03 May 2008

Lunch at Ristorante Luigino, Washington, DC

Sometimes, when I sit down to write a review for Krik’s Picks, I have to really think about the meal I’m writing about and I struggle for words to describe the ambiance and/or the food. On the other hand, though I’ve only eaten at Luigino in DC a few times, both lunches and dinners, and the memory of some of those previous meals leaps immediately to mind.

The first time I ever had ossobuco was at Luigino. Yum! I also had a wonderful, simple lunch of gnocchi there. And once when my wife was with me, she had an insalata di mare (shrimp, scallops, and squid with white beans, dressed in olive oil and lemon juice) that was so amazing that she still speaks of it to this very day.

So on a recent trip to Washington, DC, when I found myself free for lunch and was in the neighborhood, I took advantage of the opportunity to eat there again.

When I looked at the menu, I saw that they offered a weekly lunch special, three courses for $20.08. It sounded good to me, so that’s what I ordered.

To start, I had a choice of a salad, an antipasti (mussels in saffron sauce), or a half-order of pasta. I chose the pasta – mezzalune di carciofi. All the pasta at Luigino is house-made. The mezzalune are shaped as half moons. The pasta was delightfully tender. They were filled with pureed artichokes and topped with a veal reduction and a little cream. The flavors were delicately balanced and the sauce was not excessively rich.

The choices for the main course were a chicken breast, a plate with a sampling of three different pastas, or fish. I chose fish – coda di rospo al forno. It was baked monkfish topped with capers, fresh tomatoes, and drizzled with a little white wine and olive oil. Monkfish is a variety we don’t see too often in Minnesota. I’ve never cooked it myself. The texture was dense but not at all tough. The Wikipedia entry compares it to lobster in terms of texture.

Finally, the choices for dessert were sottobosco or bunet al cioccoloato. I don’t know what a bunet is, but I know that cioccolato has something to do with chocolate which is not my favorite. So I had the sottobosco. It turned out to be beautiful fresh berries served on a fluffy cloud of custard with just a hint of Marsala wine. Fantastic!

What a great lunch, and what a fantastic value for what was served.

1 comment:

Rob Nooter said...

Thanks, Steve. I am going to have to try this place.