Aggio Italian Eatery Opens Inside Range
Aggio, Bryan Voltaggio’s new restaurant-within-a-restaurant, opened Valentine’s Day serving the Top Chef alum’s modern Italian cuisine and six-course tasting menus.
The new restaurant occupies a large portion of the private party room in the back of Range, Voltaggio’s restaurant in the Chevy Chase Pavilion, 5335 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Aggio is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 5-10:30 p.m., and Friday-Saturday from 5-11 p.m.
The makeover, which took less than three weeks, features brown and beige circle-studded wallpaper, and a plush black sofa and chairs lobby. New light fixtures were added to the white table-clothed dining area, which seats 82 guests. It also has a different kitchen, staff including executive chef Johnny Miele, wine list and music.
Unlike Range, which serves small plates, Aggio’s traditional menu features antipasti, soups and salads, pasta, fish, poultry, beef ad authentic classics that use sustainable, domestic ingredients treated with classic and progressive techniques. Diners have the option of a six-course tasting menu for $95 each evening which can also include wine pairings devised by Range’s two in-house master sommeliers. The website not fully functional yet and the menu and pricing was not available. However, Voltaggio did Tween out a photo of the menu.
The Fredrick News-Post reported Monday that Voltaggio will open a second Aggio at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor at 616 Water St. in a space occupied by Tatu, a sushi and Asian-styled restaurant. He took possession of the space in the Power Plant Live! development on Saturday, he told the newspaper. Voltaggio is a Frederick, Md., native and owns Volt and Family Meal, a diner-style restaurant, there. It is slated to open late spring or early summer. He also plans to move his shuttered Lunch Box, a sandwich shop, from Frederick to the Chevy Chase Pavilion.
Glover Park’s Sprig & Sprout offers vegan special
Sprig and Sprout, the Pho and Viet sandwich shop at 2317 Wisconsin Ave. NW in Glover Park, has paired up with the female monks of Bien An Tu Temple to create a guilt-free seven-course prix-fixe vegan dinner tonight and Feb. 24.
The menu includes traditional Vietnamese Buddhist dishes such as banh bot loc chay (a steamed transparent dumpling), goi ngo sen chay (lotus stem salad with white tremella mushrooms, carrots, cucumber and seasoned bean curd with a mix of viet herbs), banh tet chay (vegetarian mung bean sticky rice cake served with sweet and salty radish), canh chua chay (sweet and sour tamarind soup with pineapple, tomato, okra, and ngo om), ca ri chay (sweet potato, carrot and tofu in coconut curry sauce), do hu mang kho (tofu and bamboo shoots in braised caramel sauce) and che ba mau (three colored jelly dessert).
The dinner is $40 per person and credit card information is required at the time of reservation. To make a reservation, e-mail email@example.com or call Jen at 202-333-2569.
Grill Room’s $3,500 dinner
The Grill Room in Georgetown’s Capella Hotel, which brought us the $22 barrel-aged Manhattan, will be pouring some of the priciest and rarest wines in the world during a dinner Mar. 15. The cost is $3,500 per person, which includes a “once-in-a-lifetime tasting of exceptional old and new world vintages,” a five-course meal from executive chef Jakob Esko, an overnight stay at the hotel, breakfast in the morning, airport transportation and more.
The wine tasking will be led by master sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji and features 20 rare wines such as a 2005 Château Lafite Rothschild, a Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 and a 2005 Château Petrus. Click here for the full list.
The five-course menu includes diver scallop Carpaccio with watermelon caviar and crispy sour cream; slow-cooked duck breast with black currant and foie gras; a low-temperature organic egg with wild mushroom ragout, black truffle and Iberian ham; grilled bison strip loin with king oyster mushroom and celeriac black berry sauce; and dark chocolate black forest cake roll. Each course will be paired with a wine.
The event is available to the first 20 reservations. If you have the spare change, call Elisabeth Thomas at 202-617-2400, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space.
Pinstripes bowling alley-restaurant opens
Pinstripes, a bowling, bocce and Italian/American bistro, opened recently in The Shops at Georgetown Park, 1604 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The 34,000-square-foot, two-floor restaurant is just shy of being the largest restaurant in D.C. It is D.C.’s second bowling alley and includes 14 bowling lanes, six bocce courts, a dining room, private event space, two bars, wine cellar and outdoor patio with fire pit that overlooks the C&O Canal.
This is the fifth location for Pinstripes, which has three locations in the Chicago area as well as one in Minneapolis. Another is set to open soon in the Overland Park suburb of Kansas City, Kan.
The menu includes small plates, soups and salads, pizza and flatbreads, sandwiches, pastas, large plates and desserts. There’s also a Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with made-to-order omelets, carved prime rib, fresh seafood, desserts and a chocolate fountain for $20 with $3 mimosas and $5 Bloody Marys.
The upscale lounge décor includes black sofas in front of every bowling and bocce lane. Pinstripes is open from 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. Bowling is $5/game except after 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday when it is $7/game. Shoe rental is $4 and bocce is $4/person/hour except after 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday when it is $10/person/hour.
Columbia Height’s Alero becomes El Tio
The Alero Mexican restaurant at Tivoli Square in Columbia Heights is now an El Tio Tex-Mex Grill.
Alero first opened up in the former Rumberos space at 3345 14th St. NW in 2010. Now the space has become El Tio. The Columbia Height’s location isn’t included on El Tio’s website, which does include locations in Falls Church, McLean and Gainesville, Va.
No word on if the menu is the same as the Virginia restaurants or if the hours have changed from Alero.
House of Falafel opens in Petworth
The House of Falafel opened about a week ago at 22 Upshur St. NW in Petworth. The restaurant, which started and continued as a food truck, is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Saturday.
The brick and mortar restaurant offers Tunisian Mediterranean dishes including soups and salads, sides and appetizers such as torshy, bourik, houria, meshwia, kaftajy, grape leaves, hummus, lababy and of course falafel, couscous wraps and bowls, and veggie, chicken, beef, lamb gyro, merguez and combo platters. Eventually, breakfast will be added.
B Too begins late-night service Feb. 20
The Belgian restaurant B Too at 1327 14th St. NW will begin serving late-night bites beginning Feb. 20. The menu will include hearty foods to help you sop up all that alcohol you drank or help you continue with drink specials and discounted bottles of wine.
B Too will serve its late-night menu from 10 p.m.-midnight on Thursdays and from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Dishes include savory waffles, baby back ribs with spiced avocado and mayonnaise, and frites. You can also get $5 beer and $7 drink specials, half-off larger bottles of beer and $25 bottles of wine.
The Coupe in Columbia Heights scraps 24-hour scheduled
The Coupe at 3415 11th St. NW has cut its schedule from 24 hours to 6 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Thursday and 6 a.m.-1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The new schedule began Feb. 11.
Maxwell Hessman, formerly general manager of Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont, took over as general manager of The Coupe in November. “The Coupe management has decided to move away from the 24 hour cycle for one very basic reason, after a year and half the sales are not there to support our large scale operation late night,” Hessman told the Popville blog. “We labored over this decision for quite some time and feel it is in the best interest for our company and our customers. We will still be open from early morning to late night to provide each and every guests a wonderful experience.”
The menu will also evolve a bit to be a more “cafe style” rather than “diner style”. Expect to see those changes in April.
Hessman, who was also Pizzeria Paradiso’s wine buyer, said also beginning in April the bar will focus on martinis and champagne-based cocktails to give its cocktail program focus along with wines. They looked at 11th Street and thought that of those cocktails, beer and wine, the strip would most benefit from an improved wine program. Of course there will still be beer options though the emphasis will soon be on Belgian saison style, although a few “everyday beers” will still be available.
BlackSalt reopens after fire
BlackSalt Restaurant reopened just in time for Valentine’s Day following a kitchen fire late on Feb. 8.
The minor fire, which closed the restaurant at 4883 MacArthur Blvd., in the Palisades neighborhood for about a week, was caused by a mechanical issue in the kitchen’s hood. No one was hurt in the fire and the restaurant didn’t suffer any major damage.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.