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  1. 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
  2. Pretty slick looking (Washingtonian) City Paper Soft opening July 21, debut August 4. Three, five, and eventually eight course prix-fixe tasting menu format. Masseria. 1430 Fourth St., NE; 202-608-5959 "Masseria combines the raw and simple look of an Italian country estate, the industrial grit of the Union Market district, and the undeniable contemporary chic of its fashion-savvy chef-owner."
  3. 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.
  4. Just received this from a colleague at work: Get ready for DC's newest restaurant from Bob Kinkead! View this email in your browser Coming soon from Bob Kinkead! Washington DC's James Beard Award Winning Chef Bob Kinkead announces the opening of his newest Italian seafood concept, Ancora. The pop-up concept located in the Watergate complex at 600 New Hampshire Ave NW, Ancora is Chef Kinkead's vision of an Italian Trattoria. Boasting house made pastas along with Chef Kinkead's famous seafood delicacies, Ancora will offer antipasti and sharing platters of salumi and crudo. While featuring the fresh fish and shellfish Kinkead has become famous for, Ancora will also include preparations with an Italian/Mediterranean flavor. Ancora is certain to become a destination not to be missed in the capital's dining scene. Ancora's menu will change frequently to reflect seasonal, locally sourced, impeccably fresh seafood and produce. Executive Chef Jeffery Gaetjen, formerly of Kinkead's, will be at the helm of this kitchen, assuring the same attention to quality and consistency that made Kinkead's a Washington DC landmark for 20 years. Ancora's bar program will focus on classic cocktails and will feature modern interpretations of libations utilizing Italian aperitifs, wines and spirits. The wine list will consist of mostly Italian wines, featuring varietals from some lesser-known Italian wine producing areas and selections from Europe and the United States. With it's unique location directly across from the Kennedy Center, Ancora will be the perfect place for pre and post theater dining. As the weather warms, the expansive patio overlooking the Potomac River will be the perfect spot for happy hour with friends, or to catch up over a lovely dinner with a beautiful view. Stay tuned for an opening date coming in February. We can't wait to see you at Ancora! 202.333.1600 info@ancoradc.com www.ancoradc.com (coming soon!) Copyright © *2013* *|Ancora|*, All rights reserved. You are receiving this email because you are a loyal fan of Chef Bob Kinkead! Our mailing address is: *|info@ancoradc.com|* unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences
  5. 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.
  6. Recently, I had a very bad experience with a professional group dinner at Ristorante La Perla of Washington. Despite repeated attempts to address the issues during dinner, there was poor to simply inadequate service. We had pre-set menus. In theory, everything should have been seamless. However, it was miserable! Some people received salads; some people didn't. A bread basket was placed on only one side of a very large table when there should have been one bread basket on each side of a round table. Servers were surly at best and seemed as though our party was an after thought despite the fact that our dinner had been planned months in advance. Oh, and the worst of all, a guest at one of our tables was a mindful eater. Rather than ask if the guest was finished with their plate, the server picked up the guest's plate - still half full of food - and promptly placed another plate on top mashing the food down. This act prevented the guest from asking for a 'doggie bag'. The first time my organization had a group dinner at Ristorante La Perla of Washington, all aspects of the dinner from service to food were outstanding. Therefore, we made plans to return a few months later. Needless to say, we will not be booking a group dinner at Ristorante La Perla again and will definitely advise others not to think of dining there. Does anyone know if there is a problem between the FOH and the Chef/Owner? It seems as though there are signs of a major calamity in progress. The decline in service, in less than 6 months time, is stunning. There are many other options, but we like to develop a rapport with restaurants and become regular customers. The location of La Perla is very convenient, but we will travel to experience good service and food. Washington has plenty of Italian restaurants to choose from and we are giving up on this old guard restaurant. Does anyone have recommendations for Italian restaurants in DC where group dining is a wonderful experience? Thanks for all recommendations.
  7. Kriedl sold Cafe Tirolo about a year ago. I tried it once a month later and it was okay (certainly better than Cafe Monti). But I haven't been to Cafe Tirolo lately.
  8. I am surprised I haven't seen a thread on this place. Has anyone tried it? I checked out the space over the weekend (it is beautiful!) but have yet to eat here. My sister is working here (as a bartender) and went through *extensive* training along with all of the other staff. She is obviously biased but she raves about the food. I heard that Sietsema has a review coming out soon. What say you, DR.com community? Website (I think it would be helpful if they posted prices on their menu.)
  9. I'd love to know what happened (or didn't) to Obelisk. When I moved to DC about 5 years ago, it was constantly mentioned by Tom S. and seemed to have a great rep. I always meant to try it but never did, and then I feel like it sort of dropped off the face of the earth. I remember someone bringing this up in a Post chat a while back and Tom mentioned something vague about a bad experience. It's Peter Pastan's restaurant, right?
  10. i searched and to no avail, much to my chagrinning consternation. or perhaps my grasp of operating machinery lacks something, a certain finesse, predictedly ending in, how the french say, a certain cul de sac. enough of this tomfoolery. if for no other reason, go to tosca and order the tomato marmelade tart with ricotta basil gelato and basil syrup. the disc of pastry, baked to a golden hue recalling the skin tones of the snug decaying descendents of aristocrats who play their life away beneath the long dead still mediterreanean sun in nice and monaco, crackles at the slightest pressure, as your fork oozes through the tranquil carmine pond of tomato marmelade, marmelade whose very flavor completely obfuscates the taste buds: it is sweet, yes, but not sugar sweet, but still not raw sliced tomate sweet and anything but acidic; the verdant quenelle of gelato haunts with ricotta's fresh whey-ness yet tempers the aggressive and volatile source of this faintly sweet soft emerald gem, the basil. it is like no dessert and yet, it is the apotheosis of simple desserts: seasonal fruit tart, with an appropiate accoutrementing creaminess. ive not had my fix this year and this changes. this changes tonight. you owe it to yourself to have this dessert. really you do.
  11. "Bicycle Thieves" is the simple story of a poor Italian man, his son and a stolen bicycle. It is one of the finest films I have ever seen. Considered by many to be a masterpiece of Italian neorealism, the movie is bleak, beautiful, sad, joyous, hopeful, moving and sublime. I was confused when I started searching for this film online, because it is also called "The Bicycle Thief." Both titles refer to the same film. They are merely different translations of the Italian title. "Bicycle Thieves" was adapted for the screen by Cesare Zavattini from a novel by Luigi Bartolini. At 69 years old, the film does not seem dated. It is a timeless tale that still feels fresh and relevant today. One of the earmarks of neorealism is the use of non-actors. Neither Lamberto Maggiorani , who plays the father, nor eight-year-old Enzo Staiola, who portrays his son, were trained actors. Both give magnificent, moving performances. Staiola is irresistible as the little man, trying as hard as he can to keep up with his father as they search the streets of Rome for the bicycle. He has the most expressive eyes, and is able to communicate a full range of emotions with a simple glance up at his father. I felt the deep bond between these two, and the scene where they share a well-earned meal of mozzarella sandwiches is one of the best moments I have seen captured on film. Shot in black-and-white, the film is lovely looking, with artistic images of the grittier side of Rome. The story is simple, yet compelling. I was completely caught up in the tale, and felt as if I was running alongside the pair, racing against time, trying to help them find the bicycle and a way out of their life of poverty. "Bicycle Thieves" reminded me a lot of the French film "The 400 Blows," a movie that I adore. I highly recommend these two films. Watch them both. You won't regret it.
  12. Had one of the best brunches I've eaten in a long, long time Sunday 2/5 morning. Wm. Mulherin's Sons is at the corner of Master and N. Front St in Fishtown in a historic building that was formerly the offices for a 19th century whiskey manufacturer. We were seated in a room behind the bar with a real (=wood) fireplace that was stoked continuously throughout the morning. Although seating was a little tight (18 inches between two-tops) you could still focus on your companion without too much distraction from the parties on either side of you. My bloody mary was mixed well with fresh horseradish, giving enough of a kick to pull me through my hangover. We started with the warm pound cake with banana, whipped ricotta, dark rum and cinnamon. I took a bite and just stared at it for a minute. My wife had to ask me if I was ok. I was, just stunned at how good it was. Although it had the potential to be treacly, it was the perfect amount of sweet. My wife got the frittata with truffled burrata, smoked pancetta, mushrooms and potato. She raved about the burrata, and the truffle flavor was perfect in its subtleness, unlike so many places where it overwhelms the rest of whatever you are eating. The rest of the fritatta balanced the ingredients nicely in a substantial portion. I ordered the Eggs on Volcano, their version of Uova al Purgatorio. Th two poached eggs come on top of a spicy tomato sauce (the heat coming from long hot peppers), guanciale and creamy polenta. Again, everything was in balance. The heat from the sauce was not insignificant, but also not overwhelming. Break the eggs and mix everything together and enjoy. The service was top-notch, with the whole team of servers responding to requests (more cream for the very good coffee, more water to quell the spice of the tomato sauce). A neighboring table had an infant and some formula leaked from the diaper bag onto the bench and coats of the family. The manager rushed over before the mother looked up, grabbed the coat and rinsed it off, while another server helped clean up the formula leak. They were on top of everything. When we return to Philly, we are definitely going to go back to try dinner. Or maybe bring some friends along for the family-style brunch which consists of a 24oz dry aged porterhouse, potatoes and a dozen eggs (scrambled or over easy).
  13. I've made a couple of lasagnas lately, and want to try a professional version to see how mine measures up. Anyone recommend a (local) place that has a good one? Not looking with one with excessive dairy, would like one balanced. I am especially interested to check out the texture of the noodle. Thanks.
  14. I finally got around to try Cinghiale near the harbor. It's an Italian restaurant that is part of Cindy Wolf's Charleston group in Baltimore. The place divided into 2 sections, the more casual bistro-like Osteria, and the fancy Enoteca. However, you can order off both menus no matter where you sit. Since we were more slobbed out, we ate in the Osteria, but I ended up ordering off the Enoteca menu, which is like a prix fixe that you can also add wine pairings with each course. The food was really delicious- I started with La Carne Cruda- a raw veal tenderloin topped with poached quail egg. My next course was some boar ravioli with a brown butter sauce. The main dish was amazing - Il Maiale- a roasted Berkshire pork rack with red wine sauce, grilled peaches and an arugula salad. My dining companions had a pretty amazing heirloom tomato salad with gorgonzola. All in all, it's definitely got the impressive food the Charleston group is known for. Pics
  15. Am I right that no one has written about Maple? Named after the big slab of maple wood that makes up the bar (not pancakes!), this place is right on 11th st. We went for the first time last weekend and were very happy we did. It's a small space and you can tell that the same designers who did Cork did Maple (although I found Maple more comfy/cozy). Lots of wood, grey, etc. and the bar ends in one of those peninsulas that can be a table for four. Outside tables too. The menu is small, and so is the kitchen. That said, everything was delicious. To start we had a summer special cocktail -- gin with limonata, blackberry juice, and blackberries. Refreshing and I am now totally addicted to this drink. We had two of the crostini (I don't remember the price for two, four were $10) and they were tasty -- one with white beans and anchovies and one with prosciutto, fontina, and fig. I give the edge to the white bean one though. I had the short rib panini, which was delicious. Hearty, rich, and just fantastic. My partner had the lamb bolognese, which was also great -- just gamey enough, but not too ripe. We shared a bottle of forgettable Montepulciano, but at $20 for a bottle, it was fine. There were plenty of other choices that were a little more expensive, but we went with the waitresses wine recommendation. We thought it was interesting she suggested the cheapest bottle! Dessert was a special -- cobbler with peaches and blackberries from the farmer's market with dolcezza vanilla gelato. YUM! A few things I loved -- first of all, it is not small plates. I am so tired of small plates! Second, the prices were great. For two cocktails, a bottle of wine, the crostini, two entrees and a dessert our bill was $100 for two people including tax and tip. Finally, they seem to have cool special events. We signed up for an upcoming Italian rare beer tasting. Only quibble was that the wine recommendation was not great from the server, but otherwise she was super nice, efficient, and good.
  16. There's a Coming Soon sign at this building in Clarendon (near the corner of Wilson and Washington Blvd). The website says coming in early 2007 though, so I guess it's still a ways off from opening. Anyone know anything about this place?
  17. I can't find an existing thread. If there is one, please merge. I did not go here, but my wife did, for lunch. Here's what she said 'And I had an absolutely AMAZEBALLS lunch today. AMAZEBALLS. Did you see the picture I texted you? It was horribly expensive for lunch though. But daaaaaamn!' You have to understand, she's in publications and just doesn't talk like this. Apparently, it was a really good lunch.
  18. Dal Grano is next to the former Bistro Vivant, now Masala. Bland is the key word here. I had fettuccine with seafood white wine sauce. The dish had some nicely cooked shrimp and calamari rings, and some mussels (not in shell). I think it was the mussels that made the dish fishy, otherwise it had little flavor. I also think the pasta is not firm enough.
  19. I received the following e-mail via a Silver Spring listserv this morning: Trattoria da Lina is a new Italian restaurant coming to Takoma Park in early 2017. The project will take over a former office space and add another option to Takoma Park's growing dining scene. Construction is well underway for this 55 seat restaurant in the heart of the Takoma Park commercial district. The restaurant's design is rustic and cozy with brick and wood and inspired by the casual eateries of the owner's motherland.The menu will offer a wide variety of pasta dishes, including traditional favorites and authentic creations, plus steak and fish options too. The restaurant will host a full bar. The owner is Marcello Minna, area restaurateur with 20 years experience and partner in Magico, the group behind Takoma Park's popular Dolci Gelati Cafe. Minna plans to staff the Trattoria with a team from Italy. Trattoria da Lina 7000 Carroll Ave Takoma Park, MD 20912 202-446-4167 Minnamarcello@yahoo.com
  20. After a soft opening on Sunday afternoon for friends and neighbors The Red Hen officially opened last night. Menu is not on the website yet, but Washingtonian has a scan. We were hoping to walk down right around 5:00, but never made it out the door; it was apparently packed (as expected given the neighborhood excitement for this place). Early Comments I've read so far are very good on the food, so-so on the value (although no cocktail is over $10, so hooray?). Portions size comes up most, but there are lots of small plates. We're very much excited to try it out. Has anyone been yet?
  21. I rarely post in the Baltimore section, but I was surprised not to see Supano's with a write-up. It's a family-owned Rat Pack-themed Italian restuarant with gorgeous woodwork all over the interior, and pictures of Frankie and Dino and all of their buddies festooning the walls. A large projection screen in one corner dominates the dining room, with videos of Sinatra's concert events running non-stop. The menu also announces "Best Italian Restaurant in Baltimore" and "Best Steakhouse in Baltimore" by various sources, as well as many dishes such as "World's Best Eggplant Parmigiana" and "Baltimore's Best (this or that)"....superlatives aside, this is a restaurant with incredible decor and very good food. I had the shrimp cocktail and the "World's Best" Eggplant Parmigiana. The shrimp cocktail was pretty good, although not the "best" I've had. The eggplant was worthy of superlatives, but perhaps not "World's Best"....nonetheless, I would most definitely order that dish again. As you can imagine, the steaks and chops are also the stars of the show, and the pasta and other Italian selections look like they're from a competent kitchen. There's a whole lot of menu to be sampled here, and I will do my best every time I visit Baltimore.
  22. Mamma's Kitchen is 5 minutes away from me and pretty much what the OP describes Mamma's Kitchen has been our family spot for years. It's close by and they're very consistent. It's been run by the same Greek family since it opened. It's casual, family friendly comfort food. The menu is made up of various cliches like fettuccine alfredo and lasagna, but also a smattering of Greek dishes like mousakka. Nothing very adventurous, but the food is good, everything is made fresh and there's zero chance you'll leave hungry. And the gyros are great.
  23. If I was a guy and wanted to impress a non-foodie hot girl, I would totally take her here. Because it is probably one of the most romantic restaurants in DC. Period. There are wonderful trees within a courtyard that canopy the outdoor eating area. There's a lovely walkway flanked by tables as a bar area. The interior is reminiscent of the lush lounge at the Tabard. But the two food items I sampled were some of the worst things I've had in a loong time. A goat cheese torte came out in a slab like pate, was pink and came out with roasted red pepper sauce. Not a nice little tart shape as we were expecting. And let me say again... PINK! It didn't taste of anything. The chicken liver pate with green peppercorns was extremely kicky, but was a scatological dark brown and not the unctuous deliciousness that I've had at other places. I'd maybe stroll over to enjoy the atmosphere after a dinner at the Tabard, but that's about it.