Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

September 13, 2013 11:53 AM

Restaurant: Casa Luca

Casa Luca

1099 New York Ave NW
(Entrance on 11th)
Washington, DC 20001
I have eaten at Casa Luca twice, once for dinner and once for lunch. Dinner was with Debbie, Rachel, Steve, Coby and Max. Lunch was with Liz.

As you enter the restaurant there is a greeting stand. Ahead and angled to the left is the bar, which seats 18. Directly to the left is a long dining area. To the right is a small dining room There are two long, facing banquettes with a mix of 2 and 4 tops, and one circular table that seats six. At the far end of the restaurant are two rooms that can be closed off for private events or opened as part of the main dining room. The restaurant serves 130 inside and 20 outside.

The restaurant’s menu uses descriptive words for various dishes that remind one of an “old style” Italian restaurant.The fact that wine is served in tumblers rather than more conventional wine glasses is also reminiscent of the old style. The pastas are made daily in-house. ( Note: The menu is not designed to provide choices for young people. However, the serving folks were very accommodating in preparing special dishes for Max and Coby.)

To begin the meal we shared Chichi di Offida, Summer Peppers, spicy Nduja; Thin Grilled Crescia Montefeltro Style; Marche Classic cheese Bread, Buffalo Butter and Fennel Salami. During the rest of the meal we shared Sweet Corn, Prosciutto & Mint; Ascolana Style Stuffed Olives and Heirloom Tomato & Stracciatella of Mozzarella. And then, because our main courses were a little delayed (the hostess apologized), we were presented with plates of Melon & Prosciutto and Figs and Prosciutto.

Rachel ordered Yellow Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho (we all were served a small portion), Leafy Greens, Summer Vegetables, Stone Fruits & Hazelnuts; and Swiss Chard.

Debbie and Max “shared” Angus Beef Ribeye Cacciatora Cipolline Agrodolce, Mushrooms, Pancetta . Coby had an order of Pasta and Tomato sauce, and nibbled on a few of the other items that came to the table.

Steve and I shared a selection for two, Grigliata Mista di Pesci, Adriatic Style Mixed Grill of Fish & Shellfish. This turned out to be a particularly tasty selection with a sufficient amount of each seafood that it could be split.

For dessert we shared Affogato, Vanilla Gelato, Capri Chocolate Torte, Varnelli Moka Sauce, Hazelnut Croccante, and coppetta di Alice, Sorbetti.

There is a “glossary” at the bottom of the menu. At first I thought it was designed to help understand the language of the menu, but it turned out there is no real connection.

At lunch, Liz started with Heirloom Tomato Salad, Berilotto di Bufalo followed by a grilled Branzino. I had the Tomato Salad without the Bufalo, and then an order of spaghetti with tomato sauce, which was actually not on the menu. We also ordered Sorbetti to conclude the meal.

There are four restrooms, two designated for women and two for men. At least one of the men’s is a little different. When you enter the men’s room to the right, you find there is only a urinal and a washbasin. However, there is no obvious marking that there is only a urinal. The second men’s room has a standard commode and a washbasin, and thus is full service.

The décor of each restroom is the same. The wall hanging urinal and the commode are white ceramic. The washbasin in each room has a white ceramic top with a round stainless steel basin, resting on a dark wood appliance that is attached to the wall. The walls are covered with dark yellow horizontal tiles; the floors are covered with a dark material.

At dinner the restaurant was quite noisy; that was not the case at lunch time. There is valet parking after 5:30 p.m.

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