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Restaurants & Bars

Osteria Morini vs Officina

Steve | Aug 17, 202109:29 AM    

I hadn't been to Restaurant Week in years and years. How odd that during COVID (of all times) that I went twice. Maybe it's the cabin fever. For Restaurant Week, I tried two high-end Italian places.

Both are very good but different experiences. Osteria Morini is a cavernous place at the Navy Yard. A storm altered our plans to eat outside, which was very unfortunate as the interior here is very, very loud. A starter of frito misto was sublime with shrimp and vegetables, including some fresh hot pepper and a lemon cream. Nice kick and tang, the frying was expertly done. A peach panzarella was a nice salad alternative.

Main course was char, which had a nice crispy skin and a good layer of fat underneath. It was served over an o.k. ratatouille. There was also a breaded veal cutlet that was served with a decadent cream sauce. Dessert was serviceable with a chocolate cake or panna cotta.

There are two reasons why I enjoyed Officina much more. They have a very quiet Georgetown location in a small storefront (in addition to the Wharf location). The second reason is the food. I started off with a knockout gazpacho served with a drizzle of balsamic, some burrata, minced nuts, and there was a spicy hit to the whole bowl. Served with small focacccia buns and olive oil for dipping. Great all around. The main course was spaccatelli pasta with morsels of lamb and nepitella, an unusual herb which is like a combo of mint and oregano. Awesome. Dessert was a very tart lemony crostata with an equally tart peach preserve. A few dollops of torched whipped crema on top countered the tartness ever so slightly. This was a terrific meal, and the restaurant week deal is extended for another week. If you want an outdoor table, you'll probably need to reserve.

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