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Tom Sietsema Says The Grill Room's Not Just for Tourists Anymore

Plus reviews of Stanton & Greene, Pasta Italiana, and Tazza Kitchen.

The Grill Room
The Grill Room

Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema raves about The Grill Room inside the Capella Hotel in Georgetown in his review for the Washington Post Magazine. He says the hotel restaurant "now tastes like an entirely new destination" thanks to changes implemented by executive chef Frank Ruta who previously worked at Palena in Cleveland Park.  He awards The Grill Room three stars, praising several dishes including the goose egg ravioli and smoked pork belly appetizer, Dover sole, and an elaborate dessert of milk chocolate mousse and brown butter ice cream. He urges diners to get a table at The Grill Room as soon as possible and writes:

"If you haven't reserved a table yet, do so, or risk missing the chance to enjoy the work of one of Washington's most respected chefs in a room with a view..." [WaPo]

Meanwhile, Sietsema also checks out Stanton & Green in Capitol Hill in the former Pour House space. He's bored by the menu of standard gastropub fare that includes wings, a cheese plate, brick-roasted chicken, grilled salmon, and a burger. He manages to enjoy a French dip sandwich served on a pretzel bun and some cheddar grits but finds the cooking and service mediocre overall. In his First Bite review he writes:

"A diner might leave less on his plate at Stanton & Greene if the execution were better. Leathery lobster croquettes only hint of seafood, and oysters Rockefeller show up sans shells in a murky swamp of sauce. Marinated skirt steak arrives pre-sliced and tepid, which might be more the fault of my pokey waiter one day than of whoever grilled the beef. (The service here matches the cooking. Both are middling.)" [WaPo]

Express sends Tim Carman to review a restaurant with an overall one-star rating on Yelp. At Pizza Italiana in Woodley Park, he ultimately concludes that 80 Yelpers can't be wrong. He writes:

"The place all but has a "Kick Me" sign taped to its back. And kick it you will once the food arrives. The garlic-cream sauce draped over flabby, overcooked cheese ravioli was chunky and lukewarm; if there was garlic in the sauce, only a beagle could detect it. The gnocchi was a mountain of gluey pasta covered in a meat sauce many degrees shy of hot; the gnocchi sat on the plate, solid and immovable, as if molded from clay. The lobster ravioli came stuffed with a stringy mixture speckled with tiny dices of the advertised crustacean but tasting more like crab sticks." [Express]

And Stefanie Gras files a review of Tazza Kitchen in Arlington Ridge for Northern Virginia Magazine. She's satisfied with the eclectic offerings that exhibit Baja and Italian influences. A salad composed of smoked mozzarella, potatoes, almonds, arugula, and maple syrup vinaigrette is particularly "fun to eat," but she notes that a pork cheek bolognese lacks "depth." [NoVa Mag]

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