Sfoglina, DC

A restaurant visited in DC earlier this year in the Van Ness area was Sfoglina. It’s a ‘Fabio Trabocchi Restaurant, named for the female artisans and Italian cultural icons that carry on the tradition of rolling sheets of pasta by hand with a rolling pin, a technique passed through the generations.’

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Since it is a pasta house, they have quite the selection of that on the menu. There are some other choices, as well. I found some other stuff that sounded far too good not to try. So I went for the Grilled Spicy Calamari, Romesco Sauce and Maria’ Chilled Tomato Gazpacho, Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Pepper. There were both very tasty. The calamari was just quite spicy. But I will say, quite the good size dish.

My friend opted for the special of the night, which was a spinach and veggie pasta dish. It was apparently quite good.
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Overall, the place was good. Fairly pricey for what it offered, but it’s DC. Service was intermittent. Simply getting water (re)filled was tough. We sat outside on the patio, which was nice. Glad I was able to check it out.

Pacci’s Trattoria

Awhile back checked out an Italian restaurant I had heard about in the Silver Spring/Forest Glen area of DC — Pacci’s Trattoria.

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They have a pretty traditional Italian menu, nothing overly fancy. After we had plenty of time to look over the menu, we finally got a waiter. Not overly eager, rattled off the specials, not very understandable (extremely heavy Italian accent). After that, stuck to the menu.  I decided to go with Piattone di Pacci’s, signature sample platter features Bruschetta al Pomodoro, buffalo mozzarella (skipped that), smoked salmon rolls, artichokes, olives, and prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe.

 

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My friend opted for a Pacci’s salad, baby spinach, arugula, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, onions, nuts, cranberries, pears and our homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette and Ravioli alla Florentine cheese ravioli with spinach, artichoke and garlic cream sauce; topped with shaved parmesan.

 

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The food was all pretty good, but nothing spectacular/out of the ordinary. The service was just terrible though. Even though I told the waiter that I was ordering  a (large) appetizer as my entree, he brought it out first. Then the pasta dish took maybe half an hour+. And the restaurant was not at all busy. You always have to try a place…

Pasta Sauce on a Whim

Last Saturday was just cold, snowy and blah here in DC and all I wanted was some great pasta sauce.  Why buy the stuff?  Decided to grab a bunch of stuff and see what I could put together based on the rough research I did on cooking the stuff.  Came up with the following ingredients (don’t have exact measurements on any of these):

-canned tomatoes
-onions
-olives
-garlic
-spices
-bay leaves
-fennel seed (almost forgot that one)
-red wine
-S&P
-olive oil

IMG_2237[1]IMG_2240[1]Threw them all in a pot and brought them to a boil then simmered them over medium heat for about 30+ minutes.

IMG_2314[1]Final result was a delicious, chunky sauce with tons of flavor.

IMG_2264[1]Served it over spaghetti squash with some seared shrimp.

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Tomato and Arugula Pasta Sauce

Got to enjoy a pasta sauce I hadn’t had for awhile the other night.  It has tons of veggies and is super simple to make — Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes and Rocket (Arugula) or Spaghetti con Pomodori e Rughetta from The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces by Diane Seed.

Ingredients:

1 lb spaghetti

10 oz red ripe plum tomatoes — I use a lot more

4 cloves garlic

2 oz rocket (arugula) — about 1/3 cup chopped — I used about 2-3 times this much

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Salt & Black pepper

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Directions:

Skin the tomatoes by first plunging them into boiling water for a few minutes (I have always skipped this step).

Chop finely (I keep them in chunks) and place in a large bowl together with the finely chopped garlic and coarsely chopped rocket (arugula).  Add the olive oil and S&P to taste and leave for at least 2 hours.

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Post 2-hours:

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I was in charge of the sauce…got to enjoy some nice homemade pasta.

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Cook the pasta as usual, drain and stir in the sauce.

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Holiday Lunch

Today called for a holiday lunch, which also meant I got to check out a new (to me) location in DC.  Had a nice 3-course meal at Decanter at St. Regis with some colleagues.

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We started with delicious focaccia and a mesclun salad.  Under all the lettuce was an amazing tapenade.  Heaven for olive lovers!

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For the main course I opted for the scallops.  Pan seared with both a chickpea puree (can we say hummus?) and chickpeas, along with great seasoning.  Very nice portion size, too!

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Though white would have paired a bit better with the scallops, I went for some Malbec.  The waiter said this stuff was great and I couldn’t turn it down.  The rest of the table was drinking beer or white so I had to take one for the (red) team.  I enjoyed some Siete Fincas from Argentina.  Medium body, smooth, fruity.

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The other food options were a steak or pasta.  They were both inhaled/enjoyed quite a bit.

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The meal closed with a nice dessert of 3 sorbets — lemon, raspberry, lime, with a little meringue on top.  Perfect ending.

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I would be interested in checking this place out for dinner, as well.  Delicious food, excellent service, nice atmosphere.  Might just add it to my list.