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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Una Tavola Per Due

IMG_2549A table for two. It’s not always easy for the two of us to get away. We’re great at the hit-and-run, under-an-hour, out-to-coffee. But a dinner out is not always possible.

Until Benedetto learned that one of his favorite Italian restaurants is in town. Really Italian, as in just off the boat from Firenze (Florence). With exactly the same menu as there.

Be still my heart.IMG_2551

Apparently, it’s been there for years, but we don’t always get to Capitol Hill. And there it was, right across the street from the Eastern Market: Acqua al 2 (pronounced acqua al due). Deliciously lovely.IMG_2544

They are the creators of all good assaggi (assortments). An assaggio offers a selection of tastings— 5 pastas, 3 salads, 4 desserts— you get the idea even if I somehow lost count as the small serving dish of pastas arrives one at a time to the table and must be ordered by at least two.IMG_2546

Who has fusilli with a green basil and rosemary sauce that is lush and slightly cheesy? The eggplant pasta, the spinach pasta, the gnocchi where I only received three small dumplings because my husband gobbled them all down. And he supposedly doesn’t even particularly favor gnocchi, but these potato dumplings were melt-in-your-mouth deliziosi. The ragu (meat) sauce was slightly salty for our taste, but lush with layers of flavors stemming from the base of high-quality meat.IMG_2541

Speaking of which, we both enjoyed the filetto di balsamico, the filet mignon in balsamic reduction. Equally good is the filetto di mirtillo, or the filet mignon in blueberry reduction sauce. Yum, yum, and double yum.IMG_2547

My arugula and paper-thin pear salad had the right combo of olive oil and lemon with a bit of parmigiana, tasting like sunshine. I could have been satisfied with that alone.IMG_2548

But we emerged as stuffed sausages, in several ways closely resembling the portraits prominently featured on our placemats. All of the decor, from the entrance, to the artistically-embellished white dinner plates hung throughout the ristorante, to the flavors, took us back to one of our favorite haunts on Via della Vigna Vecchia in Firenze.IMG_2543

If you haven’t visited Italia recently, an East Coast and West Coast option exist in San Diego or Washington, DC. Well worth a visit!

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