By the Gastronomes
La Trattoria Old Town – Le Dolce Vita on Washington Street
This month we decided to give the new La Trattoria Old Town a try. As most of you know, the restaurant is not new, but the ownership, management and style is certainly new. Let me start off by sharing one of the new principals, Michael Strutton’s thoughts with you:
…PASSION FOR OUR CULTURE…
My grandparents came to New York City from Sicily at a time when Fiorella La Guardia held mayoral office, Lucky Luciano was beginning a prison term, and the world was just starting to hear the music of Frank Sinatra. While many Italians were reaching great heights, the average Southern Italian immigrants lived modestly, kept to their own neighborhoods and raised families built upon whichever traditions from the old country could be maintained in the U.S. Most family settings revolved around food…and while not all of the same ingredients were available to them, my family and so many others proudly built a new culture: The Italian-America culture. Somewhere in between European and American personalities we found this new definition of who we are…a charm that erupts in every Dean Martin song and on every makeshift bocce ball court on the east coast. An identity that is at times as quaint as sharing a pizza around a vinyl kitchen table, and other times, as grandiose as “Connie’s Wedding.” But now, almost three generations later, we still cling to what makes us Italian-American. My hope is that I’ve created a menu, a setting, and a mood that allows you to experience this culture, even if just for one night. If you want to savor a plate of freshly-made pasta, a glass of fine wine and a few moments of “The Sweet Life”, then we have a place for you at the table. Michael
The wine selection at LaTrattoria is simple and to the point. There is something that should please the wine snob and well as people like us who look for a good deal on a nice Pinot Grigio. There is full bar service as well and entertainment on selected evenings (check out the website).
With all that to choose from, I ordered the Stracciatella Rustic from the Zuppa menu. This is a homemade soup of chicken broth spinach, egg and cheese. The broth, spinach and cheese was delicious but I got half way through the egg and had to back away. Nothing wrong with the egg drop, just my somewhat “misunderstanding” of boiled egg. I never could eat a hard-boiled egg as a kid. My partner opted for the Prosciutto e Melon (fresh cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto ham) from the Antipasti menu. The only thing that can go wrong with this choice is if the melon isn’t good – no worries on the night we were there, it was perfect.
If you haven’t already stopped in, put La Trattoria on your list of places to check out as you plan your dining adventures. Be sure to say that the Old Town Crier sent you!
305 South Washington Street
Old Town Alexandria