Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Review: Al Tiramisu

Al Tiramisu restaurant, located in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood, has been around for a number of years. It's a place that I sort of forget about and seem to re-discover every couple of years.

Last night, I had an excellent meal there. I ordered a starter of homemade ravioli with butternut squash in a butter-and-sage sauce. Simply amazing. Anyone who doesn't understand how pasta can be part of an elegant dish should try it.

My entree was the lamb shank special. It was not cheap ($35), but the size of this thing made the price understandable.

The menu isn't huge, but offers a nice diversity of items -- seafood, red meat, poultry and at least one risotto. This is one of those places where a diner should give extra attention to the evening "specials."

The all-Italian wine list could use a little more work. There are about a dozen options below $70, but there need to be more options at or below $40. The Gravello we had at $65 a bottle was enjoyable, but a bit overpriced at that level.

But overall the antipasta and entrees are reasonably priced for the portion and quality of the food.

The space is not pretty and polished. Al Tiramisu's "look" is more cozy, which fits a restaurant that was converted from a Victorian townhouse interior. The fireplace in the room to the rear is charming on a cold winter evening.

Service is fine and welcoming.

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