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D'Acqua

Haven't read much on this board about D'Acqua (in the old Signatures space), but I've walked by there several times and am curious if anyone can provide input on this place. I tentatively made a 6 pm reservation there tomorrow night before a 7:30 show at the Lansburgh Theatre. I noticed they have a 3-course prix fixe which changes weekly (last updated in February on their website).
Please provide feedback and let me know if we'd be better off somewhere else (701 for pre-theatre menu?).

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D'Acqua Restaurant
801 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC

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  1. I ate there for lunch a few months back and it was very good. I'd give it a shot if you like seafood.

    1. I think it´s really good for simple seafood done well, with a bit of a mediterranean twist.

      1. LOVE this restaurant. Amazing because the menu caters to absolutely anything you would ever want. There is an extensive hot and cold app menu where you can get a bunch of things to make a meal of fun small plates. Or they have wondeful entrees. To top it off you can basically order any fish you want from their seafood "bar" and have it prepared in any way you want. Everything is fresh and simple with great flavors and the staff is great!

        1. We went with 2 other couples for Valentine's Day and everyone enjoyed it very much. You can pick you dinner from the fresh fish laid out on ice and they will explain each fish to you, if there are any you aren't familiar with. They also have a good wine list. We had some real foodies in our group and there were absolutely no complaints. We all agreed it was worth a return visit.

          1. It's good food but not special. D'Acqua tries to carve out a unique niche (Italian seafood). If you want seafood go to Black Salt, Hook, Pesce, ... If you want Itailian go to Tosca, Obleisk, .....

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dakota Guy

              I guess you´re right but I just can´t agree with you. I think the theme is to serve seafood simply the way people in the mediterranean eat it with their own twist. There is definately a place for D´aqua

            2. Reporting back:

              Went to D'Acqua last night with a 6 pm reservation. We were seated promptly at a lovely table near the window. The waiter took our drink order (just water) and went away. The busboy filled our water glasses and we waited. And waited. Finally I went up to the fresh fish to see what the offering was and the waiter then decided to pay some attention to me and walk me through the types of fish and the preparation options. I went back to the table and we waited some more. It was 6:30 before he took our order.

              My husband wanted to take advantage of their $32 prix fixe, but the waiter indicated that we wouldn't have time for 3 courses if we wanted to catch our 7:30 show. Obviously had he come by to take our order earlier, we might have been able to get in the 3 courses. Nonetheless, the waiter was willing to let him order the scallop entree which only appeared on the three course menu. My husband also ordered a starter of a 1/2 order of pasta (gnocchi in a meat ragu). I opted for a lighter meal, starting with an arugala salad and getting the appetizer size mussels as my main.

              Our first course didn't come out until 6:50. Normally I don't mind a leisurely meal, but when we ordered we told the waiter we were seeing a show a few blocks away at 7:30. So that was a bit frustrating. My salad was simple and good--a large pile of arugula with two large slices of pecorino cheese and the lemon vinaigreette on the side, as requested. My husband's gnocchi was heavier than we expected--it was baked in a casserole dish kind of like baked ziti. The meat sauce was very flavorful but the dish was too rich when combined with the gnocchi. We were expecting a lighter meat sauce to complement the heavy pasta.

              Our entrees were brought out almost immediately after our table was cleared of our appetizer plates. The scallops were delicious--served with a composition of mixed seasonal vegetables. My mussels were good, although there were a few that were too briny. The tomato-based sauce was wonderful.

              As our meal was winding down we requested the check so that we could get out in time. The waiter brought it promptly (total $48 + tip for 2 appetizers and 2 entrees) and we made it to our show in time.

              All in all it was a good meal and I plan to return, but not when I have time constraints as I felt a bit rushed once the food came out. Next time I'd like to try one of their fresh fish entrees (the table next to us got the salt-encrusted fish which was beautiful as it was presented and fileted tableside). I'd also be curious to try their deserts.

              1 Reply
              1. re: KWynn

                You have to get the fish, it´s their specialty.

              2. I went for lunch yesterday and loved it. My friend and I split the two entrees. We had pappardelle with wild mushrooms (meaty tasting mushrooms I might add) and the monkfish wrapped in pancetta with lemon zest & fresh herbs. The pancetta was crispy not greasy and the fish tasted great. Plus we split two desserts: The tiramusu was perfect then we had some pastry filled with ricotta and polenta with orange zest and orange blossom. It was a light flaky pastry, I don't remember the name of the dessert. I would go back there. We also had the antipasto bar, and really could have had just that for lunch it was so much food. I really liked the place.

                1. Hey all - going here on Saturday with a group of friends. Can I get away with good dark jeans with a nice shirt and boots? Going out afterwards, and I'd rather not wear slacks.

                  1. At D'Aqua the pasta dishes are the best. I don't think the fish is anything great. The lobster I saw on the fish table was dead--that is a big no-no. I also noticed a busboy was spraying the fish with water (I assume) to keep it looking glossy and "fresh". Truly fresh fish is glossy without being wet. The scallops with truffle are tasty and were cooked well, but the portion is way less that you normally expect when it is entree and just a pile of curly endive with it, and the dipping sauce was nearly tasteless. Not very impressive. The arugula salad is a mess--if I wanted a cup of arugula thrown onto a plate with one (yes, one) cherry tomato cut in half and a slice of perorino over it all I can do that at home. If you can't get an interesting mix of ingredients, please at least make it look appetizing. Their service is SLOW SLOW SLOW, way beyond leisurely, they have plenty of wait staff hanging around, I do not get why they are not more attentive. I like the decoration of the space, and the drink were great.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bookgal

                      The lobster is on ice and it isn't dead. I saw it move and the specialty of the house is seafood, simply prepared and fresh. You don't think the fish is anything great? What fish did you have? I read no fish in your post!!! Supermarkets spray their vegetables, does that mean the veggies aren't fresh? What do you mean by glossy fish? Fish don't wear gloss.

                      1. re: bookgal

                        I went here for dinner on Valentine's Day with a group (see my post above asking about the dress code), and it was some of the worst service I've ever had in a restaurant. I'm allowing for the fact that it was an unusual night, but our reservations were at 6, and the restaurant was more than half empty until almost 8 (were at the restaurant for THREE HOURS, and that was with you ordering dessert!). I actually had to go to the bar to get a glass of wine because my server ignored three requests for a wine list. He was actually hanging out at the bar bullshitting when I did so and asked me, "oh, do you need something?" Half of our party received their food a full 15 minutes before the rest of the group (and this was with a limited menu, mind you) - I've never experienced anything like it! Ultimately, the food was certainly adequate on its own, but nowhere near good enough to make up for the cost and the horrendous service. Please don't go here.

                      2. I went once and liked it very much. I had the salt encrusted fish and it was great, simple yes but delicate and delicious. The service was fine and we are fast eaters so not too tolerant of spending hours for dinner. I forgot what I had for dessert but I remember it was good. We will be back.