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I Ricchi in DC

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lincar916 May 10, 2007 07:59 AM

Anyone been there lately? Recommendations? Always looking for good Italian restaurnats in DC, MD and VA.

  1. e
    Elyssa May 10, 2007 08:08 AM

    I would suggest Dinos or Al Tiramisu over I Ricchi any day. I was quite underwhelmed when I went last year. And I personally thought the waitstaff treated me and my 2 friends not very well....kinda snotty with no reason to be.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa
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      lincar916 May 10, 2007 08:15 AM

      Thanks. I'll be taking a client while we're in Georgetown. Are any of them convenient?

      1. re: lincar916
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        Elyssa May 10, 2007 08:41 AM

        Al Tiramisu is closer to G-town then Dinos. It's in Dupont Circle and quick cab ride to and from. They have clasically delicious pasta---especially the gnocchi.

        Also if you are wanting to stay in Georgetown I would suggest Filomena as well. The servings are huge (especially the gigantic cuts of cake) but the Pasta Mamas make incredible homemade pasta (also good gnocchi and raviolis).

    2. d
      Dakota Guy May 10, 2007 09:20 AM

      I Ricchi is awful. Food is mediocre, the ambiance is extremely crowded tables with a high noise level, mediocre service, and a relatively high price. Almost anyway is better. I would never go back.

      For more home-like Italian cooking, try A La Lucia or Dino. For upscale try Obelisk or Tosca. For somewhere in the middle, Al Tiramisu, Al Crostino, even Filomena.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dakota Guy
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        Pappy May 10, 2007 11:43 AM

        Pretty good summary DG. My last two experiences with I Ricchi were absolutely awful on all fronts. I simply can not understand who still goes there.

        I think Tosca is probably the best Italian kitchen (and dining room) in the city right now. Obelisk is a treat, but certainly a more limited menu and a more crowded environment. I haven't been to Teatro in years. I think Spezie sucks. And unless you are already in the neighborhood, I don't think Dino is worth the cab ride.

        If I was in Georgetown and wanted Italian, I'd probably go to Cafe Milano. The food is excellent, expecially salads, pastas and pizzas, despite it's reputation as merely a social scene.

      2. LulusMom May 10, 2007 11:55 AM

        I'm totally with Elyssa and Dakota Guy - stay away from I Ricchi.

        Just a quick warming on Al Tiramisu - it IS delicious, but they have a bad habit of charging way way way more for specials (which are given with no prices) than anything else on the menu. As long as you are aware of what you could get into, you'll have a very good meal there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LulusMom
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          Elyssa May 10, 2007 12:11 PM

          Same with Al Crostini...def. ask how much all the specials are. Otherwise it will be double

        2. l
          lincar916 May 10, 2007 12:38 PM

          Wow-I'm shocked. Heard it was fabulous. Went to their sister restaurant in Bethesda and was underwhelmed. Anybody have comments about Notte Bianche and Olives? I'll be entertaining clients for 2 dinners. We'll be going to Cafe Milano one night, so I'm happy with the reviews here. I have been to Tosca and loved it. Was a bit concerned about the distance from Georgetown, though.

          7 Replies
          1. re: lincar916
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            Elyssa May 10, 2007 12:42 PM

            Don't go to Notti Bianche. They are in between chefs. But even when the old chef was there the food I had went from so-so to absolutly terrible (think clearly rotten fish).

            I haven't been to the Olives in DC. I went to the original in Boston many times...but I've heard its different here. Even so I imagine its good.

            What is your price range and what type of food are you looking for the 2nd night and I'm sure I (or others) can help you out.

            1. re: Elyssa
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              Steve Jun 8, 2007 06:47 AM

              Notti Bianche was one of the best kitchens in DC immediately before Tony Chittum left. The place was running on all cylinders. I'm sorry if you had a bad experience. I haven't been since, but I look forward to checking it out soon.

              Also, I know for sure that Brendan Cox, a very telented chef, took over at Notti Bianche in February and was still there as of last month, but someone please tell me if there is more recent information.

              1. re: Steve
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                Steve Jun 8, 2007 09:05 PM

                Had lunch today at Notti Bianche. Very fine stuff. Their take on a Ceasar Salad (romaine, parmesan, anchovies, green olive tapenade) was good, and the linguini with shrimp and mussels was a gorgeous plate of food that tasted as good as it looked. Nicely offset with cherry tomatoes, sage leaves, flecks of hot pepper. Strawberry gelato was served with a balsamic syrup, fresh strawberry and biscotti. Everything very fresh and tasty. A great resource, especially if you're going to the Kennedy Center. Brendan Cox remains the executive chef.

            2. re: lincar916
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              Elyssa May 10, 2007 12:43 PM

              One idea is to try to get a reservation at the new seafood restaurant in G-town called Hook thats been getting good reviews.

              1. re: lincar916
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                mattm May 10, 2007 12:55 PM

                My understanding is that I Ricchi used to be fabulous years ago. As you can see, we agree it isn't anymore.

                1. re: lincar916
                  DanielK May 10, 2007 02:00 PM

                  Yikes, almost missed this one - stay away from Cafe Milano, especially for a business dinner.

                  This is a "place to be seen" restaurant, and the food is mediocre on a good day, but expensive any day.

                  1. re: DanielK
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                    Pappy May 10, 2007 02:06 PM

                    I disagree. I think it's perfect for a business dinner, or a business lunch, which I have done. First class accomodations and service. And the food is outstanding on a good day. It attracts a sophisticated, in-the-know crowd for those reasons. It doesn't become a night club until after 10PM. Before that you are more likely to see local Georgetown residents, a few politicians, and business people. I do, however, agree it's expensive.

                2. l
                  lincar916 May 10, 2007 02:18 PM

                  Thanks for all the recommendations and warnings. I have reservations at Al Tiramisu and Cafe Milano. I'll provide updates!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: lincar916
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                    Elyssa May 10, 2007 03:12 PM

                    Please let us know how Al Tiramisu is. I haven't been in awhile but will be moving about a block away from the restaurant. I'm sure its still excellent but I would love an updated point of view.

                    And if you get the chance...order the gnocchi..its delicious!!!

                    1. re: Elyssa
                      s
                      Shaftnik May 10, 2007 06:00 PM

                      Al Tiramisu is okay, but I found it overrated. The gnocchi was fine, and my pasta was fine, but nothing special. I was with my girlfriend at the time -- we both are in our early 30's -- and our waited treated us with thinly veiled contempt. When he misunderstood my order and brought it out incorrectly, he made it clear that he thought it was my fault. Ugh.

                      The wine list is way overpriced and pretty boring.

                      Sorry, but I don't see why Al tiramisu has such a great reputation.

                  2. w
                    WineTravel Jun 7, 2007 09:13 PM

                    I Ricchi.... wow.... I never pass up an opportunity to tell people that I Ricchi is perhaps the worst restaurant in the USA... completely a joke. The owner should be ashamed. Even the staff thinks the place is rediculous. Im tired of telling the details of the last meal I had there. But actually could be the basis for a sit-com. Avoid at all costs.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: WineTravel
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                      baconjen Jun 8, 2007 09:21 AM

                      LOL. Had one of the worst, most overpriced meals there a few years back, with incredibly snotty service and a terrible table location. Will never go back!

                      1. re: baconjen
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                        WineTravel Jun 8, 2007 04:13 PM

                        My "experience" was so bad... it's the only time in my life that I considered walking out without paying. However, the management there was so rude and without any sensibility on any level, that I realized I better just pay the bill as I had no idea what they might do... perhaps tackle us or something. I only wonder how they remain open... I've only heard of complaints for years now.

                        1. re: WineTravel
                          LulusMom Jun 8, 2007 05:26 PM

                          It really is stunning that they're still open, isn't it?? I had some of the worst, overcooked salmon there (and c'mon, how hard is it to get salmon right, in any self-respecting restaurant??) that I've ever had. And yes, terribly snotty service. But I *am* amused at the thought of them tackling people as they leave. At least that would give you entertainment for your dollars spent.

                          1. re: LulusMom
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                            WineTravel Jun 9, 2007 06:56 AM

                            Here's just a snipit of my meal...

                            The waitress mentioned that they were running a special that was "great"... a pasta dish with white truffles. As a true lover of truffles (white and black) I was psyched. So, I even asked if we can get extra white truffles and pay extra. The waitress said she'd check with the chef. When she came back she said they couldn't do it... "so busy this weekend they couldn't spare any". Ok, that was acceptable. When the dish came, I had absolutely no taste of truffle at all, nada. So, I inquired as to where the truffles were. After a little hemming and hawing I finally got them to admit that they don't have any... not that they ran out... they NEVER had any. Then the chef said that when they do the dish they use truffle oil, never truffles, but that they were out of that too. Not that they just ran out... they haven't had any in a while. I was STUNNED to say the least. I asked them why it's listed on the SPECIALS menu. She said they are using some mushrooms instead. HOLY COW! She said that they should really change it. I was furious. Later, during the meal I still heard the waitstaff mentioning the TRUFFLE pasta. If you can believe it the rest of the meal is just as bad... will continue the saga upon request.

                            1. re: WineTravel
                              k
                              kcm19 Jun 9, 2007 11:09 AM

                              I believe it. To this day, I swear the "ragu" sauce on my pasta was Chef Boyardee from a can.

                              At the risk of piling on, our dinner at I Ricchi 10+ years ago was easily the worst dining experience my husband and I have ever had together. I have no idea how the place stays in business.

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