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I had dinner with friends at Osteria Morini this evening, the Italian joint at "Yard Park" on the right bank of the Eastern Branch between Nationals Park and the Navy Yard. I hadn't been down to that part of town since all of the development of the park and the ballpark, and it's really very interesting and pretty cool. The restaurant is sleek and appealing, though rather uncomfortably noisy. There's extensive outdoor seating, though, which during nice weather, such as we had tonight, is probably very nice, and much quieter than the restaurant indoors. While my friends and I were dining indoors, I was silently wishing we had taken seats outdoors; oh well, perhaps next time.

I totally loved the food. My favorite bits: Exquisite, wonderful lardo, very thin slices in a curly tangle, with little slices of toasted bread, just fantastic. I asked the server where it came from, and she said Emilia Romagna, which is a pretty vague answer, but with every morsel I ate I felt closer to heaven (which my cardiologist might agree with, if he believes in an after-life). Charred octopus with "red rice salad": I was less crazy about the red rice salad, which I didn't quite understand, than the octopus itself, which was sumptuously excellent. The lardo and the octopus were the big winners of the evening, to me, but we had a lot of other things that were also smashing. Buttered spinach. Crostini with: smoked trout and goop, which was very nice; finely diced beets and goop, which was also very nice; and a melange of mushrooms and goop, which was rather strangely sweet, and the only dish of the night that I disliked. I had a dish of bucatini with crab and sea urchin, which I adored, and which of course ended up spackling my brand-new white dress shirt, as bucatini will do. There were some other things. Asparagus, which was nice. I forget what else.

This place serves up some wonderful food, and the servers do their jobs very well. I recommend it.

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I had dinner with friends at Osteria Morini this evening, the Italian joint at "Yard Park" on the right bank of the Eastern Branch between Nationals Park and the Navy Yard. I hadn't been down to that part of town since all of the development of the park and the ballpark, and it's really very interesting and pretty cool. The restaurant is sleek and appealing, though rather uncomfortably noisy. There's extensive outdoor seating, though, which during nice weather, such as we had tonight, is probably very nice, and much quieter than the restaurant indoors. While my friends and I were dining indoors, I was silently wishing we had taken seats outdoors; oh well, perhaps next time.

I totally loved the food. My favorite bits: Exquisite, wonderful lardo, very thin slices in a curly tangle, with little slices of toasted bread, just fantastic. I asked the server where it came from, and she said Emilia Romagna, which is a pretty vague answer, but with every morsel I ate I felt closer to heaven (which my cardiologist might agree with, if he believes in an after-life). Charred octopus with "red rice salad": I was less crazy about the red rice salad, which I didn't quite understand, than the octopus itself, which was sumptuously excellent. The lardo and the octopus were the big winners of the evening, to me, but we had a lot of other things that were also smashing. Buttered spinach. Crostini with: smoked trout and goop, which was very nice; finely diced beets and goop, which was also very nice; and a melange of mushrooms and goop, which was rather strangely sweet, and the only dish of the night that I disliked. I had a dish of bucatini with crab and sea urchin, which I adored, and which of course ended up spackling my brand-new white dress shirt, as bucatini will do. There were some other things. Asparagus, which was nice. I forget what else.

This place serves up some wonderful food, and the servers do their jobs very well. I recommend it.

My wife and I dined here recently as well and felt the same way about the bucatini with crab and sea urchin, which is also a nice way to introduce sea urchin to someone who hasn't had it before - its noticeable but not overpowering.  I didn't care as much for the sweet potato crostini - there wasn't anything wrong with it per se, I just didn't dig the concept of cool mashed potatoes on top of the grilled bread but the parmigiano gellato with balsamic was excellent.

Our service was pretty poor but only dining there once, I'll chalk that up to a bad night.  Overall I left thinking this would be a really good place to have a glass of wine at the bar during happy hour and try more of their pastas, which seemed to be the strong suit.

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On Mondays, Osteria Morini offers some great deals including $10 bowls of pasta, $20 bottles of Lambrusco, $35 bottles of house white or red wine, $5 for their wine by the glass on tap, and $6 cocktail specials that include a Moscow Mule, an Old Fashioned, and a play on the Corpse Reviver #2. The downside of "Morini Mondays," as the restaurant calls it, is that the restaurant offers a modified pasta menu that does not include many of the selections that include cost-prohibitive ingredients. For example, the scallops and calamari in the casarecce nero are replaced with a mound of mussels and the bucatini with sea urchin and crab is not offered on Mondays. On the plus side, this deal is available throughout the restaurant rather than just the bar as these deals tend to go and $10 for a bowl of luscious, satisfying, and, perfectly cooked pasta is nothing to complain about.

My boyfriend and I have gone to Osteria Morini for the $10 pastas twice now, more recently with his parents a few weeks ago. Our table started with a trio of crostini, which were a hit despite reservations from my boyfriend. We especially enjoyed the smoked trout and the parmigiano "gelato." My boyfriend and I also split the rucula salad (wild arugula, shaved speck, hazelnuts, and capra). The salad was simple but very good and I really liked that the pepper notes in the arugula were complemented by the saltiness of the speck, the sweetness of the hazelnuts, and the light citrus in the dressing. The boyfriend's parents split an endive and radicchio salad that I was able to get a taste of. I really liked this salad as well. For the entrees, I ordered the pansotti pasta (cauliflower filled pasta, roasted shallots, caper gremolata), which was very good. I don't remember much about it because I had a few bites of the lasagna verde my boyfriend ordered and was overcome by jealousy. The lasagna was the best dish of the night, in my opinion. The noodles were perfectly rolled out and cooked, the ragu was luscious and seemed to melt in my mouth, and the béchamel added to the richness of the dish without overwhelming it. As a lover of pasta who rarely indulges herself, I have been dreaming of that lasagna. We also had sides of the charred rapini and brussels sprouts (with pancetta, of course). Everyone enjoyed the sides, especially the smoky rapini. We rounded out the meal with orders of the torte di limone (lemon tarte and vanilla gelato), tortino (chocolate cake, hot chocolate filling, and vanilla gelato), and a scoop of gelato. The torte di limone is a favorite of mine as the tartness of the lemon caps off the meal without making me feel too gluttonous. The tortino was also very good, but also very chocolate heavy. I love chocolate as much as the next gal, but after such a heavy meal, I preferred a lighter touch for my dessert.

Service has been very good both times my boyfriend and I went to Osteria Morini. Aside from a long wait for coffee that was ordered with dessert during our last meal, service has been efficient and friendly. Can't wait to go back, Mondays or any other day.

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Have had consistently positive experiences here too though never posted about them. Partly because we tended to only think of it during baseball season. Maybe once off season but not sure. And, I think the estimable JoeH is a fan too but see he hasn't posted on it here either.

Will do a report this season as the Nats march toward a certain (er, possible) World Series (er, postseason) berth.

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Service has been very good both times my boyfriend and I went to Osteria Morini. Aside from a long wait for coffee that was ordered with dessert during our last meal, service has been efficient and friendly. Can't wait to go back, Mondays or any other day.

I may be mistaken but I think the $10 Monday specials may only be available for a few more weeks.

I am a big fan of Osteria Morini - particularly for the housemade pastas by chef Matt Adler and desserts by Alex Levin.  reading the post by eatruneat makes me want to return ASAP.

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I love Saturday 4pm Nationals games (especially one that ends with a walk-off homer). We can skip the over-priced, mediocre-at-best ballpark fare and treat ourselves to dinner afterward. Last night, we made our first visit to Osteria Morini. Here's what we sampled:

  • arugula salad w/ shaved speck, hazelnuts, capra: This was a very nice salad.  Arugula is my favorite salad green (I could eat it every day of the week and not tire of it). The speck, hazelnuts and cheese nicely complemented the greens and light dressing.
  • rigatoni w/ braised wild mushrooms, rosemary oil, parmigiano: Pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the braised mushrooms were good, though milder in flavor than expected. Really didn't detect any of the rosemary oil.
  • branzino w/ fennel and green beans: This was two small fillets (surprised they don't prepare the whole fish). I didn't sample the fish because I didn't want to take away from my partner's less-than abundant portion, but I tried and really liked the fennel and green bean mix.
  • brodetto: The bowl offered a nice mix of mussels, clams, shrimp and fish, not dominated by any one species. The clams were especially good -- small and sweet. Broth was good if a bit mild -- maybe could have been punched up with a little hot pepper (very little) to add another note. Not much evidence of fennel flavor, though there were a couple small pieces lurking in the broth.

"‹Everything was very good. Nothing was outstanding. When we pay a second visit, I will definitely order differently. On a trip to the bathroom, I saw a nice-looking veal chop on the grill that I wished were headed to my table. And many of the salads, pastas, and grilled meats I saw pass by looked equally appealing.

Service was excellent! There was no "screed" about how to order, as reported by Sietsema in his review. We were attended to by at least four different people, all of them extremely gracious and helpful. I discussed the Ribolla Giulia and Ribolla Gialla wines with beverage director Kristi Green. She really didn't offer any reason, nor did she press the case, to double our cost with the Gialla Vinnae Silvio Jermann, so we went with the Ribolla Giulia SUT, which at $35 was very pleasing (I have a soft spot for whites from Friuli).

The atmosphere was lively. We had a reservation for 7:30 and elected to sit inside (45-minute wait for a seat on the terrace). There were several Nationals fans gathered at the bar. Our friendly waiter sported a backwards-facing, red Nationals cap. The room seemed to be in constant motion with the swift movements of the wait staff. It was noisy, but not disruptively so. A television over the bar was showing the Wizards playoff game, the crowd erupting into cheers when Pierce hit his buzzer beater (Yes! Give me a side of buzzer beater along with my walk-off!).

The only minor glitch, which turned out to be in our favor, was the waiter's 10-minute-or-so absence after dropping off the dessert menus. We would have ordered something, but I looked at my beautiful companion and said, "I'm done with sitting in one spot, it's lovely outside, let's go." And so we settled our bill and headed out to Yards Park on a refreshing evening stroll. I'd never seen the park at night before and it was close to magical with lights reflecting off the water and a cool breeze blowing across the river -- better than any dessert we could have ordered.

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The only minor glitch, which turned out to be in our favor, was the waiter's 10-minute-or-so absence after dropping off the dessert menus. We would have ordered something, but I looked at my beautiful companion and said, "I'm done with sitting in one spot, it's lovely outside, let's go." And so we settled our bill and headed out to Yards Park on a refreshing evening stroll. I'd never seen the park at night before and it was close to magical with lights reflecting off the water and a cool breeze blowing across the river -- better than any dessert we could have ordered.

glad you enjoyed the view but highly recommend you stick around for dessert by Executive Pastry Chef Alex Levin next time around.  He's one of the best in town.

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Last night I had great tickets to the Nats game, but upon arriving to Navy Yard Park there was a deluge of water, in the packed metro I quickly popped on open table to make a reservation for dinner here for Mom's birthday.  So much for Happy Birthday on the jumbo-tron :(  But we had a really nice dinner here.  We ordered one of the bottles of Chardonnay, but the first bottle was corked and they didn't have another so they gave us the more expensive Hirsch Chardonnay for the same price.  This was a really lovely wine.  Had I known we weren't going to ballgame I would have brought one of the amazing Croatian bottles we just brought home for corkage, but what are you going to do.

I started with the octopus, this was hands above any octopus I have had here in the DC area.  Not even chewy in the slightest, but firm with a really good sauce and couscous.  This was a great appetizer.  Mom got the caesar salad with fried capers, it was a very good version of the dish, might have to try that at home.  I am pretty sure the dressing is made in house as it had good anchovy flavor.  My friend had the tortellini soup which she said was great.  I should have stolen a bite of hers too!

For entrees, I had the duck breast with spaetzle, mushroom, radish and spinach- this was a really lovely dish with a very umami sauce.  I thought there was a nice blend of spaetzle and vegetable and the mushrooms added a really good flavor.  Mom got the cannelloni which was so rich, but very good.  My friend got the hanger steak which looked very good, as well.  The entrees were very rich, but delicious, we ended up with to go bags for some of it.

No room for dessert, which was a shame, but we had a desset wine of malvazia, we only had this as a white table wine in Croatia, so it was interesting to have it in this way.  I liked it as a dessert wine.  Anyway it was a really enjoyable evening despite the ballgame snafoo.  And I had been wanting to try Morini based on pictures from friends on Twitter, so it all worked out and Mom had a nice birthday.

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After a failed attempt to go to Gypsy Soul on Saturday and the next day's fallout from what happened (that's a story for another day and has nothing to do with the restaurant itself -- suffice to say that I am looking for a new home nurse), my family and I decided that what we needed was a relaxing dinner on the water. So last night we went to the only restaurant I know of that's 1)) On the water, 2) Doesn't suck, and 3) isn't Fiola Mare levels of expensive.

I have to say, I think last night was the best meal I've had in a long time. We got there at about 6:00 and were promptly seated at a table with an arresting view of the SE waterfront.

For drinks, I started by asking our server if they served any alcohol-free beers. They didn't. But our server quickly rebounded by offering to have the bar "whip something up." I agreed and what arrived was a non-alcoholic Mojito, which was delightfully refreshing and crisp. As someone who usually sticks with water, maybe the occasional root beer, this did not have me regretting my decision to venture outside my comfort zone. My brother got a bottle of Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, which he seemed to generally enjoy but said was a little thin. He much preferred his second beer, a bottle of Brooklyn Pilsner. My sister ordered a Rosé, which she loved.

Appetizers were a charcuterie and cheese plate. We went with one meat, two cheeses, which turned out to be plenty. Our choices were the Proscuitto di Parma, the Parmigiano Reggiano and the Taleggio. Our selections came with an assortment of various breads and spreads. One of the spreads was some sort of jam and I discovered a winning combination by spreading both the jam and the Parmigiano onto one of the grilled breads. The sweetness of the jam did a great job of balancing out the sharpness of the cheese. Once I tipped my dining companions onto this, the cheese and jam vanished in no time. The lone charcuterie was also excellent. The meat pulled away effortlessly with a yank of my fork and had an addictively salty (but not too salty) flavor. Again, it quickly vanished.

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For our second course, my sister and I went with pastas while my mom and brother chose fish. I ordered the Cappelletti while my Celiac sister got a gluten-free order of Rigatoni, which came in a sauce of braised wild mushrooms, rosemary oil and parmigiano. Mom got the Branzino and big bro got the Pan-roasted Fluke.

My Cappelletti was incredible and easily the standout of my entire meal. The dish itself consisted of round pasta pouches stuffed with truffles and ricotta, served in a sauce of melted butter and a generous amount of proscuitto. I stuck my fork in one of the raviolis, brought it to my mouth and started chewing. And then my eyes rolled into the back of my head. The unmistakable taste of truffles blended with the creaminess of the ricotta and saltiness of the proscuitto-laden sauce to create a flavor profile that overwhelmed my senses. The pasta itself had a gentle, soft bite to it that practically screamed "open me!" This was pasta that knew exactly what it had inside, like a doorway that beckons you to see what's behind it or a christmas present begging to be opened. I felt like Alice, falling down the rabbit hole, only the deeper I fell, the more at peace I became with the world. Hyperbole? Maybe. But there's no denying what I felt last night was real. I can't wait to go through the looking glass once again and see what else I find there.

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Dessert:

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MichaelBDC's family wanted to come in from Northern Virginia to see their favorite city dwellers. Since the last trip to Osteria Morini with MichaelBDC's parents was such a success he and I suggested that the six of us go there for dinner last night. We had 6:15pm reservations and when I arrived at the anointed time straight from work, everyone had already been seated.

We needed some guidance on the wine and after some discussion with the general manager ended up just giving him a price point and letting him pick out the wine. He ended up selecting a nice bottle of wine from Umbria at ($35). The wine was good, but didn't seem particularly interesting to me, but improved with some time out of the bottle and ended up pairing well with the food. We got a second bottle before the entrees arrived and enjoyed a sampler/flight of lambrusco as well, which was perfect for a steamy and hot evening.

The table started off with a trio of crostini: smoked trout, mushrooms, and parmesan "gelato." All three were a success, despite some apprehension regarding the trout and unfamiliarity with how the parmesan and the mushrooms would be prepared. I'd like to think all of us on this board enjoy introducing our loved ones to new food experiences and take some pride when our guests end up really liking our food suggestions. Well, this was one of those moments for MichaelBDC and myself. We were so happy and relieved that the crostini were a success and it was fun to watch everyone try something different and finding themselves surprised and delighted. The trio of crostini also required additional toast which we received straight from the toaster/oven.

Four out of the six of us ordered pastas as our entrees. MichaelBDC's mom and sister both got the tagliatelle with ragu antica. Both ladies kept saying how good they thought it was and there was not a morsel left in either bowl so I think they liked it. MichaelBDC ordered a pasta on special which was described as shells with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella (similar to a caprese salad). MichaelBDC did not enjoy the pasta that much, although he did not think it was bad, just not his taste. I had a few bites and thought it was good but it did feel as though something was missing. I ordered the much talked about bucatini with crab, sea urchin, basil, and calabrian chili. I would have preferred more chili for more of a kick, but overall really liked my dish. MichaelBDC's father ordered the hanger steak with potatoes while his brother in law ordered the Brodetto seafood stew. I didn't hear any complaints so I am assuming those two enjoyed their dishes.

The table split four desserts: torte de limone, budino, tortino, and ciliegie. With dwindling stomach space, I ended eating most of the ciliegie which was fresh bing cherries, zabaione, almond chocolate crema, and amerena cherry gelato. I thought the dessert was good, but a bit muted compared with what other desserts I have had at Osteria Morini on previous occasions. I also had a few bites of the torte de limone which was as tart and lemony as I remembered. The others at the table seemed to really enjoy the budino (peanut butter and chocolate) and the tortino (chocolate on chocolate) as well.

Looking forward to another visit and trying other dishes soon.

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I have been wanting to try Osteria Morini for a while, so I proposed to the husband that we start our date night at Bluejacket for beers and then move on to dinner at Morini.  Overall, dinner was really nice - we sat at the bar, where we could see the action of the restaurant but also the windows out to the water.  Cocktails were very tasty - for his second round, Jason had a negroni bianco that involved smoking a cedar plank into the glass, and it was right up his alley.  Food-wise, we started with three crostini - whipped mortadella and pistachio, parmesan "gelato" with balsamic, and sheep's milk ricotta with corn and almonds.  I can't say I was really excited about whipped meat, but the mortadella was definitely my favorite - the texture was awesome and it was super flavorful (and the pistachio gave it a good crunch).  The other toppings were also delicious.  The bread served with the crostini was the best example of crostini bread I have ever had.  A lot of times, I feel like crostini bread gets too hard and crunchy on the edges and then soggy in the middle - but this bread was soft-yet-crispy and grilled really nicely.  And since you put the toppings on yourself, there was no sogginess.

We had pasta next - the canneloni was tasty, but the tomato jam made it quite sweet, and I don't think my husband would order it again.  The squid ink pasta, on the other hand, we both devoured - the scallops and calamari were delicious and perfectly cooked, and the chili provided just enough heat to the dish.  Really yummy.

I wanted ice cream for dessert, so we didn't have any more food at Morini (even though I know the desserts are really good, I wanted to get up and walk around and enjoy the water views before heading home) - but I will look forward to going back!

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I feel like I missed this place on the night my wife and I went since everyone seems to have really good experiences. Food was ok, not great. Service when it showed up was good, but to the servers credit he seemed to be inside and out on a relatively slow but enough to be busy Sunday Night. Wine was great, Pouilly-Fume from Vineyard Brands portfolio, but the server wasn't doing the selecting. Underwhelming would be my feeling and quite frankly I rarely ever use that term unless its referring to the Nationals play of late.

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Underwhelming would be my feeling and quite frankly I rarely ever use that term unless its referring to the Nationals play of late.

This is a large, touristy restaurant based elsewhere - consistency is often (I originally typed "usually," but changed it to "often") problematic at places like this.

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This is a large, touristy restaurant based elsewhere - consistency is often (I originally typed "usually," but changed it to "often") problematic at places like this.

Is Navy Yard/Near SE/The Yards really 'touristy'? Or do you just mean that a lot of diners are coming in from other parts of the region for a ballgame?

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To give an idea of underwhelming food we started with a cheese course, the pieces truly were cut into perfect triangles, almost like Cracker cuts you see in the store. The cheese and not typically a big problem was below cold, not frozen but cold. I personally like cheese at certain temp and one of them is not cold. It came with a chipollini marmalade of sorts that was cloyingly sweet. Not enough acid. Again my take. They served and again my personal issue wines in glassware that was 'industrial.' The Flute my wife had her sparkling served in we use for Banquets at The Club, thick rimmed and short. My Rose was served in a stemless (Hey I don't care since we kinda pushed them when we opened Tallula back in the day) but I have a set of these at home that I use soda water. I even made the comment "Hey, I know this glassware!" We laughed and its ok but again a really solid beverage program touches on all aspects of the program from product, serving temp and glassware. Now that I think of it there were more issues than once imagined. So our salads were meh? My wife got the little gem salad that had very 'little' gem salad yet a lot of Frisee and Radicchio. So the salad was rather bitter which again another issue for me and as well my wife. I had the romaine salad with fried capers, good, over dressed but good. So when I ordered the wine (white) out it came, chilled (not overly thank goodness), no ice bath, and stemless glasses while I saw everyone else around us had stemmed glasses. Back to the wine temp. I like whites around 55 degrees, I know its weird but hey its me. That being said of there is no wine bucket nearby and we are not chugging the wine the temp on the wine will come up rather quickly and thus warm white wine, not hot, but warm. We asked for stemmed glasses and that was cool. Entrees. My wife had the pasta with mushroom and rosemary oil, rigatoni. Pasta was hard, not al dente but much more form than that and the mushroom was supposed to be a ragout but was a large cut than that, again..... I had the bronzino over a bed of snap peas. The bronzino was good but because the salad underneath was actually cold with a touch of citrus to cut the sweetness of the salad my fish on the backside turned cold. Had the fish IMHO been hot pan-seared so that the fish had skin side crust then maybe the cold salad would have had less effect on the fish. Again.

As I said before it was underwhelming for me. I have pretty simple food taste, maximum wine taste. Neither one was a homerun, but more like a seeing eye single.

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To give an idea of underwhelming food we started with a cheese course, the pieces truly were cut into perfect triangles, almost like Cracker cuts you see in the store. The cheese and not typically a big problem was below cold, not frozen but cold. I personally like cheese at certain temp and one of them is not cold. It came with a chipollini marmalade of sorts that was cloyingly sweet. Not enough acid. Again my take. They served and again my personal issue wines in glassware that was 'industrial.' The Flute my wife had her sparkling served in we use for Banquets at The Club, thick rimmed and short. My Rose was served in a stemless (Hey I don't care since we kinda pushed them when we opened Tallula back in the day) but I have a set of these at home that I use soda water. I even made the comment "Hey, I know this glassware!" We laughed and its ok but again a really solid beverage program touches on all aspects of the program from product, serving temp and glassware. Now that I think of it there were more issues than once imagined. So our salads were meh? My wife got the little gem salad that had very 'little' gem salad yet a lot of Frisee and Radicchio. So the salad was rather bitter which again another issue for me and as well my wife. I had the romaine salad with fried capers, good, over dressed but good. So when I ordered the wine (white) out it came, chilled (not overly thank goodness), no ice bath, and stemless glasses while I saw everyone else around us had stemmed glasses. Back to the wine temp. I like whites around 55 degrees, I know its weird but hey its me. That being said of there is no wine bucket nearby and we are not chugging the wine the temp on the wine will come up rather quickly and thus warm white wine, not hot, but warm. We asked for stemmed glasses and that was cool. Entrees. My wife had the pasta with mushroom and rosemary oil, rigatoni. Pasta was hard, not al dente but much more form than that and the mushroom was supposed to be a ragout but was a large cut than that, again..... I had the bronzino over a bed of snap peas. The bronzino was good but because the salad underneath was actually cold with a touch of citrus to cut the sweetness of the salad my fish on the backside turned cold. Had the fish IMHO been hot pan-seared so that the fish had skin side crust then maybe the cold salad would have had less effect on the fish. Again.

As I said before it was underwhelming for me. I have pretty simple food taste, maximum wine taste. Neither one was a homerun, but more like a seeing eye single.

Too bad...definitely sounds like a "meh" experience.  I've been maybe 3 or 4 times, and haven't had a major service snafu.  Definitely never had stemless wine glasses.

I've always found the pastas to be solid, but admittedly have never ventured into the "secondi" section of the menu.

I wouldn't call the area touristy (yet).  I don't know how busy a place like Morini gets before/after Nats games, but there seem to be a number of other places nearby more suited to the sports crowd.

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Is Navy Yard/Near SE/The Yards really 'touristy'? Or do you just mean that a lot of diners are coming in from other parts of the region for a ballgame?

Kev,

For now, the latter, but The Yards is designed to be a future tourist area, so while it isn't yet, it will be - or, it's planned to be. Take a walk outside of Osteria Morini sometime, along the water - this is for future tourists to enjoy. I don't know this for a fact, but I'd bet money that the developers have bet big money on tourists flocking - or at least coming - here in the future. This is a pretty high-dollar restaurant, and it's more (in terms of size, architecture, design, etc.) than is necessary for locals to frequent. In general, high-dollar riverfront development in our nation's capital is for tourists, not locals.

So, by that, I meant touristy. Not now, but in the future. Does that make sense? I see it as a long-term investment, perhaps a long-term gamble, on the part of the developers and investors.

As for Fiola Mare? I see that as a destination tourist restaurant - a magnet that will bring people from all over the country to drop big dollars for a legitimate Michelin-starred dining experience - and there's nothing wrong with that. And don't think for a moment that Fabio, "our" Fabio, is going to be stopping here, with only three restaurants under his belt (remember I said this). Better still, make a copy of this post, and bring it up in the future - either in support of, or against, what I'm saying here. My words are now a matter of public record.

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I'm still not sure I buy it as a touristy area. That seems more like the Wharf they're building just a short ways away with a restaurant from seemingly every local big name chef. With the amount of condos and apartments that have gone up recently around Navy Yard, plus the amenities neighborhoods need like the new Harris Teeter, future Whole Foods, Vida gym, future movie theater, new Banfield Pet Hospital, and more, it seems that developers are really catering to attract residents. When I lived on the Hill I'd walk down to Yards Park a lot on weeknights around dusk (this was before Morini opened) and most of the people walking around seemed like locals -- people walking their dog, joggers, young families letting their kids splash in the water.

There aren't a whole lot of hotels around there at the moment (not sure how many are on the horizon), so not sure where the tourists would be coming from. Can't really see many walking from The Mall. I think Osteria Morini is just aiming to be the best/nicest restaurant in an emerging 'hood.

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I'm still not sure I buy it as a touristy area. ...

I think Osteria Morini is just aiming to be the best/nicest restaurant in an emerging 'hood.

Perhaps you're correct.

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So, by that, I meant touristy. Not now, but in the future. Does that make sense? I see it as a long-term investment, perhaps a long-term gamble, on the part of the developers and investors. 

Yep, I can see that. There's three hotels under construction just a couple blocks away, though should be noted there is no hotel planned by Forrest City in The Yards. And those three hotels, Hampton/Residence/Homewood, seem to be geared more toward the weekday business traveler. Navy Yard has always struck me as primarily focused on new residents (with the many condos and apartments, boosting the tax base) and suburban guests for the Nats and other events. Yards Park is beloved by those two groups, as well as Hill residents who go make the trip under the freeway to visit (especially ones with kids who love the fountains and wading pool).

That said, I'm sure Forrest City, the Lerners, Capital Riverfront BID and Michael White would be more than happy for that neighborhood to be touristy too!

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Yards Park is beloved by those two groups, as well as Hill residents who go make the trip under the freeway to visit (especially ones with kids who love the fountains and wading pool).

That's us (and all our friends).

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Too bad...definitely sounds like a "meh" experience.  I've been maybe 3 or 4 times, and haven't had a major service snafu.  Definitely never had stemless wine glasses.

I've always found the pastas to be solid, but admittedly have never ventured into the "secondi" section of the menu.

I wouldn't call the area touristy (yet).  I don't know how busy a place like Morini gets before/after Nats games, but there seem to be a number of other places nearby more suited to the sports crowd.

I got a stemless wine glass, but I honestly couldn't have cared less.

Initially, the overall vibe of the place was a little weird to me - when we walked in, it seemed to skew a bit too casual (and maybe "touristy" is an appropriate word here) for the food and prices.  But, we received excellent service at the bar, and in the end, I felt like the total experience was very positive.  I didn't even realize it was a chain until I came here to write something up after the fact.

I commented to my husband as we were leaving that Morini was an interesting counterpoint to Fiola Mare.  They're both waterfront Italian restaurants, but they are quite different.  I'm glad DC has both.

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I also think calling Osteria Morini a "chain" to be a reach. There's only three of them, and they're overseen by Michael White's restaurant group. Sure, it's techically a "chain," but it's more DBGB than Cheesecake Factory.

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We had a family dinner there a couple weeks ago with bar snacks, appetizers, pastas, and secondi.   Everyone in our party thought they knocked it out of the park in all aspects.  Their charcuterie particularly impressed us, it's really really good, maybe the best we had in the city (neck to neck with SSB).  It's now going to pull us back, $10 pasta Mondays or no.

The comparison to Fiola Mare would never have occurred to me "“ the focus and cooking style are very different.  And they're definitely in different budget brackets "“ I actually think Morini is a good deal for DC given the quality of ingredients/preparation for the price.  The food reminds me more of Ghibellina, Tosca, or Bibiana.  I like the airiness of the restaurant space and the easy parking situation.  I also like the easy going service we've received so far.  If it remains at the level that we're currently experiencing it, it'll probably be our go-to for out-of-town guests.

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