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A Simple Quest:

I am looking for the ultimate ravioli for a friend whose quest has been unsuccessful so far. This is the interesting part of the quest: he's been mostly disappointed with how the pasta is made and prepared (texture, doneness, size, filling to pasta ratio, etc.) more so than the filling. He's tried a number of restaurants and handmade pasta over the counter in DC area, but he says none was better than 'the ravioli place' near University of Chicago that is now closed and caused his quest to begin.

anyone w/ great ravioli experience?

thanks!

-Jonu

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A Simple Quest:

I am looking for the ultimate ravioli for a friend whose quest has been unsuccessful so far. This is the interesting part of the quest: he's been mostly disappointed with how the pasta is made and prepared (texture, doneness, size, filling to pasta ratio, etc.) more so than the filling. He's tried a number of restaurants and handmade pasta over the counter in DC area, but he says none was better than 'the ravioli place' near University of Chicago that is now closed and caused his quest to begin.

anyone w/ great ravioli experience?

thanks!

-Jonu

Can you give us some more info? What places has he tried in DC and what were his complaints about the various preparations?

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I've never had ravioli better than the carrot-fennel ravioli at Dahlia Lounge in Seattle; but in DC, I've never had ravioli better than the mini-ravioli served with the lamb sirloin at Corduroy.

If he accepts agnolotti, they're incredible at San Marco, at 18th and California. Walnut sauce. Mmmmmmm.

Jael

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I have become addicted (unfortunately for my hips) to the ravioli the pasta place in Eastern Market makes.  The fillings are delicious.  I am not a pasta expert but they taste really good.

I agree. I always grab a pound or so when I'm at the market.

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I agree. The pasta booth at Eastern Market is tremendous. Now that I have gone low-carb this is one of my pleasures that I miss the most. I wonder if they could do fresh whole wheat pasta? One of the best things is their heart shape red raviolis that are available for Valentines day -- a must for anyone who's cooking for their SO on that day.

Edited by FunnyJohn
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The best pasta dish I've ever had was the lobster ravioli in ginger bisque at Maestro, but I suspect this isn't the type of ravioli he's looking for.  Are we talking meat and red sauce here?

I think the Chicagonian ravioli he's been dreaming (and re-dreaming) of was just simple, not too-fancy, regular-size ravioli - cheese, spinach and riccota, and meat (maybe) served w/ very simple sauce (either butter-based or light tomato). He particularly remembers that the sauce was accompanying--not overwhelming--the pasta. I don't particularly remember where exactly he has been disappointed with, but I do know that he hasn't been "wow-ed" yet ever since.

His quest and unsatisfied palate reminds me of the drive of Christopher Kimbell from America's Test Kitchen / Cook's Illustrated--working w/ numerous recipes to identify what he considers the best recipe to prepare a simple, original, and free of frou-frou. The only difference is that he is hardly a skillful cook (maybe I should send him to Kimbell's kitchen to be one of his tasters?)

I think my ravioli friend and I are going to Al Crostino (I am a big mushroom fan and he's a big butter sauce fan) and Eastern Market Pasta Shop to continue his quest.

---------------------------------------------

this is me: I had Chef Power's mini goat cheese ravioli last week and wished that they were served separately from the lamb so that the lamb juice/sauce didn't touch those adorable ravioli. Ravioli was also a bit more cooked than al dente. But I was in the lamb-melting-in-my-mouth heaven and did enjoy the dish tremendously.

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Agree on mini-raviolis that come with the lamb at Corduroy. Next time I'm in, I'm going to see if I can cajole the good people there for just a side of them.

Sage, ricotta and raisins raviolis at Tosca. Simple butter sauce and delicious.

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Wait a second. Which place by the University of Chicago? Cardinelli's? I went to the UofC as well and I really miss Cardinelli's. They closed down after my 2nd year there.

I am very partial to the pasta at Spezie on 18th and M to include their ravioli.

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I am very partial to the pasta at Spezie on 18th and M to include their ravioli.

MMMM -- Spezie's ravioli is my favorite. The porcini mushrooms and pistachio cream sauce make a heavenly combination. Galileo has a nice first-course agnolotti with asparagus and mascarpone cream sauce that is also superb.

Is it lunchtime yet???

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MMMM -- Spezie's ravioli is my favorite.  The porcini mushrooms and pistachio cream sauce make a heavenly combination.    Galileo has a nice first-course agnolotti with asparagus and mascarpone cream sauce that is also superb. 

Is it lunchtime yet???

I had the agnolotti at Galileo and found it surpisingly mediocre.

edited to add: Sometimes, Reataurant Eve has an oxtail ravioli that is very good. It's served with a rich broth.

Edited by Jacques Gastreaux
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Wait a second. Which place by the University of Chicago? Cardinelli's? I went to the UofC as well and I really miss Cardinelli's. They closed down after my 2nd year there.

I am very partial to the pasta at Spezie on 18th and M to include their ravioli.

Cardinelli's is the one - in fact, my friend must be from your class because he mentioned that the place closed down after his second year in college.

Thank you everyone for so many suggestions, now we've got a notebook full of ravioli dishes to try!

I am on a similar quest: In Chinatown in Manhattan, under the bridge near Canal St., there are numerous dumpling soup places (near Chinatown bus stops). Served super hot (temperature), the bowl is filled with opaque yet meaty broth w/ dumplings w/ very thin--almost paper thin--skins. The filling is smaller than a normal dice, but the dumpling skin is disproportionally large. it doesn't have the normal look of a dumpling where the filling is "framed" in a noodle; rather, these tiny dumpling has large "skirt" of paper-thin skin around the filling. Has anyone seen these guys in DC area?

Thanks again,

Jonu

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I am on a similar quest: In Chinatown in Manhattan, under the bridge near Canal St., there are numerous dumpling soup places (near Chinatown bus stops). Served super hot (temperature), the bowl is filled with opaque yet meaty broth w/ dumplings w/ very thin--almost paper thin--skins.  The filling is smaller than a normal dice, but the dumpling skin is disproportionally large. it doesn't have the normal look of a dumpling where the filling is "framed" in a noodle; rather, these tiny dumpling has large "skirt" of paper-thin skin around the filling.  Has anyone seen these guys in DC area?

Are you referring to Joe's Shanghai? They have the best soup dumplings.

In DC...hmmm...I can't remember the exact name...but it is the place where the chef makes handmade noodles in front of the restaurant. I have yet to try it myself.

Edited by crazeegirl
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The place where the guy pulls the noodles is Chinatown Express.  6th and H maybe?

746 6th St. NW

The dumplings and the noodles (either stir-fried or in soup) are the only things truly worth ordering. The BBQ is ok, as are various veggies, but the rest of the menu is pretty ordinary.

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Mastellone's Deli in NE-Baltimore/Parkville

This is part of a trifecta of good food up that way. It's a ride from DC to be sure, but worthy of a food-themed micro-road trip. The trifecta includes Mastellone's above, Angelina's Restaurant, and the Fenwick Bakery. ANgelina's changed hands a few years ago, but I hope their food is still up to snuff (combo seafood, Italian and 'local' joint/tavern/bar place (it is semi-near where Dead Freddy's (of Homicide fame) is located)). And Fenwick bakery has amazing bakery products (especially their donuts!), but I digress.

Mastellone's makes lots of fresh pasta, but especially various ravioli's. Every time we go we bring a cooler to load our haul in to. They also serve up some mean deli meats and cheeses. And they have a great wine selection as well, often offering up older vintages that have been stored properly for a while, sometimes years, holding them away from sale until their drinking windows come up.

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I'm sure it is not what he's looking for, but the gorgonzola raviolini at Komi is just outstanding. A very small dish but I can't imagine liking pasta much more than I did this plate.

For an ordinary ravioli, I think you are on the right path sending him to Eastern Market. They are not the best that I have had, but are definitely better than most you will get in the mid-range Italian restaurants in the area.

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On 8/15/2005 at 10:48 AM, Jonu said:

A Simple Quest:

I am looking for the ultimate ravioli for a friend whose quest has been unsuccessful so far. This is the interesting part of the quest: he's been mostly disappointed with how the pasta is made and prepared (texture, doneness, size, filling to pasta ratio, etc.) more so than the filling. He's tried a number of restaurants and handmade pasta over the counter in DC area, but he says none was better than 'the ravioli place' near University of Chicago that is now closed and caused his quest to begin.

anyone w/ great ravioli experience?

thanks!

-Jonu

*My* how things have changed since the previous post, which was written nine-years-ago to this very day! 

In the last several years, we've had a true Italian neo-Renaissance in DC, and Ravioli, stuffed and topped with pretty much anything you can dream of, with the pasta made on-premises, has become so commonplace that I wonder if some restaurants are worried about serving it. One interesting tid-bit is that I cannot think of a single restaurant, anywhere, with "Ravioli" as part of its name - it's always "Pizza" or "Spaghetti."

At this point, *anything* considered "Best Of" will have to use homemade pasta.

To think that I grew up on canned Chef Boyardee - eee-*yuck*! ravioli.jpgs

This dish originated in 14th-century Italy. Surely people here have had ravioli in the past week: where, what, and how was it?

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Oh yeah, well Franco-American was superiore--it said so right on the can. 75437_zpsazbmlke6.jpg

Sadly, Campbell's has discontinued the Franco-American name for their delicious canned pasta products.Happily, my mother was never so pressed for time or money that she fed us canned pasta, which consequently I have never tasted. We got  Mexican TV  dinners!

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15 hours ago, DonRocks said:

To think that I grew up on canned Chef Boyardee - eee-*yuck*! ravioli.jpg

Now you have to go to the Ship Lantern Inn in Milton, NY, to say you've tried it from the original Foglia family:

"Mr. Foglia is also one of the four original founders of the renowned Chef Boy-Ar-Dee company, which was awarded the Army and Navy “E” as a result of tastings supplied from The Ship Lantern Inn’s kitchen."

 

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2 hours ago, SRJ said:

Now you have to go to the Ship Lantern Inn in Milton, NY, to say you've tried it from the original Foglia family:

"Mr. Foglia is also one of the four original founders of the renowned Chef Boy-Ar-Dee company, which was awarded the Army and Navy “E” as a result of tastings supplied from The Ship Lantern Inn’s kitchen."

You know what's funny?

They don't have ravioli on the menu: Screenshot 2016-06-26 at 12.08.53.png

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