuscan without frills).
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