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Jan 8, 2007 01:22 PM

Going to Maestro

In February, Husband and I are going to Maestro (staying at the RC) for dinner and brunch the next morning. We've had the brunch before :::::swoon::::: but was wondering if there is anything special we need to know about the dinner menu, any helpful hints, must tries or okay to avoid in favor of something more special.

Thanks hounds.

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  1. fyi- the brunch is put out by the Ritz's kitchen, not Maestro's. The dinner experience is quite different. I'd recommend getting the tasting menu. They know what's best for the evening and will give you things that you'll love but you probably wouldn't have ordered... it's more adventuresome that way!

    It'll be the best dinner the DC area has to offer!

    1. I think the first time we dined at Maestro, we ordered the seven-course option. When we left, we were so full, we felt we were going to explode. In addition to generous portions of the regular courses, the restaurant is generous with amuse bouche and intermezzo courses. We've ordered the five course option ever since and still been amply fed. In fact, I hope you're planning on eating brunch quite late since you won't be up for a big eating experience for many hours on Sunday.

      Other than that, my recommendation is to have fun and be confident that anything you order will be delish no matter how pedestrian it seems in print. Mix your choices from the traditional menu or the modern cuisine menu. Order two fish courses and no meat course -- or vice versa -- if you'd prefer.

      Incidentally, we adore the sommelier. He seems to take just as much pleasure meeting customer needs for those of us with more modest wine budgets as customers who are ordering cellared brunellos.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Indy 67

        I second all that. Vincent the sommelier is marvelous - his recommendations have always been exactly right, both for taste and price. I find the the three course option sufficient - Fabio's food is taste-wise so spectacular that the third course is often overshadowed by the preceding dishes. I think his ways with crustaceans, fish, and pasta are the most exceptional.
        In spite of its setting (Ritz Carlton) and its haute cuisine reputation, Maestro remains the friendliest most welcoming restaurant I've ever been to.

        1. re: bruce in oakton

          I'm guessing from your vote for the three-course option that you've dined there on a weekday. IIRC, only the five or seven course options are available on the weekend.

      2. I fully concur in the comments about Vincent's wine selections.

        Another consideration: When you make a reservation, they may ask you if you want a table near the center of the room, where you can watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen. The alternative is a table farther from the action. We've tried both and enjoyed them both. But based on past postings on this board, I would say most people opt for the close in tables, at least the first time.

        1. Was there last month -- liked it a lot. Two tidbits:

          The lobster ravioli was the standout among the dishes we tried.

          We regretfully declined to order dessert, already stuffed with four courses, but then the sweet freebies provided more than enough dessert.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

            i'll second what bill from the hill said. we passed on dessert ... but were showered with sweet freebies anyway. since dessert is rarely the highlight of an italian meal, the smart play at maestro is to skip dessert and invest your money in an additional course.

          2. here's something we learned on our first visit: the menu leaves you with the impression that you have to select your courses from either the tradizione or the evoluzione menus ... but, in fact, you can pick and choose from both