A sleepy Chevy Chase strip welcomed a new restaurant this month with the arrival of I’m Eddie Cano, an ode to Italian-American culture packed with pastas, wines, and retro prints of Italian film stars riding Vespas.
The chic 60-seat restaurant (5014 Connecticut Avenue NW) is the first-time venture from chef James Gee, a former ThinkFoodGroup executive chef at Jaleo and China Chilcano, and Massimo Papetti (Assaggi Osteria, Cafe Milano). The two worked together years ago at Hamptons hot spot Cittanuova.
The two-fold menu highlights each owner’s background, with Americanized Italian dishes (chicken parmigiana and spaghetti and meatballs) on one side and authentic Italian staples on the other. More dishes joined the lineup as kitchen components came online over its opening weeks. A full bar in one corner features cocktails, prosecco, and wine on tap, alongside Italian and local beer.
Diners are encouraged to say the name of the restaurant, I’m Eddie Cano, three times to reveal its meaning: the phonetic pronunciation of “Americano” in Italian. Read on to hear what customers are saying, about two weeks in:
The Place to Pop the Question News: CNN host Jake Tapper stopped by the neighborhood eatery, live Tweeting the scene of a customer about to propose: “Guy a few tables over is singing to his girlfriend ..... piano playing in background....” [Twitter]
The Already a Regular News: Yelper Patty S. noted the “delicious Italian food with reasonable prices. The owner greeted all incoming guests and seemed thrilled to speak with everyone. It was a welcoming, warm environment, and I imagine we will enjoy many family meals here.” [Yelp]
The Italian Vibes News: Yelper Andrew R. summed up his positive experience inside the “modern” space: “We had the chicken parm, which was awesome, and the bucatini all’Amatriciana reminded me of my trip to Italy years ago. Definitely coming back here on a regular basis.” Instagram user doylesellshomes calls the neighborhood newcomer “authentic Italian. It reminds me of my Italian grandfather who recently passed away. You can make a date night of it. After dinner, go across the street to Politics and Prose.” [Yelp, Instagram]
The Welcome, Neighbor News: Facebook user Katie Race Brin called her meal “absolutely delicious. The best eggplant parm I’ve ever had! Loved the stylish interior and welcoming staff. What a neighborhood gem!” Yelper Loren A. calls I’m Eddie Cano a “solid, neighborhood Italian place with good food and wine. This place is the real deal, silly name aside. Burrata appetizer, eggplant parm, fettucine Alfredo were all on point. And they get bonus points for having gluten-free pasta for the hubs.” [Facebook, Yelp]
The Name Dropping News: Washingtonian interviewed Vigor Branding Joseph Szala to get his take on the name’s phonetic translation to “Americano”: “What made me smile about it was that initial spark where it clicks. When you say it, you actually sound like someone with an accent. It was a bit of a trick ... I really love it. I think it’s great.” [Washingtonian]
The Initial Kinks News: Yelper Sarah S., one of its first customers, was “wowed by the interior, and really enjoyed the food. The burrata and spaghetti alle vongole were standouts. The waiter was maybe a little overwhelmed, and we did wait quite a bit of time for our entrees after our appetizers arrived, but I think that is just a kink of being new.” [Yelp]
The ‘Say What?’ News: Despite there being not many people, “the place was quite loud,” writes Yelper Daisy C., adding “it may have to do with the music and the bricked wall inside.” Martha F. says while “service and food were excellent,” she says “it was SO LOUD no one at our table could enjoy our conversations.” And Yelper MC H. echoed fellow Yelper thoughts, noting “it was uncomfortably loud. It didn’t even seem too crowded, but something about the walls just made all the conversation and music sound deafening.” [Yelp]