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Galileo III, Downtown in the old Butterfield 9 Space - Closed


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Nope, the pictures on my blog are from just two of us dining. We thought the four courses included dessert and partway through our first course, Roberto came out of the kitchen to tell us we still needed to order one more course! So the special was four courses PLUS dessert.

I do believe he thought there were 12 (or more) courses for two people. I agree we definitely had 4 courses plus dessert (twice) and might get back one more time just to make sure we cover everything on the menu.

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What is the latest on this? In December Chef Donna said January, but 2 days ago Joe H posted in another thread that "Roberto returns with Galileo III and his Lab in early May"! I'm familiar with con

I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the pappardelle with wild boar ragu. It was a simple sounding dish that turned out to be my favorite of the evening. The tender pasta carried a perfect amount of savory boar and robust tomato sauce. Strangely, it also invoked a bit of childhood nostalgia of my dad making his famous "Russian" soup. All the pasta were superb including the taglierini, but I didn't enjoy the accompany lobster tail as much as I anticipated. It tasted a little muddy, perhaps due to not being deveined before cooking.

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We ate at Galileo III last night. We had many of the same plates that have been described on here. I won't go into detail as many on here have a gift for writing that eludes me. What I will say is that Roberto is a Master in the kitchen. The food that he turned out last night was truly inspired. The respect he had for the ingredients was unworldly. As I told him last night, it was climatic! I never ate at the original Galileo, but I understand why he is venerated by so many. I do not care about his personal business, that is his and does not concern me. As long as he keeps out churning dishes like last night, he has a fan for life in me.

As a testament to the man, the restaurant was packed to capacity last night. They were still sitting tables at 11pm! Not a table was empty! Most that I spoke to were eagerly awaiting the art of the chef whom they had grown to love at the original Galileo. I do not think they were dissapointed.

As for service, it was attentive but not intrusive. Everything was timed perfectly! It ran like a restaurant that had been there for two years not two weeks.

Roberto, thank you for your gernerosity to this board. But mostly thank you for bringing your art back to this town.

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Was there last night saw Emma at the bar. I know there was a DR member at the table beside me, but I have never met him and he seemed to be enjoying his company so I didn't want to interrupt.

We had a very good meal, with nice service. Some dishes were really good and a few were stellar. All in all it was a really nice evening. My favorites were the parapadelle, veal carne crudo and the lamb entree.

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My husband and I took advantage of the generous DR discount offered by Roberto to celebrate our wedding anniversary at Galileo III on Saturday. We originally had reservations at Proof, a restaurant we have wanted to try and were never able to make reservations early enough for the date and time we wanted. We cancelled them in favor of Galileo, so I was feeling a little under pressure for Galileo to live up to high expectations.

Everything clicked right for us on Saturday, from the warm and gracious welcome to the wonderful food. A few highlights from the meal include:

Carne Cruda: Light and bright with flavor

Taglierini: Agree with all previous comments that this is a superb pasta dish

Filetto di Vitello : We opted for the $30 extra of fresh sliced white truffles from Alba on this dish. Well worth the extra cost if you are a truffle lover (we are!).

Stuffed Calamari and Lobster: The lobster was very good and perfectly cooked, but the cabbage stuffed calamari is what really makes this dish sing. It is the essence of great Italian cooking: simple ingredients treated with respect and surprisingly delicious.

Overall, a memorable meal. Plus, wife Nancy was delightful and had the most awesome boots on. I would go back just to see her again, but thankfully the food will bring us back, too. Thank you, Chef Donna, for a very special evening!

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We went last Thursday, and too were thrilled with the food and grace -- and it was so wonderful to see the Chef back in his element. We didn't seem to have just one waiter, which may have led to the confusion of nobody taking a wine order, even after we asked. It was also a bit disappointing at the start that the waiters could not tell us what drinks were available from the bar (we arrived on time and our table was ready, and the bar was full, so no chance or need to linger there), so we went with what we knew -- the dry Bombay Sapphire martinis were perfect, but we were hoping to start with a little adventure....

Since there were 4 of us and we ordered a variety of dishes, and shared, I was able to sample most of the menu.

Appetizers: Carne Cruda All' Albese and Tonna Delle Isole were all truly extradordinary, Budino Di Parmigiano and Porcini were really good.

Risotto & Pasta: Taglierini Neri All' Aragosta was really really extraordinary (I pondered changing my 4th dish to have more of this!), Raviolini Del Plin very good -- our Risotto with gorgonzola & pistachio was hot and perfectly cooked, but as noted above utterly overwhelmed by the gorgonzola (I wish they'd had the risotto listed on the online menu, "quail, porcini mushrooms, pork sausage topped with sautéed quail breast & quail jus" -- that sounds amazing....).

Main courses: Tagliata Di Manzo and Filetto Di Vitello were extradordinary, the Rombo was really good, and the Branzino boring (very cool table-side presentation, but eh taste, alas).

Desserts were all amazing: Torta di Cioccolato, Gianduja Semi Freddo, Crostata di Mele, and Budino All’ Olio D’Oliva -- the last surprised me, because olive oil cake sounded odd, but that was my adventurous choice and it was well worth it.

A wonderful meal, and an astonishing deal, thank you Chef! And as others have noted, they seem to be an instant hit -- we arrived at 6pm, and the place was packed in half an hour and stayed busy.

Also, the Chef told me the new Lab will open in a month or so, and I hope to be there!

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I ate dinner at Galileo III twice last week -- Thursday at the bar, Saturday in the dining room. The restaurant seemed determined to put its best foot forward -- there's no margin for error here -- and there was also a real sense of good will from the diners (which also comes through in the comments here). They're glad Roberto is back and want the restaurant to do well. The service was gracious and mostly correct. With orders in before 6pm both nights, I had no problems with pacing, though I could see how orders could pile up later in the evening. The kitchen appeared slammed by 8pm on Thursday.

The Food:

Breads: The home-made grissini were irresistible. The other breads (not home-made, I believe) were also nice, particularly the olive bread. The herb spread was novel but didn't go well with the bread. I would have preferred a good olive oil.

Starters

Budino Di Parmigiano: Rich, certainly, but it's the truffle and porcini mushrooms that carry the dish, rather than the cheese pudding, which was one-note and didn't sustain my interest.

Tonno Delle Isole: The tuna three ways, with the blood orange dressing, was bright, fresh and flavorful, but the fregola were cooked much too al dente for my taste.

Capesante: The scallops were sweet and correctly seared. The black polenta had a nice complexity.

Cotechino: The perfect starter. The pork sausage had real depth of flavor, and the stewed lentils and green sauce made it an earthy, complete dish. Special.

Pasta

Taglierini Neri All'Aragosta: I have to register a dissent. The black taglierini was subtle and delicately flavored, and the butter-poached lobster rich and sweet, but the two elements didn't work well together. The sauce didn't do the work it should have in uniting the pasta and the lobster. Less than the sum of its parts.

Raviolini Del Plin: My favorite of the pasta dishes. The ravioli were ever so delicate, the three meat stuffing and veal jus light yet deeply flavorful.

Agnolotti: Another resounding success. Again, the pasta was quite delicate, and perfectly set against a creamy, rich, but never overpowering mascarpone sauce.

Ravioli Verde: Merely good, though the pasta and butter and sage sauce were undeniably classic and well-executed.

Mezzelune: More about the tomato orange sauce than the crab stuffing, which was overpowered. Not my favorite.

Pappardelle Al Cinghiale: A deeply satisfying, earthy dish.

Fettucine All'Anatra: Like the pappardelle, less ambitious than some of the other pasta dishes, but again a unified and gratifying plate of pasta.

Mains

Aragosta and Calamari: Butter poached lobster, as in the taglierini. The stuffed squid was nice, the calamari contributing more texture than flavor.

Dessert

Gianduja Semi Freddo: The foam didn't add much, but the gianduja-flavored semi freddo was delicious nonetheless -- the chocolate, coffee, hazelnut, banana, and rum all in harmony.

Zuppa di Gorgonzola: Not a successful dish. The saltiness and bite of the gorgonzola threw off the balance of the dish. Perhaps it could work with a less strong blue cheese.

Overall, good, but not always great, cooking, with the pastas the clear stars of the menu. A solid beginning -- I look forward to greater ambition from the Laboratorio.

This is the most idiomatic Italian kitchen in town today.

Simon

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We were part of the hordes this weekend and had a lovely time in the new space. There were some service snafus, including an hourish wait for our first course and only informing me they were out of the branzino after our third course was finished, but we were comped a round a drinks during the wait and the rest of the night unfolded fairly smoothly. We could see everyone hustling and bustling about all night, so it definitely wasn't a lack of effort - I think they were just slammed around when we arrived. I like the warmth of the dining room and Nancy certainly made us feel graciously welcome and heard.

The food was very strong, overall, which was a relief because we were entertaining my in-laws. Our highlights were the quiveringly perfect scallops, the decadent agnolotti, the playful porcini, and tender veal fillet. We agreed that the mezzelune was overwhelmed by the sauce (in fact, we couldn't taste the crab in the stuffing), but OH MY does that sauce pop! The flavor of the orange shines through such that the pasta stuffing really seems extraneous, and everyone at our table loved it. The desserts were also a pleasant surprise, as they were not at all a throwaway course. The chocolate bar is an excellent chocolate dessert - heavily dark and cocoa-rich - and the panna cotta is creamily light and pleasing.

I did not care for the monkfish, partly because I was becoming too full, but mostly because it didn't seem up to par with the level of cooking in the other dishes. The dry kale really didn't add anything to the dish and the wine sauce and fish seemed rather insipid compared to the strong, cleanly blended flavors in the other dishes I tasted. When I'm full and something is delicious, I always manage to power through, but I left most of it untouched. Still, that was the only real dud of the night, which is impressive, as we worked our way through a good portion of the menu. My FIL thought the lamb was even better than the veal, and he thoroughly enjoyed both.

Thanks very much to Chef for his generous DR special and for the hard work of the rest of the staff. I'm so glad that we got a chance to come back to Galileo and we'll definitely return in the future!

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Hello everyone,

I just want to thank you all , for your great support and for the time you took on write all your reports ! It was very helpful for us in order to understand our weak points and try to improve them. Opening a restaurant is always a big challenge . I really enjoy to meet some of you and I am sorry I did not make it to everyone but some nights we were super busy and it was impossible for me to come out of my ring.

I will offer the same deal during the week of Thanksgiving and on the first week of January 2011 , but I will post it just before then . We just started the bar menu and we will keep the the dinner menu at the bar at a la carte with $18.00 for each dish.

Thank you , Roberto

MENU DEL BAR

Affettato Misto $14

Shaved finocchiona salami, mortadella,

pancetta, prosciutto, Italian ham,

cacciatorini served with grilled bread, cornichon & olives

Uova al Pomodoro $6

Two eggs fried in olive oil with tomato sauce

Spiedino di Manzo alla Siciliana $12

Garlic marinated thin slice of beef, breaded in parmesan cheese,

roasted served with polenta

Polpettine al Pomodoro $12

Little meat ball simmer in tomato sauce

Crostini di Salsiccia e Formaggio $10

Roasted thin slice of bread topped with sausage & cheese

Alette di Pollo alla Napoletana $10

Chicken wings sautéed in garlic, rosemary & lemon juice

Spaghetti Amatriciana $14

Homemade spaghetti with ragu of braised onion,

pancetta & tomato Sauce

Penne con Ragu di Salsiccia $14

Penne tossed with sausage & tomato ragu

Spagheti Cacio e Pepe $12

Spaghetti tossed with parmesan cheese & black pepper

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So many reports already but hey, that's what DR is about so I'll add a brief one that hopefully won't be entirely repetitive.

We arranged a business lunch at G3 for last week to give it a "dry run" before a full Saturday night experience planned for a couple of weeks from now. Our booking was for noon and, like many of the other posters, we'd requested one of the two tables by the kitchen and had been told it was noted without a guarantee--totally understood and appreciated.

When we arrived, the restaurant was about 2/3 full and we were shown to Table 23! Off to a great start!

We tried only three dishes between the two of us but we were very happy with all of them as follows:

Bread

I'm not a nutty bread fan but did think the house made bread was as I'd have expected. Warm, fresh with the very nice, layered crunchy crust I remembered from the old Galileo and which can be found elsewhere in town....but not at most places :-)

Branzino Crudo

Truly excellent. I might have liked an additional slice of fish for the price ($16) but can't complain too much given the execution. Chef Donna has always been about excellence in ingredients and technique and, with a crudo like this, it's all about the fish and the olive oil. Both were outstanding. The fish was clean, flavorful, and served at a perfectly cool (not cold) temperature. It was enhanced and not overwhelmed by the wonderful Ligurian olive oil (score!) and light orange for the acid. The small stuffed cipollini and mini-tomato were very tasty accompaniments. On balance: light, refreshing, interesting and memorable.

Risotto

After such a break between Galileos and challenged by wanting to try so many new things, I succumbed to the call of the Chef Donna risotto I remembered. And, so relieved to find out it was as delicious as I remembered. The aged Canaroli rice Chef uses has such great body and flavor. I think (but didn't ask) that he's using a smoked variety of the Scamorza cheese which lends a bit more flavor and then little else (aside from the stock in which it's cooked of course) to get in the way. There's no better risotto in the region--perhaps in the country. Absolutely delicious and light. If ever a simple dish could prove that there is serious art and skill to most anything, this is it.

Mezzelune

This wasn't as much a standout as the two dishes above. For my taste, I think there may have been a bit too much going on inside the pasta with pecorino AND ricotta; thyme, basil AND mint. The tomato sauce was lovely but it's acidity and strong flavor conflicted with (or negated?) some of the flavors inside the pasta. In the end, it was more a pleasant and tasty ravioli than something truly nuanced and interesting. I was interested in this because I thought it might be somewhat similar to the dinner version with the now much written about tomato orange sauce. Not sure now whether to try that when we go for dinner.

The lunch was expensive at just over $60 without any wine. While the food was mostly great and the service excellent, I'm not sure how often I'd go for lunch normally. Dinner is likely to be a different story though again there, will it feel worth the price relative to other high end spots in the city? Not sure but I'll find out soon enough. I'm especially excited about the Lab opening. As I remember that, it'll be even more expensive but feel like a great value if it's even 80% as outstanding as it was when Chef last operated it downtown in the early 00s.

One final thought I mentioned to our waiter: does anyone here remember a special lunch that Chef did in the Lab at his old Galileo? He'd just do it 3 or 4 times per month and would notify people by email with a day or two notice. Service was just a couple of simple sandwiches (I especially remember a pork shoulder--wow), usually a soup and a dessert for some ridiculously low value price. I'd love it if he reinstated that and, of course, the bar menu also gives regulars a way to be even more regular without totally breaking the bank. I think some variable pricing options like these will be important so the restaurant can appeal to more segments and, this time, be around for the very long haul as I really hope it'll be.

Thank you Chef Donna--for your generosity on this board and, for being back and better than ever!

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Roberto, I have a question. Isn't the classic Roman cacio e pepe made with pecorino romano?

YES! And I made a mistake on writing the menu , we are using pecorino on that dish. I really made a big mess on this dish , first one T on spaghetti and then Parmigiano , well the only good thing is that this is the simplest dish on Italian cooking but the most difficult to cook well , and thank god I cook better then how I write!

Thank you .

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One final thought I mentioned to our waiter: does anyone here remember a special lunch that Chef did in the Lab at his old Galileo? He'd just do it 3 or 4 times per month and would notify people by email with a day or two notice. Service was just a couple of simple sandwiches (I especially remember a pork shoulder--wow), usually a soup and a dessert for some ridiculously low value price. I'd love it if he reinstated that and, of course, the bar menu also gives regulars a way to be even more regular without totally breaking the bank. I think some variable pricing options like these will be important so the restaurant can appeal to more segments and, this time, be around for the very long haul as I really hope it'll be.

Yes! Back when I was shortly out of college, new to DC and working entry-level at a nonprofit there was no way I was eating at Galileo for real, but my co-workers and I loved going to the grill for lunch when we could. Even though it was a couple blocks walk and we passed so many other Farragut lunch places on the way it was worth it for that ridiculous pork sandwich with Chef Donna behind the grill cracking jokes. I think there was also a chicken sandwich, soup, pizza and maybe meatball too? Plus cannolis for dessert. You'd pay and make your own change in the cash box, grab your food and go.

Unfortunately G3 is a little too far from my current office to make the trek down if he were to open a grill there, but I would maybe have to try it once if it ever happens!

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Dined here with 2 companions last Wednesday. Admittedly, we are known to Chef Donna and his wife, Nancy. So I cannot be an anonymous judge of service. I'll comment on the food. We went for the chef's tasting. We waddled out after 3 hours of magnificent dishes. Not one crumb left on any plate. Although mostly traditional, some dishes included trendy elements. Whether crudo or cooked, tuna, scallops, Mahi mahi, branzino and filet of veal were perfectly prepared, as were their accompaniments. The Gorgonzola and pistachio risotto was toothsome ands creamy. Desserts were beautiful and included both traditional and trendy elementssuch as the chocolate bar with 2 ice creams - one richly colored and flavored Basil. Suggest you start with a bit of chocolate, the move to the ice cream, to avoid being overwhelmed by its intense flavor. Starting with the chocolate keeps them in proper proportion. We found a moderately priced bootleg of bubbles to accompany our meal. We thought the $125 per person price for the tasting dinner an incredible bargain.

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YES! And I made a mistake on writing the menu , we are using pecorino on that dish. I really made a big mess on this dish , first one T on spaghetti and then Parmigiano , well the only good thing is that this is the simplest dish on Italian cooking but the most difficult to cook well , and thank god I cook better then how I write!

Thank you .

I agree but it appears you have not followed your own dictum. This dish is insipid and overpriced. Perhaps you might want to rethink the preparation and the portion size?

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Footnote to my earlier review upthread, a brief report from lunch on November 4:

Gnocchi -- the gnocchi were cooked perfectly (delicate, creamy, not overly rich) but did not go with the tomato sauce. Ricotta and spinach agnolotti -- as good as ever.

The service was not as polished during the lunch service.

Tenative conclusions? The classic Donna dishes, like the agnolotti and raviolini del plin, are still wonderful and eminently rewarding, but newer dishes have not been thought through nearly as well. They often lack harmony and a certain rigor. The shortcomings of the kitchen are those of conception rather than execution.

All that said, Galileo III puts out some of the best pasta dishes in town, and I hope Donna's brilliance will soon extend beyond his core classics.

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Hello everyone,

I just want to thank you all , for your great support and for the time you took on write all your reports ! It was very helpful for us in order to understand our weak points and try to improve them. Opening a restaurant is always a big challenge . I really enjoy to meet some of you and I am sorry I did not make it to everyone but some nights we were super busy and it was impossible for me to come out of my ring.

I will offer the same deal during the week of Thanksgiving and on the first week of January 2011 , but I will post it just before then . We just started the bar menu and we will keep the the dinner menu at the bar at a la carte with $18.00 for each dish.

Thank you , Roberto

Is the deal still going to be offered Thanksgiving week? If so, what days?

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Is the deal still going to be offered Thanksgiving week? If so, what days?

Hello all.....YES...Starting Monday and lasting through Saturday Nov 27, we will be offering The DR 5 course special for the week of Thanksgiving.

Please make your reservations for the dining room accordingly...for the bar...just show up and grab a seat if you can.

FIVE COURSES FOR $55

We will also be starting a Happy Hour next week as well....besides the wonderful and well priced Bar menu we will offer Half Priced Specialty cocktails, select wines and drinks from 5-7:30 M-F. Chef will also be adding 2 sandwiches to the Bar menu....so there really is no excuse not to come in and take advantage of this excellent fare.

We will also be open for Christmas Eve and be offering Chef Donna's Version of Feast of the Seven Fishes......the night is filling up quickly, so we hope you'll join us for the night..The Feast will be offered from Monday 20th -Friday 24th $60 per person.

Looking forward to seeing you

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Hello all.....YES...Starting Monday and lasting through Saturday Nov 27, we will be offering The DR 5 course special for the week of Thanksgiving.

Please make your reservations for the dining room accordingly...for the bar...just show up and grab a seat if you can.

FIVE COURSES FOR $55

We will also be starting a Happy Hour next week as well....besides the wonderful and well priced Bar menu we will offer Half Priced Specialty cocktails, select wines and drinks from 5-7:30 M-F. Chef will also be adding 2 sandwiches to the Bar menu....so there really is no excuse not to come in and take advantage of this excellent fare.

We will also be open for Christmas Eve and be offering Chef Donna's Version of Feast of the Seven Fishes......the night is filling up quickly, so we hope you'll join us for the night

On a different note...I have had the pleasure to notice that some core posters of this board have come in to dine with us, yet have not posted on their experience as of yet......we welcome your feedback regardless of your writings :) I hope you're not waiting for the official review to come out and to either pile on or off the bandwagon :)

Looking forward to seeing you

Chris this looks great- -I work just upstairs and lots of my co-workers have been very anxious to come in- -the special menu might just do the trick!

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Excited to be booked next Wednesday and can't wait to try the special menu. Have been hyping the restaurant with co-workers and dominant response has been "but they aren't OPEN yet, are they??". This is a fair comment and something I've been thinking about- -with the glazed glass along the front of the restaurant along 14th Street, there is no sign of a welcoming, or even functioning, business inside- -it still appears to be under construction. Not sure what can be done to present a warmer, more welcoming or at least living BREATHING face to passersby but I can attest to the fact that I've gotten some odd looks from people when I've told them I'm booked for dinner next week.

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Too much rich food robs me of eloquence, so I will be brief. In the "masterful and amazing" category: the budino, the capesante, and the polipo - arguably the best grilled octopus I've had on any continent. Gubeen thinks it may even edge out the version at Kellari Taverna, which is stellar. Into the "merely superb" category, by which I mean perfect but only mildly revelatory, I'd place the zuppa di castagne, the decadent taglierini, and a remarkably juicy faraona. The latter starts out with a stuffed guinea fowl breast formed into a sort of roulade, served atop well-seared guinea fowl sausage rounds and salsify. Flavorful, and not a hint of dryness about the breast.

Actually, about the only dish I'd quibble with was the cappellacci di zucca, whose butter sauce was superbly made, but possibly simply too rich to be part of a large meal. The pasta was perfect though; absolutely dead-on for thickness, chew, and flavor.

Did I mention how rich the food was? *I* skipped the dessert course. No, really. I barely had room for an espresso. (I had to drive, otherwise I'd have had a pre-dessert grappa and tried for the end zone)

Service was gracious, and we particularly enjoyed the wine service that accompanied our brunello. Dishes were delivered to the correct seat each time, and courses presented in unison. Floor staff circulated at the right time to check up on each course, but we'd have liked a smidge more attentiveness to water glasses that needed refilling.

The kitchen pass is a huge aperture right there along the main dining area, and you can't miss seeing the big man working obsessively on each dish. It's been a long time since I've had Roberto's fine dining work, and he's still a tremendous culinary force to be reckoned with. I had considerable reluctance about making the reservation in light of his past behavior, but was assured that this operation is on the up-and-up before I made the call. We'll be back, even absent the absurdly generous terms of the deal extended to this community. Really, if you are at all inclined to try the resurrected Galileo, you'll kick yourself for not partaking of this offer. It goes well beyond what I'd expected.

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I posted my thoughts on our first visit back on page 3, and don't see much point in repeating my words. Repeating the special offer was, however, well worth it. To put it simply, dinner was excellent last time. Tonight, it was even better. Both the kitchen and front of house are stronger and more settled, and it's clearly one of the best restaurants in the city. Considering the generosity of this week's offer, why was the dining room not full? I'd go back tomorrow, except I don't think I'll be hungry again until turkey day.

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Thanks for the updates- -can't wait for tonight- -my only worry is I will be with my family which includes two vegetarians- - -i wonder if that disqualifies them for the special or if they can be accomodated- - -perhaps I will call.

Do not worry we will make a great dinner for the vegetarian . We do have a lot of vegetarian dishes on the menu.

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My family had a wonderful evening at Galileo III last night - - while the meal was not without blemishes, the overall experience was tasty and inspiring in equal measure. I must say that the primary inspiration came from Roberto himself, precisely as reported here lovingly (and seemingly joyously) attending to each dish, moving from station to station, interacting with his staff (many of whom I'm sure have stuck with him through thick and thin) and customers, waving happily out into the dining room. i don't know that I've ever dined anywhere where the mood in the dining room was so thoroughly dominated (in a good way) by the personality of the chef. Now to practical things- -all of our multiple servers were gracious and welcoming, even for a couple with three children (14-21) in tow. There were periods when, though the room was far from full, we felt the pace had lagged and had difficulty getting our server's attention, but when he returned his goodwill soon banished our concerns. Perhaps this is by design (I am no expert) but I was a bit put off by the lack of clear roles of the staff- -to this moment, I'm not totally sure who was wait-staff and who was sommelier, etc. My uncertainty about who was serving me what, or whether we had a single assigned server or multiple staff, caused a bit of confusion through the evening. Our server erred a couple of times, once by (enthusiastically) selling us a wine that was not available (then up-selling us to another) and once by giving us a bill that didn't reflect the DR special after we had discussed the special at length when we first arrived (be still my thumping heart at $89 per person rather than $55)- -the error was quickly corrected though and I am so appreciative of the opportunity to sample so many dishes at a reasonable price. And the dishes were wonderful, from a menu that, as promised, offered abundant options for the two vegetarians in our party. HIghlights for me (and I sampled a bit of everyone's) were:

Among the starters, the Codechinoe and Budinodi, the former simply melting in my mouth bolstered by firmness of the green lentils, the latter well balanced and slick with burrata.

Among the primi, the risotto, the taglierini neri and of course the agnolotti (I found the boar ragu on the Pappardelle just a bit cloyingly sweet).

Among the secondi, the Filetto di Vitello and the Aragostae (special notice here for the cuttlefish strips which appear to the eye as a "side" to the lobster tail but announce themself as a real focus of the plate upon tasting - - this dish stood out).

We were SO stuffed by dessert that it was a bit wasted on us but the Torta and the Gianduja were both very good.

The wines (a brunello and a glass of the VERY good and well-priced Trentino (lots of inexpensive options on the list)) were professionally prepared and presented.

Overall pacing, I have to say, at least for a family group, seemed a beat or two off. We were prepared to linger but, as we clocked past three hours we were ready to move on. I do worry a bit that, as demand increases, getting the dishes out of the kitchen could prove challenging (though I'd hate to sacrifice that wonderful personal attention from the chef).

All in all, the perfect spot to celebrate my wife's birthday in a lovely setting with wonderful food and a proprietor and seasoned loyal staff anxious to please, and succeeding!

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For years I have heard how great Roberto Donna. However, I remain skeptical. Can any of you can attest to the positive words about Donna that have kept his (genius?)spirit alive through several incarnations in order to convince me that he will live up to his former glory?

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Nobody can tell you whether Roberto Donna meets the standard you have set for him, since nobody but you knows exactly what that standard is, or what it would take on the plate to meet it. Here's what I know. For $55, you can have an appetizer (or pasta, or risotto), an entree, and dessert. Most of the reviews so far have said that your meal is likely to be at least very good (my experience was much more than that). So if your budget allows it, forget about former glory, just make a reservation and go have a nice dinner. If your budget is tight, try a simple lunchtime pasta, or check out the bar menu.

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For years I have heard how great Roberto Donna. However, I remain skeptical. Can any of you can attest to the positive words about Donna that have kept his (genius?)spirit alive through several incarnations in order to convince me that he will live up to his former glory?"

"For years I have heard how great 'Roberto Donna." Why haven't you gone? Why do you continue to ask despite numerous other posts on here confirming his excellence. Roberto is in the itchen every single night overseeing every single dish that comes out-his level of control is similar to that of 20 years ago when he was one of the very first Washingtonians to be considered for a Beard Award. I believe that he has the talent and vision to be the best of anyone in America. At some point you are going to have to stop asking questions and, rather, spend the money and go and find out for yourself.

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Is the G3 Lab open? The G3 site now says "The restaurant also features ... fine dining in the famous Laboratorio open on specific evenings highlighting a decadent tasting dinner menu consisting of multiple courses prepared by Chef Donna."

I was told it would be late January. However when I called about it I received a gracious invitation to come in for a special 10 course tasting menu, seated at a table with a view of the action. Oh, Laboritorio how I've missed you! We are going next week and I am thrilled!

On another note, in years past Chef Donna offered a take home meal for the major holidays. We did that one year for New Year's Eve and it was amazing. Now that we have small children I would LOVE for them to offer this again one day. I'm crossing my fingers.

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Does anyone know whether Chef is doing the first-week-of-January special he mentioned he might promote here the week prior a month or two ago? Also, any word on whether a new Galileo Grill may be in the offing? Have now been (and posted here) twice for lunch and dinner and thought it excellent though I'm having tough debates with others over whether this does (or is likely to) exceed Tosca atop the DC italian totem pole.

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As we all know, the Restaurant scene slows as does life in DC during January :) ..........As a result, Galileo 3 will be offering the following winter offerings:

January 3-8 - Don Rockwell Special all week...$55 =4 courses plus dessert

Chef's rotisserie PORK SANDWICH every day but only at the bar $7.00

Happy Hour Kick off....Monday thru Friday 5pm-7:30 pm...$5 wine BTG, $4 Beers, Half-priced Specialty cocktails and our awesome bar menu ( low prices/Big portions)

Pre Theatre Menu Special--Monday thru Saturday..5:00-7:00 PM $35.00 = Two courses plus dessert.....even if your not going to see a show you can get this deal :):lol:

As for the Laboratorio, Chef is starting this on Feb 1, 2011......Thursday, Friday and Saturday ONLY....Reservations required , $135 pp.....10 plus courses...limited to 28 people...Starts at 7 PM

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As we all know, the Restaurant scene slows as does life in DC during January :) ..........As a result, Galileo 3 will be offering the following winter offerings:

January 3-8 - Don Rockwell Special all week...$55 =4 courses plus dessert

Chef's rotisserie PORK SANDWICH every day but only at the bar $7.00

Happy Hour Kick off....Monday thru Friday 5pm-7:30 pm...$5 wine BTG, $4 Beers, Half-priced Specialty cocktails and our awesome bar menu ( low prices/Big portions)

Pre Theatre Menu Special--Monday thru Saturday..5:00-7:00 PM $35.00 = Two courses plus dessert.....even if your not going to see a show you can get this deal :):lol:

As for the Laboratorio, Chef is starting this on Feb 1, 2011......Thursday, Friday and Saturday ONLY....Reservations required , $135 pp.....10 plus courses...limited to 28 people...Starts at 7 PM

Hmmm, the every day pork sandwich sounds like it could be the beginning of a Galileo Grill resurrection or...maybe wishful thinking :lol:

Thanks Chris (and Chef) for the updates and for the deals; will be sure to take advantage.

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Believe me, it's a lot simpler to go and let Roberto make it for you (and the service is nice as well). Five of us went Friday night and had four courses and dessert. The budino was only one of the courses but got a lot of comments about how creamy, flavorful, wonderful, etc...

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This is a Great dish-one of the best that I had anywhere in 2010. Thanks to the Washingtonian for the video and the recipe.

Looks awfully good, as I sit at my computer down here in the Blue Ridge trapped by a snowstorm. Must be instant heart attack, or at least gout, tho. I did notice that the recipe calls for two eggs, but Roberto only used one. Don't know the cosmic significance of that. Maybe he has big eggs??? Hmmm.

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Took advantage of Roberto's fantastic 4 courses + dessert offer last Thursday (thanks Roberto!) with a friend & we were very happy with our experience.

We were also warmly greeted at the front door and requested Table 22 in front of the kitchen (nice view but quite demure that night, might want to come here when the place is bustling & the kitchen is pumping out dishes lol). Food-wise we really liked everything we ate, and especially loved a few. Some items we had:

Cotechino e Lenticchie (warm homemade pork, cotechino sausage w/ w/ mostarda di cremona, stewed lentil, piedmonte green sauce). Nice to start with this item. Definitely eat with all of the flavors together to best appreciate.

Budino di Parmigiano (parm reggiano cheese pudding topped w/ a layer of burrata and cream of porcini mushrooms). Very very good, just can't sing the super-high praise as other above. Cheese was also 1-note to me.

Capesante (sauteed sea scallops atop yellow & black polenta, sauteed lobster mushrooms, cream sauce). Perfectly cooked scallops & nice flavors overall.

Zuppa di Castagne (chestnut soup w/ mascarpone cheese, pancetta, duck gizzard). Loved it, was my favorite until the pastas & mains came.

Raviolini del Plin (small raviolis filled w/ 3 meats; served in veal jus, butter, sage). Loved it as well.

Taglierini Neri all'Aragosta (black taglierini w/ perfectly-cooked HUGE chunk of lobster). Loved it as well.

Filetto di Vitello (porcini-dusted & sauteed veal filet medallions, roasted porcini mushrooms, braised cipollini, taleggio cheese sauce & veal jus). Very good. Veal medallions cooked perfectly, and very nice flavors

Coniglio (roasted loin of rabbit served over braised legs with pancetta in a sauce of stewed celery, onions, green olives & walnuts) Very good too, well executed.

Service was quite good, providing a nice amount of space throughout the meal. Nice to see Nancy checking on the tables regularly with a bright smile. Looking forward to coming back & exploring the menu further. Great meal. If Donna offers this deal again, you gotta take advantage of it.

Welcome back Chef!

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Subject: Rotisserie Pork Panino Lunchtime Rapture

Two work friends and I (including Toby who might post separately) walked in today lured by the $7 pork sandwich DR special and, after a slightly shaky start, ascended into sandwich heaven.

There seemed to be some uncertainty among the staff at first when we announced our purpose and our order (simply pork san's) but they quickly recovered and, in about 20 minutes' (I think) time, delivered the goods. And I can honestly say this was the best sandwich I have EVER consumed - - the portion was more than ample (a sizeable fresh, crusty loaf, wrapped in paper and halved), the pork absolutely moist, succulent and well-seasoned, the onions sweet and the olive oil drizzle a perfect compliment - - my associates and I simply (but very attentively, I promise) inhaled them.

During our feast, we were well-entertained by a chat with my namesake, (and, I believe, dining room manager?) Walter, who taught me more about Italian culture (and in particular Italian wine) in 30 minutes than I'd learned in the preceding 51 years. (Walter also pointed out that an issue previously posted here, the off-puttingly frosted glass in the bar windows, has been addressed to permit passers-by a glimpse at the proceedings within). What a knowledgeable and charming guy, the perfect host.

Chef will absolutely need to stock up on pigs as we will be back, with reinforcements!

Thanks Chef, Chris, Walter and team for a very well-priced and VERY lovingly prepared lunch!

Walter

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As we all know, the Restaurant scene slows as does life in DC during January :) ..........As a result, Galileo 3 will be offering the following winter offerings:

Chef's rotisserie PORK SANDWICH every day but only at the bar $7.00

I have to agree with Walt. The PORK SANDWICH was spectacular. Succulent and really clean flavors.

Chris, how long will the PORK SANDWICH stay on the bar menu? Also, I believe the printed menu says the price is $8. Is the $7 price a DR special that I should be asking for, or just an error?

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I have to agree with Walt. The PORK SANDWICH was spectacular. Succulent and really clean flavors.

Chris, how long will the PORK SANDWICH stay on the bar menu? Also, I believe the printed menu says the price is $8. Is the $7 price a DR special that I should be asking for, or just an error?

Will stay on menu for a while and the price is $8.00....typo on my part :)

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