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The Early Word on Alba Osteria

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Alba Osteria
Alba Osteria
Photo: Gerry Suchy/Eater.com

Alba Osteria opened a couple weeks ago, bringing another sit-down restaurant to Mount Vernon Triangle. Some aspects of the restaurant are familiar — it's the same owner as Al Dente (Hakan Ilhan) and chef Roberto Donna is involved with the menu, along with Amy Brandwein. But this restaurant focuses on Donna's home region of Italy. What are the first thoughts? Here's what bloggers, Yelpers and others are saying.

The Clean Kitchen News: Alba Osteria is currently earning 3.5 stars on Yelp, with 18 reviews in. Reviewer Renata K says, "TWO big stars for the kitchen. Most places you never want to eat at after glancing in the kitchen, but I want to eat more knowing how clean the kitchen was maintained. That's PROPS and keep it up even after time passes." [Yelp]

The Vegetarian News: Megan Q was surprised to find "no vegetarian/vegan options. This surprised me for an italian place. All of the pastas come with meat sauce. I ordered a vegan pasta entree special and they said they could accommodate me. The first dish of penne pasta + marinara came out with cheese on top but they quickly corrected this." [Yelp]

The Attentive Kitchen News: Caitlin R says, "On top of the great service, the food was great. I had the cannelloni and loved it. Also had bites of the chicken liver, meatball calzone, sausage & broccoli pizza, gnocchi & polenta creme brulee - all were delicious...One particular experience I was very impressed by...one member of our party ordered the rabbit and was less than impressed - said it was overly sweet and maple-y. Someone, I believe the owner, heard about this and had the kitchen tweak the recipe and remake it. They clearly care about getting it right at Alba" [Yelp]

The Pizza News: NBC4 has a review which says, "Every taste was delightful and I think some of the pizza restaurants in D.C. better watch their backs for some stiff competition." [NBC]

The Try The Pasta News: BYT's preview says, "Alba Osteria–named for the city in Piedmont–prepares its dishes accordingly and offers over 100 wines (four on tap), fresh housemade pasta (which we heartily recommend sampling), and freshwater-only specials; you'll find no fish on the menu year-round here. The mountains of Piedmont also provide ideal terrain for the elusive white truffle, which you'll find in the osteria's specials or during seasonal tasting events." [BYT]

The Facebook Rave: On Facebook, Caroline says, "Phenomenal early lunch at Alba Osteria today - dined for nearly 2 hours while the rain poured. Amazing The Salami Cotto D'Alba was heaven and the La Tur paired with hazelnut honey amazing. Both the Agnolotti and Lasagnette Gratin left us wanting to come back to experience more! Thanks to Chef and our wonderful charming waiter for a marvelous experience!" [FB]

The Crust Review: On Foursquare, here's a tip. "The pizza crust is amazing, so you can't go wrong ordering one of those." [FS]

The Meh News: Another Foursquare review: "Foods just 'ok', beautiful space, and friendly staff. I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here again but I also wouldn't not go if friends picked the place." {FS]

The Indulgent News: UrbanDaddy writes, "The chef's not skimping on any of the indulgences—fried pig's feet, beef tenderloin topped with foie gras, pasta that gets 42 egg yolks per kilo, that kind of thing." [UD]

The Imaginative News: On Don Rockwell, user Joe H says, "We went to Alba on Thursday night for their "friends and family."  We found it to be extremely imaginative with a number of dishes that I think are extraordinary for North America. I believe that it presents a new depth of Italian to Washington, D. C. that most have not seen before.  I'd even suggest it is a real credit to D. C. that we have a restaurant like this. The setting is familiar and reassuring but a number of the dishes are a very real adventure." [DR]
· All Previous Alba Osteria Coverage [-EDC-] 

Alba Osteria

425 I St NW, Washington, DC 20001 202-733-4454 Visit Website

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