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  1. So, I was over on Georgia Avenue this morning where there's a newsstand,where my husband was picking up the Racing Form to handicap the Derby, when I spotted this place called Pacci's Neapolitan Pizzeria - http://paccispizzeria.com/ - opening today. I had to run in and check it out, and there was the wood-burning oven and the pizzaiolo from Naples. I had a brief chat with the owner who assured me that this would be the real thing. They're making fresh mozzerella - and hopefully this will be vera pizza Napolitana. We were going out of town for the weekend, but I hope to check it out on Monday. Looks so promising!
  2. Former Tosca chef Massimo Fabbri serving up Tuscan food inspired by his home town osterias. Appears this is in the old Thally space. Washingtonian with the story website
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. This family-owned place has been around since 1993 - it is tucked away at the end of a strip-shopping plaza at the opposite end from Outback. Carpool Herndon is 200' away. They are open for lunch and dinner daily. The food is good or good+; just have not been there enough recently to expand. The place is clean and service is friendly. Atmosphere is a little dated, but you will always be greeted as if you have been there before. I had not been in some time, just kind of fallen off our radar, and stopped by last week for a nice lunch. Specials are posted daily and their bread fresh baked. Food comes out efficiently and you can tell they have a lot of regulars.
  6. Anyone else tried this place yet? I've been twice. The food is very good (the pizza is really good). Service needs work.
  7. Il Radicchio. Tell me about that place. It's been there and I'm wondering what it's doing.
  8. Today, Monday, is opening day for Alba. We went to Alba on Thursday night for their "friends and family." We found it to be extremely imaginative with a number of dishes that I think are extraordinary for North America. I believe that it presents a new depth of Italian to Washington, D. C. that most have not seen before. I'd even suggest it is a real credit to D. C. that we have a restaurant like this. The setting is familiar and reassuring but a number of the dishes are a very real adventure. For anyone reading this who might have shared in one of the Laboratorio dinners I organized a number of years ago: do you remember the "duck stew?" Roberto has a dish called trofie all finanziera which is a type of pasta with what is essentially "duck stew" sauce. Remarkable. Also, an intensely delicious agnolotti al brasato (another Laboratorio dish), tamarin and an amazing chicken soup. Yes, chicken soup. It is even called this on the menu. Intensely reduced, deeply flavored chicken stock with cream, white wine and cubes of chicken breast and veggies with little "nuggets" of a pasta. Topped with homemade croutons. If it were not for our passionate waiter we would not have tried it. "Chicken soup" sounds so simple, so "Carnegie or Stage or Katz' deli like. But this was incredible. Better than any New York deli-all of which i have had chicken soup at. Others saw us, asking what we'd ordered. Pretty soon there were a half dozen or more bowls around us with another half dozen spoons for others so they could try, too. Roberto has never had chicken soup before-this is his first time presenting it. It will become a signature. Chicken soup. Trofie finanziera. Agnolotti al brasato. Tamarin. For starters and a bit of direction. Alba is an adventurous, exciting restaurant that gives full credit to the piedmont region where Roberto is from. And for anyone going, you'll see thematic features (various metallic structures and designs) throughout the restaurant which are from the Crayola factory which closed in Sandusky, Ohio in the late '50's. Alba recovered them from salvage and restored them where today they help create the unique but reassuring ambience of the room. Sandusky is also the home of Cedar Point, the greatest amusement park on Earth. It was once called 'the amazement park." There is both literally and figuratively a bit of the amazement park in Roberto's new Alba!
  9. 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.
  10. @eatruneat and I were feeling good, but in need of a snack after doing a wine tasting at A Litteri and scoring several bottles - seriously, if you like Italian wine, you need to check out A Litteri. They won an award as the best selection of Italian wine outside of Italy a few years ago. Anyway, we sat down at the bar and were warmly greeted by co-owner Antonio. I ordered a glass of wine and @eatruneat ordered the 'Stellina Sprotz'. After trying her drink I immediately regretted ordering wine. Made with DC distiller Don Ciccio & Figli's Amborsia liqueur and a few other ingredients, it was a light, slightly sour orange delight. I looked down the bar and realized that everyone else had one except me. We ordered the Cotto & Funghi pizza and were a little surprised when it came out uncut. Two seconds later a server dropped off pizza cutter, which didn't totally solve the issue. The tray the pizza is served on has a bit of a lip, which makes cutting the crust a challenge. Once cut though, the pie was delicious. The sauce tasted close to Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce with a hint of sweetness and velvety texture and the toppings tasted very authentic. Unfortunately we were time constrained and that was all we were able to try, but will be back to try more and this time I'll get myself a Stellina Sprotz.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. My boyfriend and I love dining out on Valentine's Day. Even though I KNOW its the "novice" day for eating at restaurants, there is something about it that I love. That said, every year we try to go somewhere new. Neither of us have been to I Ricchi. Has anyone been? Any comments? Any other ideas of nice romantic restaurants? (Because of it being a weekday and because of work, the restaurant needs to be in DC).
  14. 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
  15. Eight of us middle aged types just celebrating life nestled in at Barbuto last March one afternoon from 2pm to about 5pm.and ordered their family style fixed-price menu (plus a few additional add-ins as I recall). We just told them we were hungry and left the rest to them. The food was quite good and the atmosphere was fun. I recall the kale and chicken being standouts, as well as the fish they offered us off menu for an upcharge (Dover sole?). I can no longer remember the beer list, but I do recall half of our bunch drinking beer through the meal, and this tends to be a wine crowd, so that may say something.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. Yet another one we have tried a couple of times. The setting is very decent with both indoor and outdoor seating areas. The menu focuses on pizza, some Italian dishes, and some sandwiches. Overall the food quality is hit or miss and I recommend the pizza over the rest of the food. That being said, the pizza at Arucola cannot carry the jock of both Comet and 2 Amys that are reasonably close.
  19. This new massive restaurant from the owner of Masseria opened last week on the Wharf, so we went last night. The entrance is right on Maine Avenue, unlike the majority of the restaurants on the Wharf. You walk into a relatively casual café and market, and are led to your table upstairs to a swankier dining room. The room was a little too brightly lit for our tastes, but I know many complain about rooms being too dark, so we may be in the minority. We started with a decent bourbon and amaro cocktail to start, followed by delicious buffalo mozzarella and figs stuffed with ricotta and nduja. We then split a delicious pasta (note: I am FAR from a pasta snob/expert, so others may disagree) filled with cauliflower with a hint of anchovy before our entrees: decadent tortellini filled with fall squash for my fiancé, and a whole branzino with a dill-lemon emulsion for the entrée. My branzino was very good but unexciting (to be clear, I didn't expect it to be exciting when I ordered it), and the sauce was tangy and refreshing. The tortellini was fantastic and a decent portion; the parmesan on it reminded me, in the best way, of the nostalgia of the Kraft pre-grated cheese in the green container that we all grew up with. The side of beets we got with mint, oranges and fennel was a HUGE portion for $10. Lastly, we shared a rhum cake with freshly whipped cream that was outstanding. Service was super friendly and, for the most part, knowledgeable. Our waitress was quite engaging and glad to show off her knowledge of the menu. One quirk: we mentioned during our meal that we wanted to check out the vaunted "Amaro Library" after dinner. Before our entrees came, our waitress said they had spots open and that we should go now. We resisted a bit because we were happy at our table and didn't want all the food to have to be brought to the bar, but she was pretty insistent, saying that the bar would likely fill up soon. So we went, regretfully so. I love eating at the bar alone, but it made it difficult to carry on as nice of a conversation when we weren't sitting face-to-face. Worse, the bartender, who was otherwise perfectly nice, was a bit stressed out about all the tickets coming in from the waiters, and got a bit snippy with them, which dampened the mood a bit. As for the amaro bar itself, we were let down. Despite having an interesting-looking collection, there was no menu, so we didn't know what was available and what flavors they had. The friendly bartender revealed that he had limited knowledge of the actual amari and had to defer to a colleague for some help. We liked what we ended up getting, but were disappointed considering how much they've hyped up their amaro bar. The selection and knowledge at Little Coco's is much better, at least for now. The crowd, by the way, was extremely Sceney, the same type of crowd you'd find at RPM or Nobu. Not sure what it is about the Wharf that attracts these crowds (not that I totally dislike it), but it's starkly different from the people you'd see at other restaurants in the city.
  20. Badwolf DC has information about Casa Luca. http://www.casalucadc.com/ is the restaurant's website. http://www.opentable.com/casa-luca is Open Table's site for reservations. Fabio won the Rammy award this past weekend as D. C.'s Chef of the Year for Fiola.
  21. Consider Pó, which is on Carnelia Street in the Village. It has a six-course tasting menu at the unheard of price of $48, and the food is extraordinary. I think that this was Mario's first place in New York, and it continues in the tradition. It's small, not elegant and a tough reservation, but a wonderful value for New York or, for that matter, anywhere else.
  22. "Lupa, Restaurant that Replaced Petit Louis in Columbia, To Close this Weekend after a Year in Business" by Sarah Meehan on baltimoresun.com This was in the former Red Pearl space, which was in the former Jessie Wong's Hong Kong space.
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