Restaurants & Bars Washington DC & Baltimore

Alba Osteria

Worldwide Diner | | Feb 12, 2014 07:06 AM

Alba is a Roberto Donna restaurant featuring Piedmont regional dishes. I don't think Donna owns any of the restaurant, or that he's the chef there, so I guess he came up with the menu and the recipes?

Anyhow, the menu is heavy on small plates at a decent price. For example, I ordered 6 small plates for $46 (before drinks, tax and tip). Had I finished everything, I would've been stuffed.

I ordered two cold dishes, a soup, and three hot dishes. I would've expected the cold dishes to come out first, then the soup, and then the three hot dishes, but I didn't specify the order and just ate whatever came out first.

The first two to come out were the fried beef & veal meatballs ($8) and tripe tomato herb soup ($8). The meatballs were tasty but had a hardened exterior, presumably from the frying. I normally don't order meatballs (easy enough to make at home), and won't order them again here either. The soup had very little diced tripe. It's mostly a nice tomato veggie soup.

Next to arrive were the veal tongue in green sauce ($8) and capunet ($6). I had no idea what a capunet was based on the description of duck confit and cabbage but it turned out to be my favorite dish. It's actually wrapped with a spring-roll like shell and then deep fried. The tongue was shaved thin. While tender, it was lacking in flavor other than the taste of tongue itself. Want a pile of shaved poached tongue, get this.

The fifth dish was a cold dish - herb poached rabbit and letuce ($8). I liked the dish other than there was a lot of olive oil drizzled over everything. The rabbit rillette was tasty.

The only dish I didn't like was the chicken liver and polenta ($8). This preparation did nothing to soften the intense flavor of the chicken liver. Maybe I'm just not a big fan of chicken liver. I barely touched this dish, partly because it was the last dish to arrive and I had pretty much ate everything that came beforehand other than the soup.

Overall, unique restaurant in DC with generally good execution.

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