Had another fabulous meal the other night at Monroe's (corner Monroe and Commonwealth in Del Ray, Alex'ria). Here's the scoop: forget the crayons and the butcher paper (can you say "Ernie's" on 75 and B'Way?); pour yourself a glass of the drinkable and affordable ($2.75 per; sorry Jim Leff, I consider costs (pace my friend who eats at the 4 Seasons)) house chianti, which sits in a magnum at your side; and order the delectable calamari: dusted with flour, barely sauteed, and served with a lemon/grigio/butter dipping sauce, a far cry (thank you!) from the crunch-o-matic smother-me-with-marinara sauce calamari that dominates what passes for DC 'eye-tye food). My companion had the fried mozzarella, a nice hunk of cheese with a schtarckle of lemon juice of a light-ish tomato sauce to dip (here, perfectly appropriate). For mains, lots available at Monroe's: pizzas; veal all ways; seen rabbit here, too, and the specials usually include something adventuresome. ('course, the mains on the regular menu are top-heavy with boneless chicken breast). But the entrees are eminently reasonable, typically not more than $20. Me and the companion had pastas: I, the frutti di mare (here called something like "spezziali di mare"), a soothing melange of shrimp, (sea) scallops, 2 clams (I mention the number for information, not to carp; the portion was perfectly large), 2 musselles (see previous), and a decent heft of salmon, all in a lobster-based cream sauce that was (mercifully) light on the cream and added a dollop of fresh chopped tomato. For a killer app, don't miss the "Monroe's Bread": oven-baked foccaccia sprinkled with olio and salt and pepper and thyme, served with your choice (each additional will cost you) of tapenade and others (caponata and pesto), the tapenade being the bestest. Great date place, too, did I mention?
Next post will be why DC is Chowhound Hell. (Does any restaurant in this town, aside from Rocklands G-Town; Rocklands CarPool; and RT's Courthouse, serve any single other brand of sauce other than Tabasco???!!!????? Help me, Jim Zurer!