Well, it appears that we spoke a little bit too soon about the Roberto Donna's saga coming to a close here in DC. Just a month after word came that he was leaving Washington to take on a new job in Arizona, Tom Sietsema reports that the chef has taken a job in the kitchen at the forthcoming La Forchetta. This would be the pizzeria destined for the old Balducci's space near American University that was first announced this time last year and has since changed names multiple times.
The last couple of go-rounds here in DC have been tough for Donna — last time anyone checked, the chef owed a debt of up to $167,366.79 for his shuttered Crystal City restaurant Bebo Trattoria. Meanwhile, Galileo III lasted less than a year downtown amid stories of employees jumping ship and suing for money owed. So what's the plan to improve things this time around? Well, Sietsema reports that La Forchetta owner Hakan Ilhan "plans to keep the chef away from anything to do with 'paying people or suppliers.'" Donna will merely be the chef behind an Italian family-style menu that hopes to debut at the end of March.