Several weeks ago Bill and James G. told me that they really liked the new Tosca on F Street. After my wife and I went we fell in love with it feeling that it just about challenged Obelisk as D. C.'s best Italian. This morning I scrolled through several weeks of Tom Sietsema's on line chat transcripts and noted a couple of mentions about it. One of them was quite interesting. He was asked, given the choice between Galileo and Tosca which he would pick? His answer was, "sorry Roberto."
I thoroughly agree. I should note that I am not including Laboratorio in this (and I guess neither was he); just the "regular" Galileo. I actually feel that Galileo has slipped over the past year or two and with its former sous chef now part owner and chef of Tosca there is a real alternative for a high end Italian meal in D. C. Having said that Tosca is not quite as expensive as it could be perhaps since it is new and not yet playing to consistently full crowds at dinner. We actually found it a relative bargain next to Galileo.
As for Laboratorio I believe there is a real need in D. C. for a restaurant like this. But I would prefer not sharing communal tables at $300 to 400 a couple with wine that includes markups among D. C.'s highest. I would actually prefer Laboratorio in a separate building with its own totally unique identity, not a room of sorts within a restaurant. In fact what I would consider a true "European" approach of a 30 to 35 seat or so restaurant with one turnover a night focusing on a prix fixe 8 and 10 course menu. Perhaps even more expensive than what it is now but with the intention of creating the finest restaurant of its kind outside of Italy. I personally believe that Roberto has the capability of going to this next level. Sized appropriately the market would accept it, even the wine markup perhaps necessary to make it work financially.
This also leads to the question if he could afford to separate it out since it brings a "fresh" appeal to the staid Galileo which I believe would suffer without it.
For those that follow this board Tosca is well worth the visit. It is a pleasure to see this new restaurant receive the public recognition that thus far it justly deserves.
I do have to mention that in reading the transcript- which was about a week or so after our discussion on here-if notice was taken of it?
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