Last week we went to Ristorante Murali in Pentagon Row. I was surprised at being impressed with the cooking. I had a *very* nice risotto with juicy lamb sausage. However, we shared a tiramisu for dessert that was unremarkable. Still, I would go again.
The other day we went to the misnamed Toscana, where Circo had been and, before that Pizza de Resistance in Arlington's Courthouse Plaza. They brought me a Caesar salad that had vinegar in the dressing. When someone at the next table sent hers back for that reason, I sent mine along with it. (I was already annoyed that they had brought out my first course without bothering to time my partner's to arrive at the same time.) The second effort came out without vinegar, but somebody was *awfully* generous with the anchovies. The salad was drenched in dressing, and the whole mess was salty and cloying.
My fettucine alla carbonara came with flabby homemade noodles in a weakly flavored, soggy sauce. My partner said his spaghetti fra diavolo was OK, but he'd had much better elsewhere.
When we arrived, the waitress poked me in the shoulder in a "friendly" fashion after taking our drink order. Later, she poked me in the middle of the back to initiate her offer to refresh my drink. I really don't care to have the staff poking me.
We skipped dessert. For what it's worth, they comped my salad. But I will not go again.