HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
What have you made lately? Share your food adventure
TELL US

Charley Horse Grill to become Ristorante Milano

alkapal Oct 15, 2007 09:58 AM

Seen on a banner driving by yesterday. Not to be cynical, but shall we start the countdown?

  1. Gonzocook Dec 3, 2007 04:40 AM

    I ate there on Friday. I needed only a light lunch, so I ordered only two items. Can't really tell much from that, but for what it's worth:

    Minestrone wasn't bad. Seemed to be made with canned stock and tomatoes, but the other veggies in it seemed fresh. Pasta pieces slightly overcooked, but it's probably hard to keep pasta al dente when it's sitting in a vat of soup for a long time.

    Calamari (fried) were quite good. Squid was tender, batter fairly light. Sauce was just okay, but I have that problem with most Italian restaurants' calamari sauce. Portions of soup and calamari were huge. I took some of the calamari home, but, like most calamari, they're not nearly as good once they cool.

    Staff were eager to please, still working out the glitches, though (e.g., some delays in getting the food out of the kitchen). I met the chef, talked to him a bit. Nice chap.

    There was a lunch buffet set up. I didn't consider it, since I wasn't very hungry. It had some pasta putanesca, some meatballs, some usual salad bar items, a few other things. I think the staff said the buffet was $7.95

    It's not Roberto Donna, but it's not the Pines, either. I wish them well. I'll go back again in a couple of weeks when my appetite is bigger.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gonzocook
      alkapal Dec 5, 2007 11:00 PM

      thanks for the update and review. will check it out! i like calamari. prefer aioli rather than the typical italian red sauce, though... that is a good price for the buffet. will give joe's a run for the money...

      1. re: alkapal
        Gonzocook Dec 6, 2007 04:59 AM

        Agree completely about the aioli. As to the buffet, I think Joe's is more extensive.

    2. w
      WimZcal Dec 2, 2007 05:24 PM

      I have the menu in hand. Touts "authentic Italian cuisine." Looks to be a standard mid-price Italian menu with the usual suspects: minestrone, fried calamari, antipasto; 9 pasta entrees ranging from $9.95 to $12.95; several meat dishes including rack of lamb for $21.99 ("Colorado lamb baked and served table side"); some chicken; some seafood. Spotted a handful of cars in the parking lot over the weekend.

      1. alkapal Nov 12, 2007 07:25 AM

        hounds, any update on this place?

        2 Replies
        1. re: alkapal
          w
          WimZcal Nov 29, 2007 01:22 PM

          Drove by this morning, sign says they are OPEN. Another sign says, "Help Wanted."

          1. re: WimZcal
            Bob W Nov 29, 2007 01:57 PM

            N.B. They don't even go for the faux authenticity of "Ristorante Milano." The name of the place is "Milan Restaurant."

            Perhaps they feature the cuisine of Milan (pronounced MY-lan), Indiana, home of the basketball team on which the movie Hoosiers is based?

            Anyone care to TOFTT?

        2. d
          dcs Oct 15, 2007 01:15 PM

          i truely believe that the problem here is that the building shape and parking lot still remind those passing by, perhaps subconsciously, of the Pizza Hut that it once was. as long as it has the shape of a Pizza Hut, folks are going to perceive it as the culinary equivalent of a Pizza Hut, regardless of what food is offered within. if there is an option to knock down the building and start over, that would be my recommendation. if the building must stay, i think the site would do better as a Long & Foster real estate office rather than as a restaurant.

          1. Bob W Oct 15, 2007 10:01 AM

            Well, with such an imaginative name, I'm expecting the latest occupant of the "location of death" to really set the local dining scene on fire.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Bob W
              alkapal Oct 15, 2007 10:02 AM

              hehe. i'm virtually certain it just HAS to be a sister to Cafe Milano in Georgetown! LOLAMOJ.

              1. re: Bob W
                d
                dcs Oct 15, 2007 10:05 AM

                I think they should call it "The Pines of Ristorante Milano." Catchier name, dontcha think?

                1. re: dcs
                  alkapal Oct 15, 2007 10:08 AM

                  LOLAYJ -- okay enough with these acronyms. Funny, dcs! Query: will they be a "cash only" business? That would really put them up there with the Pines I knew back in the day. (Does Pines now take credit cards?)

                  1. re: alkapal
                    MsDiPesto Oct 15, 2007 10:34 AM

                    maybe it will be a suburban interpretation of Cafe Milano, with SUVs and min-vans instead of Jags and Maseratis. The blondes will be there, but with kids.

              Show Hidden Posts