italian boy

italian boy

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Black bean, mango, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno & lime

Call it a salad, a salsa or a side- it doesn't really matter. This goes great in a taco shell, over broiled tilapia or even to accompany your steak dinner. So good and super healthy. In a large bowl toss together 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed, peeled and cubed mango (potato peeler works best), finely chopped red onion, 2 minced jalapenos (depends how spicy you want it), a huge handful of chopped cilantro, juice from 3-4 limes, olive oil and salt to taste. Fantastic and ridiculously healthy too.

Monday, May 24, 2010

REVIEW: Meskerem, Washington DC

(please excuse the blackberry photo)  If you've never had Ethiopian or Eritrean food you should definitely give it a try and if you live in DC you HAVE to take advantage- we’re really lucky to have such a strong Ethiopian/Eritrean community here. Well, on Friday Tanya and I went to Meskerem right on 18th street in the center of Adams Morgan. It was pretty fantastic. Traditional style of eating- samples of meat and legumes on a large injera (Ethiopian bread), you eat with your hands and sit at low seats and tables.
NOT a first date kinda place unless you wanna put all your cards on the table at once but a fantastic place to eat if you want something a little different.
Their shrimp was OKAY, I wouldn’t order it again though- and basically you can’t go wrong with any of the other platters.

HAPPY HOUR DC: Cocktails in a wheelchair?

So if you get around town in a wheel chair, finding places for a drink can be a b!tch.  This weekend my friend's sister is rolling into DC and we had to do a quick search for Washington DC wheelchair accessible bars. This link on Yelp is an awesome reseource.  We chose to go to Vapiano though, on Connecticut and M, just cause theres the big back patio, we can grab one of the picnic tables, put back a couple vodkas and not worry about squeezing through the bar.  Let just hope it doesn't rain!

Friday, May 21, 2010

you need a dessert but dont want to be fat

So you need a dessert but dont want to be fat.  Stop by the store and get one of everything.  A plum, a peach a, bunch of grapes, a mango and a pack of berries.  Bring it home, wash dry and chop everything appropriately then toss with a couple leaves of mint, a teaspoon or 2 of raw sugar (only if you really want it), and either lemon juice or try a shot of Sambuca or Anisette.  Serve in a chilled wine glass and your good to go.  No worries about spending an hour baking or serving something completely unhealthy.  Don't underestimate fruit.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

REVIEW: Panache, Dupont South

First time I was here was about 5 years ago at an industry party and wound up dancing on the benches with other fellow servers and bartenders well past midnight- flash forward to noon today and I was at a business lunch figuring out how Driven Inc can help green ACS.  Either way, the food there is delicious.  Is it all sustainable?  Definitely NOT but with some picking and choosing there's plenty to eat.  Swordfish, Atlantic salmon, ahi tuna and chilean seabass are SERIOUSLY overfished and often times before they reach sexual maturity.  They were all on the menu.  I chose the pasta special, and for me to say it was great says so much considering I'm such a pasta snob.  Slightly al dente, penne with chicken, basil and dried chorizo in a vodka sauce.  Very very nice. Portions are the appropriate size and the 'patio' seating is key.  Check it if youre in the neighborhood and need some place nice since there aren't too many- just try and stay away from seafood whose populations are at the brink of collapse.  If youre not sure GO HERE and type in the name of a fish youre curious about or print out a "fish card" to keep in your wallet.  It makes a difference. Panache 1725 DeSales St 202.293.7760

NEWS: Ray's Hell Burger coming to Adams Morgan

Reposted from Prince of Petworth, Ray's Hell Burger is coming to DC, finally, and in the middle of Adams Morgan (I'm mad phyched cause its only 4 blocks from my trailer).  Guess all that Obama press paid off. Nice job Barack!  Finally all us Washingtonians who refuse to cross the bridge can explore the delicious wonders of Ray's.  Caaaaaaaaan't wait!  Click here for a recent Reader Contribution.

HAPPY HOUR DC: Eighteeth Street Lounge, Dupont South

Historic DC venue, chique bossa nova lounge atmosphere, great outdoor back patio, central location and a decent crowd.  Occasionally douche bags will show up (sorry douche bags) but generally professionals wandering in from their 9-5 who slowly get replaced by the late night crowd.  Cover charge after 9pm.  Check their schedule online for regular live band performances.  One of the better happy hours in the Dupont/Golden Triangle area. Rail drinks and select beers $4, Call drinks $6, Wines $5 per glass ($20 bottle), Specialties $7, Tuesday – Friday: 5:30PM – 8:00PM Sunday: 9:30PM – 11:00PM Eighteeth Street Lounge at 18th and Connecticut Avenue.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

mamma's potato pizza

Learned this from my Mom and have yet to meet someone who doesnt like it.  Get your standard (room temperature) pizza dough (I know I have a recipe in here some place) and spread it out in a greased cookie sheet.  Pat it with your finger tips till its as close to the edge as possible. Next comes a layer of mozarella or provolone- or even better BOTH.  Then add a layer of sliced boiled potatoes, season with fresh rosemary, cracked pepper and drizzle a touch more olive oil.  It you can let that sit for a few more minutes while your oven is preheating so it can rise a bit more and fill in the corners but whenever youre ready throw it in a 375-400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes till the crust is golden and lifts easily from the pan when you slip a knife underneath.  Its fantastic, can be eaten hot, room temp or even cold-  even makes a great lunch for the day after.

Good Find: prepared grape leaves at Whole Foods

I now believe Whole Foods has the best stuffed grape leaves in the city.  Yeah I went there, I said it, and I mean it.  Sorry Lebanese Taverna, you've always been there for us and aways will.  Look near the cheeses in a refrigerated section near feta cheese, mozarella and capers.  They're extra large, moist, soft inside and just the perfect amount of citrus.  Twice this week I've picked up a container and eaten the entire thing for lunch.  Yeah, I'm a pig but you could split this up with a couple people to accompany dinner.

so i've rebranded

goodbye 'finger lickin good.' Hello Italian Boy. Comments suggestions or requests are always greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good Find: mixed vegetable chips from Whole Foods

Holy mother these are good. These mixed vegetable chips are by NO MEANS good for you but they're slammin. Taro, sweet poato, carrot, green beans, zucchini and prob another vegetable or two sell for under 4 bucks in the nut section at Whole Foods.  Give it a shot the next time people are over for drinks and you need munchies.

every italian boy loves his sausage

i write about sausage all the time because i love it.
try and get it fresh made in store.

omg i'm so hungry i want one now.

REVIEW: Dolcezza, Dupont Circle

Dolcezza in Georgetown, Bethesda and now Dupont circle. Some of the BEST gelato I've had in a long while.  I stopped in for the grand opening of the Dupont location with free gelato and roasted pulled pork.  They also have pastries and other nibbly delights. If you're in the hood PLEASE stop in and just get a free sample if you have to- it'll make your day.

do not eat this

enough said

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

READER CONTRIBUTION: Ray's Hell Burger, Review

Sam Khazai just snapped a shot of his lunch at Rays Hell Burgers.  Holy Toledo that thing looks good.  I've heard lots about this place- just too bad this joint is out in Virginia, chances are I'll never make it.  For all those who live out there in the Commonwealth, I'd say judging by this photo its well worth the trip. 1713 N Wilson Blvd, Arlington, Virginia 22201

steak fajitas

The next time you're wandering around the Safeway looking for something to make for dinner remember this picture.  Just get a nice looking flank steak, salt and pepper it, throw it in an hot frying pan (with a touch of oil) for a couple minutes on each side, then set it on a cutting board to rest for a second while you throw a chopped onion and peppers on the same hot pot.  Slice the meat, get out some tortillas (if you're eating carbs and gluten), sour cream and get to eating.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sardinian flavors

Sardinia is known for its waters rich with tuna and that very fish has become a staple in traditional Sardinian fare. A common combination of flavors will be tomato, red onion tuna and capers.  Perhaps a little fresh basil or black pepper on top but thats it.  Makes my mouth will water just thinking about it.  It's one of my favorite "sauces" for pasta and that combination might be my favorite topping for a pizza.  So simple and easy but fantastic.


So I can safely say Vapiano is my favorite happy hour spot for a group.  The have decent specials on wine, cocktails and beer (Peroni) and their food it surprisingly good- whether you want to split a pizza or get bruschette you will not be disappointed.  There are a number of seating arrangements from benches to chairs, tables, the bar and even picnic tables when there's outdoor space so its not difficult to accomodate a group.  The best part about it though is that upon entering everyone is given a Vapiano card- you charge whatever food or drink you want on it, you can still treat a friend or keep your expenses to youself... the only thing is whenever you want to leave there's no hassle with a check, dividing tips or dealing with cash- you just settle with your card on the way out. Perfect with groups when people will plan to come and go.  Some nights get crowded so be sure to get there early to block off a spot if you'll be more than a couple people. Vapiano, F Street in Chinatown and 18th and M in Dupont (with back patio). Check it out.

Red jasmine rice risotto with zucchini

Gently sautee a handfull of chopped garlic, onions and shallots then deglaze with a mouthfull or two of white wine.  Throw in red jasmine rice add water and let it cook for 45 minutes.   When the rice is just about tender drop 2-3 thinly sliced zuccini on top, cover and basically let them steem for 5 or so minutes.  Just before youre ready to serve add a generous amount of parmiggiano cheese and a bit of mozarella, fresh basil, black pepper and voila. Its pretty addictive and one serving usually isnt enough.

READER CONTRIBUTION: Ceasar salad with roasted tomatoes and pancetta.

Title says it all.  From my sister and it looks fantastic.  I would make double and take it for lunch the next day.

About Me

My photo
Hi there, my name is Giacomo and I enjoy things delicious. Long story short, my parents moved from Italy to NJ where I grew up (and loved it) but found myself in Washington, DC fourteen years ago and haven’t yet found an excuse to leave. Food has always been a huge part of my day and life… from happy times, sad times, holidays, drunken escapades and all the rest in between, I’ve usually spent a good portion of that time putting something in my mouth. I guess I started this blog a little while ago to keep track of what I was cooking and places I’d eat-- simply because my friends were always asking “how do you make this” or “where do you get that” but surprisingly over time I guess real people started reading too. SO, take a look around and let me know what you think. You’ll see that the backbone of lots of my food is Italian but I manage to cover most bases. Thanks for stopping by. BUON APPETITO!

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