The owners of Dupont Circle's Russia House and Biergarten Haus on H Street try their hands at a new cuisine with this week's soft opening of Alphonse near the U Street Metro.
The owner declined to share many specific details about the project, citing the fact they are in the soft opening phase. But a small market and bakery section greets morning commuters with Italian coffee and house made pastries. Sandwiches and fresh pastas using homemade cheese and locally-sourced ingredients can be ordered at the counter.
Deep red booths line one wall but most seating snakes around a bar, allowing customers to watch the chefs working their magic in an open kitchen under the intricately tiled walls and ceiling. Yet the centerpiece is definitely the wood-fired oven serving up thin crust neapolitan pizzas. Ordered specially from Italy, the oven boasts a tiled Italian flag and map — just in case anyone forgets. Eventually the upstairs will offer seasonal tasting menus inspired by country's diverse regional cuisines, hosting occasional cooking classes for those feeling inspired. Status: Soft-opening. 1212 U St. NW; website.