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  1. 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
  2. Old Town Alexandria Patch states that Hank's Pasta Bar is opening on Feb. 4, 2016. The address is 600 Montgomery St, Alexandria, VA. Here is the Washington Post article from last May about this upcoming restaurant from Jamie Leeds.
  3. I first wanted to applaud this new establishment (now several months old) for opening in one of the riskiest spots in the city for restaurants, given how PizzaGate affected so many businesses near Comet Ping Pong. We ate here several weeks ago, and I would describe it as a safe-choice venue with some interesting specials. Prices are fair for the value. Ambiance is come-as-you-are comfortable, I like it. Service is a strong point, they are very friendly. It is hard to provide any strategies for this place, as WYSIWYG menu-wise. We did order from the larger format menu, and got the $45 Grigliata Mista - filet of mackeral, two head-on fish, and octopus. Simple and tasty. Our child ordered spaghetti and meatballs $16, it was a modest portion which she easily finished. I also ordered a tripe dish in a red sauce, from the special menu, it was good. We will be back, it is a nice neighborhood amenity, and the bar is well-stocked. It will be in my rotation with Buck's and Sfoglina for last-minute neighborhood walk-ins. My interest is peaked in that it seems to be food-centric without being Instagrammy or outwardly pretentious. But I don't think they will capture an AU crowd like Comet Ping Pong or Medium Rare seems to enjoy. It is a bit of a strange bird and I will enjoy tracking it.
  4. 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.
  5. The kids were going to see Aladdin so I made early dinner reservation at Masseria Dei Vini. I’ve never heard of the place but the location works and the menu looks authentic if not on the expensive side. The best starter is the fried zucchini sticks - thin, crispy and the batter did not fall off. Their baked calamari is almost as good as fried calamari. The rice in the GUAZZETTO ALLA PUGLIESE (Shrimp and Clams in a light Tomato Sauce, served with Apulian Grain) apparently is very delicious according to my daughter. The two pastas we ordered were very good - pappardelle with rabbit ragu, squid ink pasta in whey clam sauce. If anything the pasta could’ve been firmer. We also ordered a thinly sliced steak that’s very good as well. I would recommend the restaurant as a solid Italian joint.
  6. 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.
  7. I can't say too much about the food at Corsino Cantina, because we only stopped in for a glass of wine and a few nibbles at the bar. I mentioned in a post from several years ago how much I liked that lots of places in NYC bring you a snack at the bar. We were at Corsino during happy hour and were each treated to a ricotta and orange honey crostini, a generous cube of mortadella, and a dish of olives and pickled veggies. The crostini were quite good so we ordered a few more: fennel, orange & white anchovy and chicken liver. Both were very simple but nicely prepared. Everything on the menu is under $20, with the exception of a seafood pasta that includes lobster ($21). The ambiance was warm and friendly, with warm wood walls and floors and candelight. The bartender was pleasent helpful and had no problem pouring samples of a wine or two, so we could find one we liked. They had a great selection of Italian wines - and grappa. It seemed like a popular local spot and is one that I would be happy to stop back into on a future visit to the neighborhood.
  8. 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.
  9. Here is an alternative - because it is not usually on the out of town visitor's "must do" list, like the suggestions above. (I will admit I've never been to any of them but Slanted Door, and that was before it moved to its current location). Well loved by the natives, is Pesce [Moved 2013, Closed Sep 13, 2015]. Impeccably fresh seafood, and it has an accommodating long bar. It's on Polk (between Green and Vallejo) and is a friendly chichetteria in Russian Hill - the Venetian equivalent of tapas bar. Surprisingly reasonably priced hot chichetti, cold chichetti and some entrée specials on the chalkboard. If you go, definitely try the grilled octopus with celery and Yukon potatoes. There are lots of shellfish choices, some pastas, a meat or two - it is all fresh and creative, with a bargain priced wine list. No reservations though.
  10. Il Radicchio. Tell me about that place. It's been there and I'm wondering what it's doing.
  11. Little Grano [Grano Pasta Bar] is probably the best place in the Hampden area.I am not sure of the raison d'etre of the big one [Grano Emporio].
  12. I look at this as "new opening" experience, but not a good one. Mia's had been open about 10 days when I dined there last Sunday evening. It retains the layout established by Carluccio's: The bar is in the back left of the 1st floor, with dining tables at the front. The former bakery area is now a pizza oven and "bar style" seating for dining. The main kitchen and a dining area on the second floor. Overall, I liked the decor and interior look and feel. The menu looks great, though our food was a mixed bag, as was the service. They have a number of issues to work out in these early days. We arrived for a 7:30 reservation at 7:21 and were told (unapologetically) it would be a few minutes before we could be seated. The place was busy, but I didn't feel welcomed at all by the host. (Perhaps he was trying to accentuate an air of exclusivity and buzz. Hmmm.) I initially thought the bar was in the front by the host stand -- and it was full. But this is bar seating at the pizza oven. There's no bartender there. So we left and had a drink at Pizzeria Paradiso, to return in a little while. When we returned we were seated with our party. Where to begin? The service was ok, with exceptions. The food was a mixed bag, as were the drinks. Definitely a lot to process here -- for me and for Mia's. They have a nice cocktail and wine list. I enjoyed their camomile tea-infused Negroni and we ordered a nice bottle of wine (delivered by a manager with radio in her ear and on her hip). But the Bellini was a problem for one of our companions. They had eaten at the bar a few days before and enjoyed Bellini's there. But this one was different. The menu lists "prosecco, peach purée, orange juice, lavender bitters." They believed the original was either missing the bitters or had much less. And the same for the orange juice. They found this one disappointing. The four of us ordered a spinach salad and capresse to share, with 2 pastas, eggplant parm, and a pizza (which looked like a "flat bread" to me). First the salad arrived. We saw a Capresse coming at the same time, but it wasn't delivered to our table. It was ~10 min before we asked about the capresse almost as one was arriving. The spinach salad was fine; solid. The Capresse has some of the best mozzarella I've tasted. Very fresh and delicious. But it was served with grape tomatoes, and not enough of them for the generous cheese slices. I could swear I saw slices of tomato on the first Capresse I saw, but not sure. About the same time as the Capresse arrived, the pizza arrived. The pizza's are rectangular and cut diagonally thought the center, and perhaps two more times--I didn't really study it.. Again, it seemed like a flatbread, though I didn't taste. (I'm not familiar with rectangular Italian pizza, maybe that's a thing.) Unfortunately, that meant that one us had his dinner too early. I ordered a "spicy" shrimp Diavolo with fettuccine (the online menu shows this as "LOBSTER FRA DIAVOLO"--that was not on offer). Other meals included RIGATONI ALLA CALABRESE, and EGGPLANT & PORCINI “POLPETTA”. The house made pastas are delicious. My pasta was light and delicate, despite the wide noodle. The Calabrese was a very tasty sauce and the pasta was a bit more al dente but delicious. I liked the eggplant, though I'm not much of a connoisseur in that department; our companion found the portion too large and the breading a little too much. Now back to the shrimp. It was devoid of spice. The only hint of spice was the red pepper I shook onto it. The tomato sauce was flavorful and fresh tasting, but the chef forgot to add several spices I suspect. That was another disappointment. The pasta dishes were still tasty enough that we took home what we didn't eat. When our waiter came back we chatted with her about all of these observations and we got nothing more than "oh, sorry" this and that, as well as an exaplainaton that the pizza kitchen is separate from the main, so food might come out differently. Uh, ok, it's still a poor experience. What annoys me is that after trying to give genuine, helpful feedback we go no acknowledgement. We should have been comped the Bellini at a minimum. Maybe offered a discount on the check or on a future visit. The manager should have been called to talk with us (they were NOT remotely busy by this point). We were told how the staff had trained for a month before opening. I think they missed a few things in training. I also wonder what the management trained on. I also have to mention that the seating is too tight in the tables by 1st floor windows. There is barely enough room for waitstaff to get between the tables perpendicular to the windows and the chairs of patrons seated in the tables parallel to the windows. I was bumped at least twice, my sweater was brushed off the back of the chair, as was my wife's coat. I looked a the layout and wondered what the managers were thinking. I saw staff struggling to get through the gauntlet of patrons' chairs and window tables with less than 3 feet of clearance. The divider between dining and bar should be moved 2-3 feet toward the bar. I want Mia's to succeed and I'm generally a fan of Alexandria Restaurant Group's efforts and what they bring to the community. This location has a history of being difficult -- it's sad to think about how long it's been vacant over the past 15 years. I note that there are several Italian restaurants on this block (Il Porto, Landini Bothers) and a pizza restaurant (Pizzaria Paradiso). So I have to wonder whether an Italian kitchen is what the 100 block of King St needed. Is this a slap in the face? The gauntlet thrown down? I'll leave that for others to decide.
  13. Another new pizza place coming to the old Balducci space next to Chef Geoff on New Mexico Ave. http://www.bizjourna...eal-signed.html
  14. A coworker is touting the quality of Vace's pizza, saying it's the best slice in the city. Having never been, and not seeing a thread for it here, I ask for your opinions. There's also a Bethesda location. http://www.vaceitaliandeli.com/ 3315 Connecticutt Avenue (202) 363-1999 (Cleveland Park) 4705 Miller Avenue (301) 654-6367 (Bethesda)
  15. 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.
  16. I first noticed this place after my last visit to Nectar. We were walking to the Four Seasons for drinks, and passed by what looked like a beautiful dinning room with most of the tables filled. The menu looked interesting, and not too pricey. But I had never heard anything about this restaurant, and still have not found any mention of it on this or other boards. I figured I would have heard something about it if it were either good, or horrible. So should I take the absence of any mention as being a sign that it is painfully mediocre?
  17. When I was complaining about the lack of good Italian food in Arlington recently, this doesn't sound like the answer I was hoping for. From the owners of A-Town and Don Tito comes, Barley Mac, an "Italian American" fusion tavern with a beer and bourbon beverage program. . . "A-Town Owners To Open Rosslyn Restaurant" on ARLnow.com
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