Tom Sietsema finds a sleek design, solid bread basket and high-quality ingredients at the new Ovvio Osteria in Merrifield. The verdict is two stars.
First, get some fritto misto for the table. The snack gathers fresh calamari that has been dunked in buttermilk and rolled in semolina and finely ground 00 Italian flour before hitting the fryer with carrots and zucchini. Another good entry point for two or more is the bruschetta spread with a mash of white beans and joined by onion jam and pink folds of mortadella. Everyone should also gather around a pizza, which emerges from Ovvio's brick oven thin in the center, raised at the lip and with welcome char. [WaPo]
As for the First Bite column, Bar Charley is the focus. He's happy with the affordable prices and the "dashing" design. It's noisy, though. "Just about every appetite gets addressed. Seafood? Go for the lobster roll, flanked with thick potato chips fried right here. Meat? Consider a neat sloppy Joe." [WaPo]
Bethesda Magazine visits Fish Taco, and an early take is a positive one. "the kitchen seems to have nicely nailed down the signature fish tacos. Snuggled inside two briefly grilled corn tortillas lays chunks of crisp fried haddock, pickled cabbage, bits of chopped cilantro and a cilantro crema sauce, making for a superb crunchy-creamy-smoky-acidic bite all at once." [BM]
Northern Virginia Magazine hits up both Taco Bamba and Tavern 64. At the latter, Stefanie Gans appreciates the commitment to local ingredients. As for Victor Albisu's place, fried pork and beef tongue tacos are praised, but the critic wants homemade tortillas. [NVM]
Don Rockwell hits up several places on 14th Street, including Le Diplomate, 2 Birds 1 Stone and G Sandwich. Of Mike Isabella's chicken parm sandwich, he writes, "My sandwich was not good, not great, but just about perfect – meaning that I can't think of one single thing that I would change about it to make it any better." [DR]
Ovvio Osteria [Photo: Facebook]