Jump to content

Il Mulino, Vermont Ave. and L Street - Closed


Recommended Posts

While bumming around the web early this morning, I came across the Il Mulino website which seems to state that a DC outpost is in the works. It gives the address at 1110 Vermont Ave and a link to e-mail them and ask to be notified of its opening.

I don't recall anything being mentioned here about it and am wondering if anyone has any info.

Il Mulino is one of my favorite spots in NYC and I also paid their Vegas location a visit recently and had a terrific meal. I am excited at the prospect of them coming here (although my waistline is not).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are going national. There is one in Dallas and it is NOT considered among the top Italian restaurants there. ...Dallas. For me the New York original is a one time experience that will not be duplicated elsewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had an extravagant dinner and delicious (and very, very expensive) dinner at their Las Vegas location. Easily one of the best meals of it's kind outside of Italy. A really indulgent and celebratory atmosphere.

I would be very happy to see them open in DC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had the pleasure of eating at the NYC original and it was fantastic. FYI if you want to buy the BEST bottled pasta sauce ever made they sell theirs at Balduccis, both the Pomodoro and the Marinara.

Best bottled pasta sauce is a low bar indeed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Il Mulino is one of my favorite spots in NYC and I also paid their Vegas location a visit recently and had a terrific meal. I am excited at the prospect of them coming here (although my waistline is not).

I had an extravagant dinner and delicious (and very, very expensive) dinner at their Las Vegas location.  Easily one of the best meals of it's kind outside of Italy.  A really indulgent and celebratory atmosphere.

The Las Vegas outpost used to get rave reviews on the Chowhound Southwest board but hasn't for several months, so I assumed they had gone down in quality (and passed on them during my LV visit last T'giving). Is that not the case? That, and Joe H's comment about Dallas, suggest it might not be the greatest thing that ever hit town.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whenever I get my hands on a fresh whole fish flown expensively and deliciously in from the Med for grilling, and a batch of hand-hewn organic virgin pasta, I like to throw something from a jar on top to make it perfect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Il Mulino New York officially opens for dinner tonight, and will start serving lunch in the next few weeks.

If you're in the mood for rich, comforting pasta and Italian food this is definitely the place. The signature Sardinian langoustines are deliciously simple, served a few ways: sauteed in garlic and olive oil and served over spinach (my personal favorite!), served in a creamy risotto, and many other ways.

Check out the head chef demonstrating them and a few other dishes on FOX5's What's Cooking this Thursday, March 1 at around 9am.

All best,

Danielle

on behalf of Il Mulino New York

1110 Vermont Ave (btwn 14th & 15th st at L),

Reservations: 202.293.1001.

www.ilmulino.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And to follow up Danielle's post, Il Mulino New York will open for LUNCH on Monday, March 19.

Smaller then the dinner menu, the lunch menu will be available soon. We will let you know.

Cheers,

Carrie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Il Mulino location in Dallas referenced earlier in the thread has subsequently closed.

D.C. restaurant critics (and maybe even bloggers and posters) should, however, be aware that the Dallas location (presumably with the knowledge of the chain's owners) sued the Dallas Morning News for libel following an ill-received restaurant review. I'm glad the litigation that is highlighted in this New York Times article has not become a trend, particularly in D.C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Sietsema's Weekly Dish: "Once we get a chance to look at an actual menu, I realize why Il Mulino, dressed to thrill with tapestries and chandeliers, doesn't list prices on its Web site: The dishes are priced as if everyone sitting down were a trust fund baby or a Trump. Pastas hover around $25. Osso buco is almost twice that. Could the food possibly warrant the price of admission?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Sietsema's Weekly Dish: "Once we get a chance to look at an actual menu, I realize why Il Mulino, dressed to thrill with tapestries and chandeliers, doesn't list prices on its Web site: The dishes are priced as if everyone sitting down were a trust fund baby or a Trump. Pastas hover around $25. Osso buco is almost twice that. Could the food possibly warrant the price of admission?"

he answers his own question, and it sure doesn't sound like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a hard time believing that it could be good enough to warrant a $25 plate of pasta.

That is pretty much the same price as most of the pastas at Tosca and cheaper than most were at Galileo. But Tom's verbiage certainly didn't seem to justify it here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went with friends the other night. It was extremely expensive.

I went as well. Overpriced for the quality. The table service is very good. However, the maitre 'd spends so much time glad-handing and speaking to certain patrons that others accumulate by the front door waiting for their tables in a half-empty restaurant - he also publicly reprimanded one of his waiters. I can't say enough good things about the rest of the wait staff though. Lots of the items on the menus and a good number of daily specials. Thought the zucchini tapenade was tasty (despite Seitsema's experience), especially if you like garlic. I really enjoyed everything leading up to dinner, but it becomes so much that I was almost full -- that's my fault though. I had one of several veal scaloppini options and thought it was quite good. We also had the seafood linguine and the risotto, neither of which I would order if I returned. I thought the seafood linguine was, well, just too fishy- (and not fresh-) tasting. My companion thought the risotto was overly salty. I'd be interested to hear how the main seafood items tasted, such as the bronzini or the dover sole. Strangely, while the food was quite pricey, the wine was not so inflated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strangely, while the food was quite pricey, the wine was not so inflated.
Based on the menu pricing, I expected to hear that the wine is marked up by a pretty big multiple. What'd you drink, and how much was it?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hear everyone on the pricing - but lunch is more reasonable and they started serving it today.

On the menu: paninis, pastas, salads, individual pizzas, sliced steak, branzino, filet of sole, and more.

They also do prix fixe at lunch: two courses for $23 or three courses for $27. Optional wine pairings are available for an additional $13.

And finally, the restaurant serves complimentary pasta at the bar from 5:00 - 6:30pm.

Danielle

on behalf of Il Mulino New York

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ate at Il Mulino tonight - Thursday, March 29th and all can say...it was Surreal! 8 PM Reservation with my sister, we were a few minutes late - a very New Yauk guy was complaining about his 15 minute wait and how this would never happen in NYC...there were maybe 10 full tables and 25 empty ones, the place was pretty empty! I sort of ignored the guy because he was complaining pretty loudly an it took about 5 minutes to get a table...tons of servers/sommeliers and who knows what scurrying around....except...they FORGOT US!!! We got the salami, breads (very good, the garlic bread was some of the best and some crispy bread was truly decadent!) and the Parm Reg was excellent - soft and crumbly but amazingly flavorful - but nobody took our order or introduced themself or asked if we wanted a drink...for 1 hour - YES 60 MINUTES!!! We couldn't even figure out who to ask, it was like the flying Karamazov Bros. or something, we were stuck in Hell!! Finally, I looked around and blocked one of the servers with a question and we finally got the wine list and the menus - 9:15 or so, over 1 hour into the meal...the server offered us free Prosecco's because of our long wait which were very nice and then I ordered a decent 2001 Barolo, Cannibi from the wine list - fruit forward not too tannic - at $150, probably priced about right - then things seemed to smooth out...the server mentioned what was good, also about 1/2 portions (it would be too much to order a pasta and a main course, they are very large portions) being OK and acceptable....I didn't get a menu, but my sis had the asparagus in I think Hollandaise, and the 1/2 portion of ravioli...I started with the Spaghetti Bolognese (very earthy and delicious) and had the veal scallopini I think Milanese - with fresh tomatoes and parsley on top, it was decent, the flavors were nice, it was a tad dry overall...

So we're feeling better and we had the wonderful tiramisu with sabayon and whipped cream that was very good and then they did the honors of pouring the free grappa with dessert - the bill comes - $300 plus/plus AND THE ALLEGEDLY FREE PROSECCO'S WERE ON THE BILL....we considered having them taken off, but it was late and we just paid the bill. Conclusion: if it's this empty on a Thursday night this early in their opening, something's gotta be wrong - maybe a bad review, or some bad initial press, but things are not looking very good...too many people running around with no clear objective and too many hungry people waiting...I don't think I would go back again very eagerly ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Conclusion: if it's this empty on a Thursday night this early in their opening, something's gotta be wrong - maybe a bad review, or some bad initial press, but things are not looking very good...too many people running around with no clear objective and too many hungry people waiting...I don't think I would go back again very eagerly ...
Seating people then forgetting them for an hour? Without even receiving menus? :o And making a show of comping something for your trouble, then adding it to the bill is tacky. You'd be very generous to give them another chance after that; that's unconcionable at a mom & pop red tablecloth joint, never mind at an upscale swishy place charging $50 for osso buco. I wouldn't go back.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wait, to top it all off (sorry, I almost fell asleep when I posted last night, must have been the grappa!) -- I asked the server for a menu to take home with me - they're printed on paper - he said NO!! I mean, I would have accepted simply the dishes written down on a piece of paper, but when he looked me seriously in the face and said "No Way" - I put up the white surrender flag and scurried out...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ate at Il Mulino tonight - Thursday, March 29th and all can say...it was Surreal! 8 PM Reservation with my sister, we were a few minutes late - a very New Yauk guy was complaining about his 15 minute wait and how this would never happen in NYC...there were maybe 10 full tables and 25 empty ones, the place was pretty empty! I sort of ignored the guy because he was complaining pretty loudly an it took about 5 minutes to get a table...tons of servers/sommeliers and who knows what scurrying around....

I can't believe they haven't fixed this problem. It's almost as if they're trying to create a buzz by having people wait (like a nightclub), except everybody can see the restaurant is more than half empty. I have no problem waiting 5-15 minutes past my reservation time, or even longer, when the restaurant is busy. Otherwise, it's just a bad way to start off the night, particularly with two employees doing nothing but greeting you at the door. I was tempted to seat myself. Luckily for me, the service got better when we were seated. Trust me, I would not have waited sixty minutes at the table before somebody so much as asked me for a drink order. There are plenty of other restaurants in DC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow $30O for two? That's Komi, Cityzen, and Maestro money. Was it worth it?

I've been to all three, but I had great experiences at all of them (twice at Komi!)...Il Mulino seemed like a mess - from the time I walked in until the time I left, it was a bizarre experience - PLUS it's located in NoWhereville on Vermont Ave., NW - but if I were to focus on food to the exclusion of service (is that possible?) - my answer would be "No" - when I pay the Big Dollars, I like multi-course and touches and flourishes of ingredients, interesting combinations, suggested wine pairings - I mean at the Top of the Game, restaurants offer that...to be fair, you might want to put Il Mulino in the Expense Account/Steakhouse Genre which I don't care for but even then, I want impressive service and food - I don't feel any reason to give the place a second chance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a delightful, and surprisingly well-priced meal at Il Mulino last night, and I will be sure to return!

After all of the negative press, I had written this place off without even trying it. As I was walking around the neighborhood last night with a couple friends, the idea arose to try it. I mildly attempted to dissuade, mumbling something about how I had read that it was overpriced and not of such great quality. But, they really seemed to want to try it, and I was in the mood for anything (the decision had come down to Casa Blanca or Il Mulino, and I had just been to Casa Blanca). So, in we went!

As Jlock had yet to arrive - not his fault, we hadn't told him where to go - we were offered either to wait at the bar or to be seated immediately at a table. We chose the table option (in retrospect, I think we should have waited for him given what was to follow).

On the table upon our arrival was charcuterie and fried zucchini that we began to snack on immediately. Drinks were offered, a wine list was passed, a bottle was chosen, and then the food started coming. First, there was a basket of assorted breads - each that I tried throughout the meal was very good. Then, a plate of hot garlic bread, all of which we devoured happily and instantly - including Jlock's portion. Then, bruschetta with tomatoes and mussels. Even after having read of the barage of food upon arrival, I was shocked by the quantity. By the time Jlock arrived (literally no more than 5 minutes after we had sat down), the table looked as if we had already finished the meal.

A server noticed that there was too much food on our table and politely expanded it to create more room. Then, the water was served - and, for the most part, they were able to keep track throughout the meal of those that had ordered tap and those that had ordered sparkling and refill accordingly. A wine glass arranged with lemons and limes was placed on the table for those who wanted an enhancement. The bottle of wine arrived, was poured into a decanter for service and was then served.

Then came the only awkward part of the evening. By now, we had been there for about 20 minutes or so - maybe longer, I have no idea - and we had eaten quite a lot. But, still no menus. After several minutes of discussion amongst ourselves about whether they even had menus, someone finally asked for them. It was not as if we were forgotten; instead, the policy seems to be to wait until the menus are requested before offering. Or, maybe they were trying not to interrupt, as the delivery of the menus took quite some time . . . A waiter approached with menus held close to him and began reciting specials. There were so many specials, and the recitation was so lengthy, that I almost cracked up laughing halfway through because there was no possible way that I was going to remember the 20 dishes recited and all of the ingrediants, and I still was not sure that the menus would ever actually be turned over to us. But, eventually they were, and I was relieved to see that all that he recited (perfectly) was also written.

The menu has a fair number of high ticket items - $25+ appetizers, $50+ entrees. But, it also has a lot of options that are much less. And, many items are available in half sizes.

I don't believe that any of us meant to be ordering by price, but in the end, most of us the items chosen were really not that expensive. I ordered the langostines and the lamb ragout. After I had specified the half-order for my pasta (an option listed on the menu), I was asked if I wanted to stick to just a half order of the langostines as well. What a great option! And, so thoughtful of them for thinking of it and offering it of their own accord! I certainly didn't need as much food as I had ordered, especially given that which I had already consumed. And, $25 for the full appetizer had seemed a bit steep. So, half orders of each for me.

Others at the table had gnocci, capellini il mulino (peas, pancetta, and vodka cream sauce), a couple of soups, and shrimp fra diavolo. Some were whole orders, and some were half. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed everything that they ordered. I tried a few of the other dishes and was pleased, but I was most happy with my own. I would order both again. And, I probably will!

We skipped dessert, but were still given the complementary strawberry-infused grappa. I refrained, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it quite a bit - even those who had claimed to be grappa haters.

All in all, we had a lovely meal, with excellent service that was not too intrusive and quite good food.

And, the total bill for 4 people was just under $200.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a delightful, and surprisingly well-priced meal at Il Mulino last night, and I will be sure to return!

All in all, we had a lovely meal, with excellent service that was not too intrusive and quite good food.

And, the total bill for 4 people was just under $200.

Wow, lucky you. As you know, I was at one of the meals not-so-positively reviewed above, so I was shocked to read of your great experience! Am still skeptical, though ... not going to put Il Mulino at the top of my list of places to hit when I return just yet ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After all of the negative press, I had written this place off without even trying it..

I ordered the langostines and the lamb ragout.

Yo lackadaisi,

I replicated your meal this evening.

The "Executive Chef" - the guy who oversees the New York City, Tokyo, Long Island, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, San Juan, Washington, and Orlando operations - left town yesterday. Barring a spectacularly good or bad experience in the next two days, stay tuned for the lead story in next week's Lettres.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At a restaurant attempting to sell itself at this caliber, I was rather surprised when the waiter interrupted the end of our business meal to survey us about whether our check had been picked up (it had been) and then what the waiter looked like who picked it up. Seems that - especially given that it wasn't very busy at all - the onus for finding out this information should be on the staff, not the customer. Particularly annoying as it placed a colleague in a tough position of determining the correct word to use to describe racial attributes in front of an interviewee.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dear friend surprised me with a belated birthday dinner at Il Mulino - I just got back from a vacation in northern Italy and she wanted somewhere that would replicate my experience. Unfortunately, we both agreed that it was just awful. The price points are painfully high ($24 for pasta with tomato sauce?) and the food was subpar.

Lots of bread beforehand and an extremely garlicky bruschetta but nothing to write home about. We split an arugula salad with limp arugula and limited parmesan - that was $12. The one at Bebo could give lessons to this one. I had a chicken dish that was kind of weird - artichoke, mushrooms, peas and asparagus in a kind of stew-y presentation. It wasn't bad, the veggies were fresh but, again, expensive. My friend had pasta - a mound of angel hair with what tasted like jarred sauce. She kept adding pepper and salt to make it taste like something, anything.

The service was slow and inattentive until we told them that it was my birthday - then we got free dessert (that was the high point) and the maitre'd kissed my hand (that was kind of creepy).

Being from NY and knowing that Il Mulino there is an institution, this meal was very disappointing and I won't go back. Consider yourself warned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sigh. I'm being taken here on Sunday (no choice). What should I order?

Once was enough for me. We went with the intention of sitting at the bar and scoping out the scene, perhaps ordering a few appetizers. The bartender was so incredibly ungracious at an empty bar that we got a table. What followed was a clown show of bumbling tuxedos, each presenting another "specialty of the house", Parmesan, bruschetta of off-season tomatoes, the lousy langoustines ( every 3 star chef knows that you have to cook 6 to get 4 good ones). It was at no time obvious who was in charge of our table. Every step of the service was labored. I really felt that we had been locked down on an endless ride at Disneyland. The food was forgettable but expensive. Maybe the stupid script works in New York, here it was annoying. The office building ambiance only added to the dismay and trapped feeling. Simon: Rebel! Tell them that Oceanaire or Marcel's is 100 times better!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A reliable source says Il Mulino will be departing DC's dining scene at year-end. It will supposedly be replaced by another italian restaurant of some sort (I don't have details on the replacement).

Their website does imply that they're closed, with a note saying, "Thank you for your interest, a new location will be opening soon."

I wasn't a fan of Il Mulino, but I'm rarely happy to see a business close. :)

I do hope the underrated Mio gets a bump from this. I want them to succeed.

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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...