Jump to content

Phyllis' List

Joe Riley

Recommended Posts

My friend Alan Savada is a travel agent by profession, but a restaurant devotée by nature (also an opera enthusiast, but that's off-topic, isn't it?). Everywhere he dines, he writes up reviews of his experiences. In hommage to the former Washington Post restaurant critic, he calls this endevor "Phyllis' List".

The great thing about Alan is that he has no axe to grind, no agenda other than being an honest reporter of his dining experiences. He is a gourmand, and writes soley from the viewpoint of the dining enthusiast. Because of his vast number of friendships in the local community of restaurant professionals, Alan is also sympathetic to the point of view of the restauranteur and thier staff, so he provides balanced commentary. Again, he doesn't go looking for fault, but if it is self-evident he won't hesitate to mention it.

Alan has given me permission to post a sample here in its entirety - please feel free to contact me for his email address if you're interested in getting on his distribution list.

Subject: Lots to like but note LOVE at LUIGINO

Chef Carmine Marzano of Luigino (1100 New York Ave, NW, corner of 12th & H Streets, NW-tel 202-371-0595, www.luigino.com) has created a wonderful corner chest-to-ceiling windowed Italian bistro that can be a bit busy and noisy, but seems to fit the bill pretty well.  The decor is simple, and I actually liked the Renaissance scene on the wall to the toilets with burnt orange and magenta colors.

We had a nice quiet table to the rear and decent service, although our server gave me stare when i got to pouring the wine myself regularly (not MY fault, we drink fast!). Overall, the menu is varied and reasonable, but some of the very pricey items might not be at the level of other fine dining Italian establishments in town (although the price tags are).

We started with a supern "LANGHE" Chardonnay 2004 from Marchesi Gresy that will always work with the varied appetizers. Since Thursday was "DINING OUT FOR LIFE" and evening which benefits Food & Friends, we decided to order extra food and beneift the charity even more (Kudos to Luigino for agreeing to give even more at the 50% level!). We split the large-sized INSALATA DI MARE with marinated shrimp, scallops and squid along with tasty cannellini beans. Sadly, the bland bread was not even worth the bite, and it was shamed by the quality olive oil. When dining Italian, one must have a pasta course, so we took our server's recommendation and split the PAPPARDELLE con RAGU di CONIGLIO, these fast pasta ribbons with a rich sauce of rabbit ragu always being one of our favorites. The pasta was excellent and the sauce more tomato-ey than I prefer, but it was a superb dish overall and luckily we avoided the clicheed grated cheese.

|We ordered a bottle of 1998 Barbaresco, and after a huddle were told by the server they were out, but offered a similar wine at the same price. We actually were thinking of this wine, but opted for the older Barbaresco. It was a 2001 FUNARO Pile della Ciaula Sicilian combination of Cabernet and Merlot. It had the slightest of tannins and was a big wine that worked so well with our entrees; thanks to the Sicilian manager for his proposal!).

Will's COSTOLETTA di VITELLO al TARTUFO was a 14 ounce veal chop (that's nearly a pound!) with Black Truffle Sauce, Asparagus Tips and a very good Safrron Rosotto. I almost plotzed when my plate of FEGATO CIPOLLE came with over 5 slices of magnificent calve's liver. The meat was tender and perfectly sauteed with piles of onions in a Balsamic Vinegar Sauce. I managed to eat half, and hope to finish the rest at home some point soon! It would be a dreadful waste if I couldn't. Thinking in the vein of the traditional American Liver, Onions & Bacon, I only wished the dish had some sprinkling of that Italian wonder meat, PANCETTA.

I tasted Will's TIRAMISU which was quite nice, but I was just too full to enjoy any more.

Still catching up...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you not think that's true of most of us?

Yes I do - but some professional restaurant reviews I've read over the years (in various newspapers in various cities) show some geniune agenda or bias, at least to my eyes.

I'm merely recommending Alan's reviews and mentioning that one need not worry that he's out to "get" someone or looking to find fault where it isn't already evident.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I received an email from Alan regarding the Google group that he has started that also includes information about how to receive his emails:

Hiya foodies,

The website it up and here it is http://groups.google.com/group/phyllistines.

Starting with TODAY's posting on last night's dinner at CIRCLE BISTRO, there will now be a new procedure for all PHYLLIS-TEEN  e-mails.

I must thank our friend JUSTIN for setting this up, I am truly grateful!

And, to top it all off, I have posted ALL the emails I have sent to you ABOUT RESTAURANTS (I can't post photos) that are still open at the website for you to view. These will remain there an you can check them at your leisure.

Included are DC, NYC, London, the UK, Paris, Alsace, Jura, Ft. Lauderdale, Dallas-Ft Worth, Chicago, San Diego, Cabo San Lucas and more with over 230 past postings!

The rules are simple:

YOU WILL ALL receive an email automatically when I post, with that posting.

YOU CAN NOT post yourself or respond AT THE WEBSITE.

You can join or quit the list by going to the above address, as well as view past postings. You can also tell your friends to join at this address.

PLEASE note that any emails I do send out with PHOTOS of SAMUEL, will still come the old way from me!

I think that covers it all!


Alan-aka Phyllis on-line.

If you have any questions on how to receive his emailed missives just by themselves, please feel free to contact Alan at Casaleone@aol.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...