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Aug 21, 2001 03:54 PM


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I know this may sound like a joke...but I heard a new Italian place opened on Connecticut Avenue across from Office Depot in the Days Inn, just north of Van Ness. Chef/Owner is Ignacio Bonnatti. Supposed to be reasonably authentic and reasonably reasonable. Anyone ever heard for it, or him?

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  1. Hi folks, first message in a very long time. (... and I know I left Jim hanging on my San Francisco report from January - went to Bacari - amazing space, a three story tall wine rack near the entrance, incredibly good tuna tartare appetizer, very fresh skate with kind of questionable french fry type accompaniment). Sorry Jim and all. On the upside my silence is partly a symptom that my new job has been very engaging.

    However, it happens that the new job is across the street from Tesoro. I've only been twice, but it happens that one of the times was last night. Their entree's range from about $12 - $18 and encompass a good variety of pasta. I ordered Penne Putanesca, penne pasta with marinara, olives and capers. There were anchovies crushed into the dish and it was very flavorful. The individual flavors of each ingredient came through and I particularly liked the capers. Pretty good for $12. We skipped the salad (and for that matter anything else) so I can't really comment much beyond that.

    I've only been once before and on that occasion I ordered an individual margherita pizza (the pizzas range from $6 - $9 or 10). Again, it was fairly flavorful with a surprisingly good tomato back in March). The wine list is acceptable, but I don't think the waiters are particularly knowledgeable.

    The atmosphere is ok, it's not particularly romantic. Their tastes lean to black napkins with blond wood. Tho I do like the full place setting. The service is relatively good, tho there is a tendency for the (young) wait staff to leave you a bit too much alone. We ate outside last night to escape a crying baby and it was a pleasant evening, but to be honest the rush hour traffic on Connecticut does not lend itself to a particularly peaceful evening. I'm not as troubled by this in Woodley, I think because the spaces are bigger.

    On another note, there appears to be an attempt to open an Indian restaurant ("coming soon, Dehli Dahba")in the old Boston Market across the street from Tesoro. I'll let you know how that is after they open up. All in all Van Ness is not a good destination for food. Cleveland Park and Tenley (yikes!) are better bets. However, I think I'll give a cautious thumbs up to Tesoro as a cheaper alternative to Barolo or one of those Roberto Donna places.

    OK, I feel guilty about not writing more so I'll try to do better. Geoff, hi to all from me, particularly the divine Ms. D. ;)

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cap Hill

      Haven't tried Tesoro yet, have also heard that Delhi Dhaba is moving into the old Boston Chicken locale. Van Ness is not and will not be a great dining destination, but Dhaba will definitely help. Bethesda locale has been good for a no frills, gotta watch the Indian videos kind of place.

      1. re: Cap Hill

        Good to see you back, Caphill. While we love reports, don't ever let the compulsion feel like overdue homework. Remember, this is strictly leisure time!
        On the other hand, if you're ever pressed for time but have something to report, it's always acceptable to just quickly scrawl out a tip or two fast and furious. Better a quick heads-up sent out steaming hot to the masses than an elegant write-up sat upon forever...
        Hope your new gig allows you an occasional visit here (did they finally throw you out of the senate??).

        1. re: Jim Leff

          Seems like they throw me out of the Senate every day.

          No, this site definitely isn't homework. Actually, it's something I really enjoy. Just haven't been around as much. I'll try to get back a bit more often anyway.