Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Al Dente AKA La Forchetta–Roberto Donna Back in Action

Al Dente
3201 New Mexico Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
IMG_7202-2Roberto Donna is a true Washingtonian.  Much like many politicians around here, he can get beat up pretty good, sometimes deservedly, sometimes not, and then get right back into the fight.  I am very glad he’s back in town.
He’s always had some of the best Italian food in the city.  It’s not crazy modern stuff, it’s real, down to earth Italian that tastes like it’s supposed to taste and looks like what it’s supposed to look like.  His flavors are true, his ingredients are fresh, and everything is brought to a crescendo of balance.
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This is what you see when you first come in.  A nice food-bar right in front of the cooking area.  The dining room is to the left.
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I chose to sit at the food-bar and watch Roberto and his Sous Chef Fabio work.  I didn’t order off the menu. I was there with a friend who is also a chef but had never tried Roberto’s cooking, so I suggested that we just relax for a bit and have Roberto make what he felt like making.IMG_7189-2
The first course was burrata with a roasted tomato, some olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Simplicity of ingredients married with excellent execution.IMG_7194-2
Course number two was a date wrapped in prosciutto and broiled with butter.  Very nice flavor combinations.IMG_7198-2
The third course a a fruite de mer pasta.  The tomato sauce with sparse herbs was popping with flavor and the seafood was perfectly done.IMG_7202-2
Roberto knows how much I love his risotto and dished some of that up as our last course.  It was done as it should be, still al dente, and the asparagus was crisp and crunchy.  It was topped with sun dried tomatoes to bring some balance.  If you’ve never had his risotto, go in and give it a shot.
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I can’t wait to get back there for dinner when I have time to sit and let the meal progress.  Some great desserts were coming out of the kitchen including a new play on Tira Misu which I’m dying to try.  You’ll see it here. 
Thanks for reading. La Forchetta on Urbanspoon
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