Friday, February 17, 2006

Otello (Italian Restaurant), Washington DC

Otello Restaurant, 1329 Connecticut Ave., N.W.Washington, D.C

I must confess to something of a prejudice against typical American Italian restaurants. The idea conjures up images in my mind of red and white checked table cloths, basketed Chianti bottles being used as candlesticks, and indifferent food that bears little resemblance to anything you might find in Italy. Amid the strains of O Sole Mio, you face enormous plates of overcooked pasta covered in a bucket of tomato soup.

At first glance Otello looked as though it was about to fit that pattern. But I was in Washington on business, and there was no time to find the perfect place. Certainly the red and white table cloths were there, and the pasta was definitely overdone and covered with excessive tomato sauce, but, actually, I quite liked the meal. We started with a radicchio and argula salad, which was nicely dressed with fresh and tasty vegetables. For my main course, I had salmon poached in white wine with capers, and Ms. D had pasta with crabmeat. The quality of the ingredients were excellent with real crab meat in Ms. D's pasta.

All in all, it was an enjoyable meal served by friendly people. The total bill for lunch was slightly under $50, and that included two salads to start with, two main courses, a large bottle of mineral water, and a coke. Good value and pretty good food. Otello is conveniently located on Connecticut Avenue just south of Dupont Circle. Their website presents both lunch and the more expensive dinner menus although both the dishes we enjoyed were taken from the list of specials written on a blackboard.

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