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Chef Roberto Donna is re-establishing his downtown presence with the opening of Alba Osteria in Mount Vernon Triangle—just north of Chinatown—just in time for New Year's.
Many Washingtonians fondly remember Roberto's downtown outlet of yore, Galileo
. For Alba, Roberto has reunited
with chef Amy Brandwein
, who will head up the kitchen, as Roberto will still be running the show at Al Dente
, up near Tenleytown.
Owner Hakan Ilhan
tells us that he's excited about Alba's potential
, location-wise, because it gives them access to so many different audiences. The area already has a strong residential
population, with more to come as nearby developments near completion. Proximity to Chinatown, Penn Quarter, and the forthcoming City Center will bring the office
guest crowds. And Hakan thinks they're close enough to Verizon Center
to draw some clientele from there. This once-desolate
part of town is now looking like a pretty attractive
site for restaurateurs.
The menu will focus on the cuisine from the Piemonte
region of Italy, where Roberto hails from. Expect pastas and meat dishes with delicate,
subtle sauces finished with a touch of butter rather than heavy
, cream- or tomato-and-meat-based sauces. Piemonte is land-locked,
so seafood isn't traditionally part of the cuisine, but Amy plans to run rotating fish specials
. (It's feasible a few fish hopped their way to Piemonte.) Another departure from the traditional is the glowing, mosaic-tiled wood-burning pizza oven
in the corner, which will burn at 900 degrees and serve up Neapolitan-style
pizzas. The bar will offer four wines
and 20 beers on tap
, as well as a wide selection of wines by the glass and bottle, displayed throughout the restaurant. Alba will open for dinner on Dec. 30
, and will be open New Year's Eve
and weekend brunch
will be rolled out shortly thereafter.
Sneak Peek: Agua 301
Modern Mexican restaurant Agua 301
opens this Saturday
in the Lumber Shed building at The Yards on the SE waterfront
. The riverfront restaurant comes from the family behind Zest Bistro
on Barracks Row: husband-and-wife Steve and Amanda Briggs
and Steve's stepfather, former Majority and Minority Whip David Bonior
(D-MI). The family has tapped Chef Antonio Burrell
, formerly of Masa 14 and El Centro, to lead the culinary team. Above, Amanda and Antonio welcome us in.
Antonio tells us he enjoys putting American
twists on Mexican dishes. For instance, his beef barbacoa flautas
are served with a queso fundido dip, making the dish reminiscent of a Philly cheesesteak.
The flautas will be on the bocaditos
—little bites— section of the menu, alongside empanadas, guacamole, and the like. Entrees
will include dishes like pan-seared black bass and roasted adobo chicken, and tacos
will feature creative fillings like carne asada con kimchi. Nearly every seat in the restaurant has a view
of the river thanks to the floor-to-ceiling
windows, and come spring there will be a patio
In addition to beer, wine, and 12 signature cocktails
, the bar will be serving up peach sangria
and lime margaritas
, both of which will be frozen slushie-style
. (And yes, you can get them swirled
.) And did we mention the 60 tequilas
and mezcals? Happy hour
will be from 3:30 to 7, seven
days a week. Agua 301 opens with dinner service this Saturday,
and will roll out lunch on Dec. 28. Brunch
will debut New Year's Day
and will be available every weekend afterwards; Antonio assures us the brunch menu will feature dishes "perfect for soaking up a hangover."
The Peruvian Brothers Keep On Truckin'
The line starts behind us: The Peruvian Brothers (Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone
) are bringing their delectable "Comida Criolla" Peruvian delights to the DC streets in a food truck they own and operate. We already know their food skills are amazing, but we suspect their driving skills are impeccable, being that Giuseppe is a two-time Olympic athlete in competitive rowing
. And their specialties are the driving force behind their success: sandwiches and empanadas
featuring chicharron (pork tenderloin), asado (beef), and chicken (delicious), as well as vegetarian options
. To sample their authentic Peruvian fare, follow the Peruvian Brothers truck via @PeruBrothers
. They're available for catering and private events
. We're hot on their trail! For more info on our sponsors, please visit www.peruvianbrothers.com
Shaw's Quintuple Ribbon-Cutting
The warp-speed gentrification of Shaw
continued this week with a quintuple
ribbon cutting (someone call Guinness!) featuring Mayor Gray and Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham
. The following five spots are now officially open for business (or will be by the weekend
Eat the Rich & Southern Efficiency - 1839 & 1841 7th St. NW. These two spots will bring Derek Brown's total of Shaw establishments up to four (after Passenger/Columbia Room and Mockingbird Hill). Eat the Rich features Rappahannock oysters and seafood from the Chesapeake to soak up his award-winning beverages. With diner-meets-whiskey bar Southern Efficiency opening Saturday next door, we'd say Derek's well on his way to being crowned King of Shaw. (Your move, Prince of Petworth.)
Dunya - 801 Florida Ave NW. This spacious, three-story Mediterranean-meets-New-American restaurant will feature a roof deck come spring.
All Souls Bar - 725 T. Street NW. A cozy, 33-seat neighborhood bar from David Batista, formerly of Jaleo and Zaytinya.
Right Proper Brewing Company - 624 T St. NW. This 110-seat microbrewery and pub is already getting raves on Yelp.
Email Alia.Khan@bisnow.com with tips, suggestions, and story ideas. Follow Dining Bisnow on Facebook and Twitter!
Did you catch us on WTOP last week? Check it out here!
We're taking a break for the holidays—see you in the new year!