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Floriana, Owner Dino Tapper's Italian-Influenced on 17th and Q Streets in East Dupont Circle


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I had dinner at Floriana last night. What a great evening. Walked in early with no reservation, they asked to give them 15 minutes so we went downstairs to the bar, which is a treat in itself if you have never been. Went back upstairs and was seated on the top floor; they are doing some renovating right now but were very apologetic (though they didn't need to be). Our server Matthew was great. I ordered a galls of wine I was not thrilled with and he got me another with no fuss; very much appreciated. I had the Oxtail Bolognese (20.00) which was AMAZING. Hearty, tasty, wonderful on a chilly night. Partner had the Gorgonzola topped Sirloin (23.00) which he loved. Great meal, great service!

Scott

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I had dinner at Floriana last night. What a great evening. Walked in early with no reservation, they asked to give them 15 minutes so we went downstairs to the bar, which is a treat in itself if you have never been. Went back upstairs and was seated on the top floor; they are doing some renovating right now but were very apologetic (though they didn't need to be). Our server Matthew was great. I ordered a galls of wine I was not thrilled with and he got me another with no fuss; very much appreciated. I had the Oxtail Bolognese (20.00) which was AMAZING. Hearty, tasty, wonderful on a chilly night. Partner had the Gorgonzola topped Sirloin (23.00) which he loved. Great meal, great service!

Scott

Floriana gets almost no press and for some reason I never "think" about it even though I live right down the block. But when I've been, the meal has impressed me. The lasagna is particularly good, and they have a bargain night (Tuesday?) where wine is half price, or dinners are 2-1, or something like that. It is a neighborhood gem that deserves more praise.

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Is this the same Floriana that used to be on Wisconsin Ave, just south of Fessenden in Friendship Heights?

I'd like to "second" winonelson's question please. Does anyone know if this is the same Floriana that was across from the old Outer Circle Theater on Wisconsin Avenue back in the 1990s? I had the BEST bolognese sauce EVER there. I still remember the meal--it was probably the most delicious Italian food I've ever had in a restaurant around here. Sigh.

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Very solid meal here last night. It's a local friendly place that was pretty busy for a Tuesday, with great service. The prices are medium to high (entrees $18-25ish), but decent value. All homemade pasta and fresh seasonal ingredients. Our Calamari appetizer was nicely fried with good dipping sauce, and a good portion at that. They included a variety of complementary bread with the typical garlicky-herbal olive oil. For entrees- the Pork Belly Ravioli was a big hit with a lovely cream sauce and very tender meat. Steak Tortellini also had a nice tomato cream sauce, however was not expecting the meat to be ground. Good but not wowing. Decently priced wine, though it's no Dino in this regard.

Menu says "since 1979." I have to wonder if they mean Italian restaurant at this location since 1979 or Floriana relocated from Friendship Heights (since 1979) as some have guessed.

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Menu says "since 1979." I have to wonder if they mean Italian restaurant at this location since 1979 or Floriana relocated from Friendship Heights (since 1979) as some have guessed.

Floriana has most definitely not been at 17th and Q since 1979, nor has there been an Italian restaurant in that space since 1979. I believe that building has hosted a succession of restaurants. Washington's first (I believe; my first anyway) Ethiopian restaurant, the Blue Nile, moved there when they had to leave the Chastleton when it was being renovated in I think the early 1980s. They didn't last long. Oddly or not, I have no recollection of a Floriana on upper Wisconsin.

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Floriana has most definitely not been at 17th and Q since 1979, nor has there been an Italian restaurant in that space since 1979. I believe that building has hosted a succession of restaurants.

I think most recently it was Mercury Grill? They had another location in Rehoboth Beach.

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Floriana has most definitely not been at 17th and Q since 1979, nor has there been an Italian restaurant in that space since 1979. I believe that building has hosted a succession of restaurants. Washington's first (I believe; my first anyway) Ethiopian restaurant, the Blue Nile, moved there when they had to leave the Chastleton when it was being renovated in I think the early 1980s. They didn't last long. Oddly or not, I have no recollection of a Floriana on upper Wisconsin.

I think the Floriana in Tenley/Friendship had two incarnations. I remember drinking Chianti in college when it was located right on Wisconsin in a storefront near Fessenden. Later it was around the corner from the OuterCircle theater.Which I still miss.

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I think most recently it was Mercury Grill? They had another location in Rehoboth Beach.

And I remember it as the New Orleans style place in the late 80s, or maybe it was the early 90s - Carmella Kitty's, I think it was called? Or was that somewhere else?

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I think the Floriana in Tenley/Friendship had two incarnations. I remember drinking Chianti in college when it was located right on Wisconsin in a storefront near Fessenden. Later it was around the corner from the OuterCircle theater.Which I still miss.

Wasn't the restaurant around the corner from the Outer Circle (which I also still miss) the Round Table, for years and years? And then briefly, I think, Toscana? And then torn down? Or are you talking about around a different corner?

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Has anyone been recently? Sietsema's recent review was a positive-sounding 2 stars and the menu sounds good. Regarding previous posts, it sounds like it was on upper Wisconsin early on, then moved down to its current Dupont location in 2000.

I have never heard about it from any of my friends, but the recent press, and looking at the menu online, have gotten me intrigued.

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Is this the same Floriana that used to be on Wisconsin Ave, just south of Fessenden in Friendship Heights?

Do you know if they have a Happy Hour? Times?

I'd like to "second" winonelson's question please. Does anyone know if this is the same Floriana that was across from the old Outer Circle Theater on Wisconsin Avenue back in the 1990s? I had the BEST bolognese sauce EVER there. I still remember the meal--it was probably the most delicious Italian food I've ever had in a restaurant around here. Sigh.

Floriana has most definitely not been at 17th and Q since 1979, nor has there been an Italian restaurant in that space since 1979. I believe that building has hosted a succession of restaurants. Washington's first (I believe; my first anyway) Ethiopian restaurant, the Blue Nile, moved there when they had to leave the Chastleton when it was being renovated in I think the early 1980s. They didn't last long. Oddly or not, I have no recollection of a Floriana on upper Wisconsin.

I think most recently it was Mercury Grill? They had another location in Rehoboth Beach.

I think the Floriana in Tenley/Friendship had two incarnations. I remember drinking Chianti in college when it was located right on Wisconsin in a storefront near Fessenden. Later it was around the corner from the OuterCircle theater.Which I still miss.

And I remember it as the New Orleans style place in the late 80s, or maybe it was the early 90s - Carmella Kitty's, I think it was called? Or was that somewhere else?

Wasn't the restaurant around the corner from the Outer Circle (which I also still miss) the Round Table, for years and years? And then briefly, I think, Toscana? And then torn down? Or are you talking about around a different corner?

Maybe I am conflating the two. It has been a long time!

Has anyone been recently? Sietsema's recent review was a positive-sounding 2 stars and the menu sounds good. Regarding previous posts, it sounds like it was on upper Wisconsin early on, then moved down to its current Dupont location in 2000.

I have never heard about it from any of my friends, but the recent press, and looking at the menu online, have gotten me intrigued.

Well, if nothing else, the review's fact finding will hopefully clear up this year-long string of questions!

I've always wondered why Floriana doesn't get more press based on their "Flori"d sign alone.

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Floriana was first on Wisconsin, just south of Fessenden in the space that is now matisse. then it moved briefly to the space next to the outer circle but I don't know for a fact that the name was ever changed from the round table.

Unfortunately, the dish I loved there - linguini al pescatore - isn't on the menu at the current location. Or so I've been told.

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Unfortunately, the dish I loved there - linguini al pescatore - isn't on the menu at the current location. Or so I've been told.

Visiting Floriana's website, I find no linguini al pescatore on their menu, but I imagine it changes occasionally. Some of the dishes I do find don't sound particularly Italian. DIVER SEA SCALLOPS creamed corn hash, Andouille sausage and lime? It may very well be delicious, of course. Sietsema mentions as not-very-Italian the crispy veal sweetbreads with sauce gribiche. While the sauce gribiche isn't Italian, perhaps the best crisp sweetbreads I ever ate were served to me in a little trattoria in Rome. Rather than a sauce gribiche, I believe they came with a squeeze of lemon.

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Double-posting here and on the Agora thread, particularly because there's no recent reviews of Floriana:

Trying to decide based on these reviews whether to eat at Floriana or Agora for pre-theater dinner.  (Komi and Little Serow won't work with our constraints, and I don't think the others will want Sushi Taro.)  If I thought we'd have time, I'd eat at Pesce and then walk over, but the theater is a 2 minute walk from Agora and only a little more to Floriana, so why tempt fate and make us rush to curtain if service runs slow.

Agora and Floriana both seem reasonably good ("Sure, okay," as described by someone above [in the Agora thread].).  So we're probably fine either way.  But any recent positives or negatives would be great to know.

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I'm on a trip down memory lane. I lived above Trio's for 2 years and then lived about 2 blocks south of there for 11 years.

It's been a couple of years at this point, but I've enjoyed meals at both Floriana and Agora. I probably enjoyed Floriana more.

I also would have suggested Hank's as a third alternative.

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My meals at Floriana have been rather meh, and the service slow, particularly when busy (though it's been a couple years). It's been even longer since I've been to Agora, but it strikes me as a better pre-theater choice simply because the food is lighter, as opposed to heavy-ish Italan food. Agora also has some nice wines by the glass, as I recall.

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Hm, looks like Hank's doesn't take reservations? That'll knock it off the list.  (It wasn't on the list in the first place because as usual, I was using the dining guide for the area we're going to, and so I missed any that are in "Multiple Locations".  I understand from previous posts that that's been raised as an issue before but hasn't been changed b/c it would take more time than Don has to move them into each location; just noting that it's a factor that typically causes us to miss seeing some listings.)

Is Trio's decent? I had thought not, by reputation, but I've never been there.

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Hm, looks like Hank's doesn't take reservations? That'll knock it off the list.  (It wasn't on the list in the first place because as usual, I was using the dining guide for the area we're going to, and so I missed any that are in "Multiple Locations".  I understand from previous posts that that's been raised as an issue before but hasn't been changed b/c it would take more time than Don has to move them into each location; just noting that it's a factor that typically causes us to miss seeing some listings.)

[i'd love to have a volunteer to help me. Let me know if you get some free time.]

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I ate at Floriana for RW this past winter and it was delicious! The muscovy duck breast was phenomenal, the burrata app was very tasty, and even the beet salad was on point! I love the cozy atmosphere in this converted house. Service was excellent throughout our dinner as well. The wine list is very nicely curated. I'd recommend Floriana for date night, but do make a reservation if going on the weekends as the spacing is tight.

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A few years ago there was reporting on a couple of DC blogs that Dino Tapper was going to open a restaurant at the space where Fat Pete's BBQ is now. In addition to the main dining room, the restaurant was going to have a chef's counter that would serve a menu he described as "David Chang meets Rene Redzepi". Of course, I understand that not every restaurant idea is realized, however much commitment there is to the project (see John Shields, now in Chicago). Still, this sounded like an interesting concept, and I would like to have seen how it turned out.

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Chef Daniel Hlusak left Floriana earlier this year.  Under his kitchen reign the "old standards", most notably the lasagna, were elevated to new heights and his own additions to the menu were delicious as well.  In his absence, the menu has remained consistent for the most part, but many of the dishes (pastas especially) are not quite as ethereal and elegant as they use to be.  Daniel will be missed.  

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