In this week's review, Tom Sietsema gets it out of the way right off the bat: La Forchetta is not Galileo III, the last kitchen in which Roberto Donna was seen cooking in DC. But, considering how that turned out, it doesn't seem to be an altogether bad thing. In the end, Sietsema gives the casual neighborhood Italian restaurant two stars for Donna's winning pastas, desserts and the fact that he's just in the kitchen, not paying the bills. Though it's worth noting that Sietsema is not too impressed with the pizza or much else:
Shrimp poised over fine-grained polenta with lemon slices is lots of soft textures. It’s pleasant enough. That’s true of much of the rest of the menu... Whole grilled branzino simply dressed with green salsa is fine, but not so special I want to flip the fish over and continue eating its snowy insides. A plump veal chop is nice, but I’m more interested in eating its green base of roasted asparagus crusted with Parmesan.
Mostly, the critic just seems pleased that DC has held onto the James Beard Award-winning chef — known best for his pastas that are apparently still on point. Sietsema writes: "My pick is the generous bowl of calamarata pasta, floppy ivory-colored bands interspersed with a sea of squid, shrimp and tiny mussels in a light but tangy wash of tomato and shrimp stock. There wasn’t a bite of that dish I didn’t like, although it could easily have fed a small family." [WaPo]
Justin Rude checks out Arlington's new Cajun restaurant Chasin' Tails this week: "Crawfish, naturally, is the big draw here, and like the rest of the boiled seafood on the menu, it is served in a plastic bag with your choice of spice blend (Cajun, lemon-pepper or garlic-butter) and to your desired level of heat. Warning: When you ask for very spicy crawfish, you’ll get it. The tame gumbo, on the other hand, would benefit from a deeper base of spices and a darker roux." [WaPo]
The City Paper's Jessica Sidman tries out the Korean cuisine the Pyongyang Gang pop-up is putting out every Wednesday at The Blaguard: "Don't expect to be transported to an Annandale mom-and-pop shop on Wednesday evenings. The food is not authentic Korean fare, but rather American pub food with Korean flavors. Regardless, it's a welcome alternative to mozzarella sticks, and it's particularly satisfying drunk food. Best of all: You can order the entire menu (and stuff yourself and a friend silly) for $21 total." [WCP]
THE BLOGS: Eat the District was busy this week with stops at Siam House, Vace and Sticky Rice; DC-Wrapped Dates has a great steak at Medium Rare; Bitches Who Brunch give Art & Soul an A; DMV Dining especially loves the hushpuppies at Sou'Wester.
La Forchetta [Photo: R. Lopez]