I'm taking Bacchus to Dinner... HELP!
... and the Italian goddess of food, Edesia, to boot !
DC or close Virginia only please.
My uncle, who I think is connected, is coming to town and I've been tasked with finding an old school italian place to take him to. Less Tony Soprano, more Johnny Sack.
Think corner table, back to the wall, men kissing each other on the cheek, block of parm on the table, not ordering with a menu, dishes you didn't order just "showing up", etc.
Cork? Proof? Enoteca?
Or throw him for a loop... show him what DC is all about... and take him to Courduroy!
(He went to Filimina already.. and liked it, but I think he fell for the "experience" more than the food... you know, those Italian waiters, Georgetown, how could you not like it?)
Although it's not my taste, I think you are looking for Il Mulino. Very manly. Huge portions. They have other outposts in NYC and Las Vegas, for example.
If you think he is a "player" (as well as being "connected"), then you want Cafe Milano in Georgetown.
If he actually knows food and wine, then you want Obelisk.
If you want to be really safe, I think Tosca is the best overall choice.
You give very good reasons for all...
Il Mulino - Hes' been to the NYC.. but better yet to plain "Mulino" in White Plains, NY. I won't insult him. It would be like saying DC tap water is better than NY.
Cafe Milano - looks nice, good menu... it's on the short list
Obelisk - Been wanting to try... this could be a good occasion
Tosca - Been there. loved it. will be our choice if I cannot be convinced of others
You know how good Tosca is, Obelisk is definitely worth the price. However, if he is really into Italian wine (you did say Bacchus didn't you?) I'd say go to Dino in Cleveland park. Order a lot of starters; Antipasto Toscano, Burrata, Polenta ai Tre Formaggi con Funghi, Salumi, and some pasta; Pappardelle ai Cinghiale or Fusilli con Ragu d’Anatra, and wash it all down with one of the hundreds of extremely well priced Italian wines on the list.
Cafe Milano is out.... I'll take food over 'scene' anytime.
I should give Dino another chance... went there once, and the place smelled like cleaning fluids. Food was beyond good, but it was hard to overcome the olfactory ambiance. Besides... he hooked me up with good gift salt selections last christmas.. Not sure if it's for Uncle Mike this time...... should I? My wife's eyes will roll out of her head when I suggest this. She's part bloodhound and it REALLY bothered her. Tough first impression.
So I'm leaning further towards Tosca, with a Corduroy fallback.
Obelisk sounds great but not since it's not "true" Italian... I have a hunch it's not for true Italian uncles.
As much as we enjoy going to Dino and sitting at the bar and drinking their great italian wine and eating a few snacks, their food isn't stellar. Tosca would probably be your best bet, if he doens't mind dressing up.
Obelisk is my fave restaurant in the city but it in no way matches what you said you wanted.
If it's really all about the wine, you might consider: Proof, 1789, City Zen, Grapeseed. But for great italian food and a decent wine list, i still say Tosca.