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Cafe Milano, Georgetown, Owner Francesco Nuschese's Upscale, Euro-Chic Italian on Prospect Street in Georgetown


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So I'm sitting at Teatro Goldoni the other evening, watching someone eat the largest cheeseburger I've ever seen, and in walk couple-about-town Fellato Riminovich and Putana Harlotski. They ordered some bruschetta, wolfed it down hungrily, blew some air kisses, and then disappeared into the night.

And I thought about a conversation I once had.

"You're too much of a foodie," my friend once told me, shortly before heading to her shift at Cafe Milano.

"I am not," I protested. "I just don't like things that suck."

"Cafe Milano doesn't suck."

"It does suck."

"You need to understand: bars and restaurants aren't always about food."

"How can a restaurant not be about food?"

"It's no Tosca, but people enjoy it."

"People enjoy Cheesecake Factory too."

<glare>

"Look: the customers at Cafe Milano might not know anything about food, but they know what they like."

And I sat there, blinking.

Then I came back into the moment, my thoughts turning toward the pizza in front of me at Teatro Goldoni, the uneaten pizza, the undercooked piece of dough with harsh dried herbs sprayed on top of it, seemingly from a firehose, and wondering to myself if I should just try and enjoy the pizza for what it was.

And then I left and went to Palena.

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So I'm sitting at Teatro Goldoni the other evening, watching someone eat the largest cheeseburger I've ever seen, and in walk couple-about-town Fellato Riminovich and Putana Harlotski. They ordered some bruschetta, wolfed it down hungrily, blew some air kisses, and then disappeared into the night.

And I thought about a conversation I once had.

"You're too much of a foodie," my friend once told me, shortly before heading to her shift at Cafe Milano.

"I am not," I protested. "I just don't like things that suck."

"Cafe Milano doesn't suck."

"It does suck."

"You need to understand: bars and restaurants aren't always about food."

"How can a restaurant not be about food?"

"It's no Tosca, but people enjoy it."

"People enjoy Cheesecake Factory too."

<glare>

"Look: the customers at Cafe Milano might not know anything about food, but they know what they like."

And I sat there, blinking.

Then I came back into the moment, my thoughts turning toward the pizza in front of me at Teatro Goldoni, the uneaten pizza, the undercooked piece of dough with harsh dried herbs sprayed on top of it, seemingly from a firehose, and wondering to myself if I should just try and enjoy the pizza for what it was.

And then I left and went to Palena.

 
LOL laugh.gif That pretty much sums up my opinion of those places. While Cafe Milano was always full, pretty much anything I read about it talked more about the atmosphere and the people who ate there. In fact I can't recall anything being said about the actual food. Generally I will at least try a place before forming a negative opinion but in this case I made an exception.

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Mrs. B and I had a great meal at Cafe Milano in, oh, 1991.

Every couple of years we get back, looking for the same magic, but the magic has gone.

The tall blondes looking for men with money, remain, though, so maybe it isn't about the food.

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Okay. I have friends coming into town this weekend from NYC. I am deciding between taking them to DC Coast or Cafe Milano. I like DC Coast but it can sometimes have a touristy crowd and be a tad dowdy...hence, why I thought of Cafe Milano (more chic, trendy), but I haven't eaten there in ages so I am clueless about the quality of food there these days. I want to have good food in a good atmosphere. What do you say? Thanks in advance!

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Okay.  I have friends coming into town this weekend from NYC.  I am deciding between taking them to DC Coast or Cafe Milano.  I like DC Coast but it can sometimes have a touristy crowd and be a tad dowdy...hence, why I thought of Cafe Milano (more chic, trendy), but I haven't eaten there in ages so I am clueless about the quality of food there these days.  I want to have good food in a good atmosphere.  What do you say?  Thanks in advance!

I've had some really good food at Cafe Milano. I've also had really mediocre food there.

And it's always overpriced. If you appear to be trendy enough, you'll get good service. If you give the wrong vibe, you'll get crappy service. It really helps to be wearing Ferrari-branded garb. :lol:

Are these two your only choices? Are you looking for a see-and-be-seen kind of place, or do you want to show DC's finest?

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I've had some really good food at Cafe Milano.  I've also had really mediocre food there.

And it's always overpriced.  If you appear to be trendy enough, you'll get good service.  If you give the wrong vibe, you'll get crappy service.  It really helps to be wearing Ferrari-branded garb.   :lol:

Are these two your only choices?  Are you looking for a see-and-be-seen kind of place, or do you want to show DC's finest?

Well, I wanted good food and a fun scene. Is it too late to get a reservation for tomorrow at somewhere like that?

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Don't know you or your friend's demographics, but Milano is an extremely hip place for wealthy men between 35 and 60 and the women who love them. They now have a souvenir shop, which is always a bad sign, and the food has gone downhill.

I'd run with Atlantico, as NCP suggested, or something else Penn Quarter-ish. Zatinya, maybe. DC Coast strikes me as very 90s, but someone else may know better. Firefly has something of a scene going, and good food, as well, and is reasonably close to all those hip 18th St. clubs.

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Don't know you or your friend's demographics, but Milano is an extremely hip place for wealthy men between 35 and 60 and the women who love them.  They now have a souvenir shop, which is always a bad sign, and the food has gone downhill. 

I'd run with Atlantico, as  NCP suggested, or something else Penn Quarter-ish.  Zatinya, maybe.  DC Coast strikes me as very 90s, but someone else may know better.  Firefly has something of a scene going, and good food, as well, and is reasonably close to all those hip 18th St. clubs.

Boy, did u peg my couple! Gorgeous younger woman with older rich guy...okay, u have totally turned me off on taking them to Cafe Milano. And, u r so right that DC Coast is an 80's place. Cross your fingers that I can get into Atlantico or Zatinya. Which one do u like more? Thanks for your perceptiveness...

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Don't know you or your friend's demographics, but Milano is an extremely hip place for wealthy men between 35 and 60 and the women who love them.  They now have a souvenir shop, which is always a bad sign, and the food has gone downhill. 

Ane here I thought is was a place dads and grand dads took their female progeny to celebrate their breast enhancements and botox treatments...

But backl to the thread... like Porcupine we have had good and crappy food, at the same meal. and paid dearly for it. But I do recall a Saturday or Sunday brunch that was plesant, despite the food because of the sunny feel of our table. Of course it was $100 for 4 without wine or drinks. And they are a huge seller of Neal Empson wines so you can drink good stuff there if you want to pay the price.

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Okay. Second post. I want to Cafe Milano last night in GT and I was overall, under impressed. It was loud and crowded and for a Tuesday, is that normal? The waiter got my order wrong. I did not complain as the food was great but all I know is that it was Chilean sea bass with greens and another veg underneath. I got elbowed in the back of the head by a waiter. The wicker bottomed chair was uncomfortable.

I was looking for reviews of CM and didn't find any. I"m sure it was my poor search effort but, here it is, a very brief review. This review is pretty negative so I should reiterate, I LOVED my dinner.

I'm curious what others think...

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Cafe Milano is now celebrating 25 years.

I leased that project years before they moved in; was part of the team that made the deal for Morton's.  That property was death for most tenants.  So close to the traffic in Georgetown and so removed. 

Cafe Milano:  Totally different environment.  It was always about the experience and the rep and status.  Forget all the "rules" of real estate.  It was a destination joint. (A different reason as a destination than its neighbor Mortons, but a destination none the less.

  I used to go there.  The food was never exceptional in my experience.  While I was friendly with some regulars, I never attended a special event.  But if you liked blowing money it was  a great place to go. 

But 25 years is quite extraordinary. 

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5 hours ago, DaveO said:

Cafe Milano is now celebrating 25 years.

I leased that project years before they moved in; was part of the team that made the deal for Morton's.  That property was death for most tenants.  So close to the traffic in Georgetown and so removed. 

Cafe Milano:  Totally different environment.  It was always about the experience and the rep and status.  Forget all the "rules" of real estate.  It was a destination joint. (A different reason as a destination than its neighbor Mortons, but a destination none the less.

  I used to go there.  The food was never exceptional in my experience.  While I was friendly with some regulars, I never attended a special event.  But if you liked blowing money it was  a great place to go. 

But 25 years is quite extraordinary. 

I always liked the Milanese Cutlet.

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12 hours ago, Mark Slater said:

I always liked the Milanese Cutlet.

Nice.  

When I worked a little harder I realized I drank more than ate.  No wonder I don’t recall the food.

When they moved in they had to be enticed with an extraordinarily low rent.  I’m sure it’s much higher now but i’d have no idea if it even approaches where market rents are now.  

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So a thing may have happened last night with DC’s beloved Jose Andres. Based upon his own twitter account. Haven’t seen it reported in a news outlet yet, so leaving under the restaurant but feel free to move to news and media. 

 

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Jose Andres is an American hero.  He has been feeding the AMERICAN CITIZENS of Puerto Rico since the hurricane, since the Trump administration didn't find it necessary to do more than toss a few rolls of paper towels at them.  Oh, but wait, Andres is an immigrant.  So maybe the administration doesn't consider him a real American.  I don't know if Spain falls into the category of S-hole countries.  

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This is literally the dumbest "story" of all time. One, who cares if Jose Andres could or couldn't get into a party? Two, the entire premise of the story (that Ivanka kept him out of the party) is apparently false by Andres' own admission. So what we're left with is a celebrity chef couldn't get into an after-party. And this has now been covered by The Washington Post, Politico, and multiple other publications. Andres should be credited for what he did in Puerto Rico, but we are all lesser for having to read about this crap. This is the height if unimportance.

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1 hour ago, JimCo said:

This is literally the dumbest "story" of all time.

No disrespect to any party involved, but can you think of two more PR-driven entities than José Andrés or Café Milano? And can you think of another media source who licks the boots (or, should I say, "fabricates the boots") of celebrities more than The Washington Post? Given the players, this is a natural, one-or-two day story that will soon die its natural death.

As for Mike Isabella, I did not ask him his opinion. Spike Mendelsohn could not be found for comment, because his boots have been licked clean - ditto Eric Ripert and the four-star Rasika with their gigantic, unexplained "Miscellaneous Expense" entry in their ledger.

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In any reasonable society with a modicum of compassion for their citizens resigned to plastic spoons, such a charitable individual would be welcome and revered like a saint by aristocrats itching to buff-up their philanthropic photo-ops, provided he wear plastic bags (2 x $0.05 bag tax) on his shit-stained working-man’s hands.  Also, Cafe Milano erroneously translates Black Cod as Merluzzo Nero (pollack).  It should be Cornuto Cazzo dell'Alaska.

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Wow. As a huge Jose Andres fan, I'm really embarrassed by that. Why make a stink of it? Why implicate Ivanka? It's so petty. Coming off of the great work done in Puerto Rico and fending off the Trump lawsuit, he was looking like a person on the high ground. This was really .. ugh. Just ugh. This idea that it's an unwritten rule that "after parties are fair game" - what bullsh*t. Just because you're a celebrity doesn't mean you get to do what you want.

I don't want to jinx it, but that sort of entitlement worries me about what lies beneath... 

 

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[Deleted 6 posts which were getting grumpy. Knowing the author, I really think it was a roundabout way of saying "bee-yotch," and didn't have any implications regarding gender, but that's just my interpretation (isn't it odd that the one-syllable B-word-that-rhymes-with-itch is always construed as "female," and the two-syllable B-word-that-rhymes-with-plastered always implies "male?")

I'll delete this, too, tomorrow.

If anyone *really* wants their posts restored, write me, but this discussion was in danger of becoming a cluster-for-Nick-ate.]

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