I've decided to start mixing it up on this blog. I eat out probably as much as I cook at home. So, I thought I would throw in a few restaurant reviews to keep things interesting.
Well, the first weekend of February found us with my dad and his wife visiting us here in Richmond, VA. They always like to do interesting and fun things when stopping in. Thus, we ended up in DC on a Saturday, tooling around the DC Mall area in a trolley car. There's so much to see and do, it certainly can all be overwhelming. I recommend picking 2 or 3 big things to do. That will surely eat up 8 hours of your day. At which point, you will be ready for cocktails and dinner. Which is exactly what we did!
I asked for a recommendation from a friend for a place that was special for my dad's birthday, that would not mind our "tourist gear." (ie: jeans, sneakers etc.) We were directed to hit up Cafe Milano(http://www.cafemilano.net/), a Milanese style Italian restaurant. I'm so glad I did not read any reviews on this restaurant before we went(I trust my friend implicitly). It's a bit of a chi-chi place with some cache, as I read online once we got home. Although, honestly, we didn't know that or feel that when eating there! The restaurant itself was casually elegant and we were treated to some of the best service and food I have ever had! Although, getting to this restaurant in Georgetown from Union Station was quite the adventure for us out of towners :) But, I'll spare you that story.
We started with the salmon carpaccio w/mixed greens & apple salad and a special of fried calamari, smelt & shrimp served with a side of spicy tomato sauce. I highly recommend both. I'd love to go back and try the beef carpaccio as well. Our main courses consisted of the Osso Bucco w/Saffron Risotto, handmade spinach egg noodles with a veal bolognese sauce and a Cinquebuchi Bulgari. We were told the Osso Bucco is marinated for 2 full days before then being roasted for a minimum of 12 hours. As you might expect, it fell off of the bone. My husband threatened my life if I tried to take another bite of his Risotto. :) My veal bolognese w/fresh noodles hit the spot as I had been craving something with a red sauce. That delicate, tender pasta is beyond addictive in its texture. The sauce ratchets everything up to insanely good.
Dessert really took us over the edge. The table shared a chocolate torte served with honey ice cream, a crema catalana (like a hazelnut/espresso flavored creme brulee, but softer) and a sorbetto tropicale (3 layers of sorbet in a white chocolate shell, served with a piquant raspberry sauce). All were good, but hand's down the Sorbet served in the white chocolate shell was the best.
Overall, this is one of the best restaurant experiences I have ever had. The service was attentive, at times humorous, always helpful. The food was fresh and expertly prepared with evident passion. One of my favorite parts of the experience has nothing at all to do with the food. In the congested area of Georgetown, parking is at a premium. Cafe Milano not only has a pay lot across the street, they also have a garage right next door! Love that convenience!
We will most likely be back for our anniversary this year! All our best to the highly talented and passionate chef!