RESTAURANT REVIEW : Hidden Gems. Sometimes I spend hours looking for restaurants to go to. It’s a hobby, and when you have a hobby you search for the perfect thing to help time go by in life. Finding the perfect restaurant by images, reviews, and word of mouth are how I like to experience places before I go to them. There are so many restaurants in Washington, D.C. that if someone tells me where I should go I would secretly give myself reasons as to why I shouldn’t go there. Don’t worry, your recommendations are always welcomed, it’s just that, when spending your hard earned money; you at-least want to go somewhere that’s nice or reasonably priced and that isn’t a chain. I go to chain restaurants but I try to stay away from them because each restaurant has its own identity. Some restaurants are so unique that you remember the slightest thing such as too much salt in an appetizer or the lights were too bright. Those are examples, but the more places you eat, the more you notice little things as such. The restaurant of choice that I chose was Casa Luca. Before I give you the reasons as to why this restaurant served the best pasta that I’ve ever tasted, which they did, I wanted to let you know to go to this restaurant. Please make it a priority. Please. Ok? Thank You. Now, let’s discuss food.
(DINNER): The restaurant is about a couple of blocks away from City Center in D.C. off of 9th St. If you decide to do some shopping at Ferragamo, Louis Vutton, or Gucci, or whatever you rich people decide to indulge in, this is a place you’d want to try. The interior of this restaurant is absolutely beautiful. I would say this is a perfect date spot if you were wondering. This Italian restaurant definitely has an Italian vibe to it. Dim lights, pasta/bread smell, and a numerous amount of options for different wines and some cocktails. The menu isn’t your usual with 70 pasta dishes, but it’s a one pager with enough options for you to try something new and something that you would absolutely order.
I mentioned how the restaurant had an extensive menu of wine, but today a cocktail was ordered. What was ordered was the Spiced Agave which consisted of Tequila, St. Germain, Spiced Syrup, Lemon and Star Anise. I don’t usually drink cocktails but it was ordered and I decided to taste it. This was one of the best drinks I’ve had. In my opinion it tasted like a sweeter version of a moscow mule. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, give this one a try. It was sweet, not too strong, but I’m sure if you’ve had two of these you may be a little intoxicated, so no driving! The appetizer options are pretty appealing so I wanted to try the Casa Luca Beef TarTar which consisted of Beef, sunny side up Duck Egg, Parmesean Cream, and Mushrooms. I’ve had beef tartar before at a steak restaurant but this version was by far the best I’ve tasted. Seeming as though I’ve only had it one other time, I’d like to order this dish at some other restaurants before I give you the green light on this being the best in my opinion. I would try this if you’ve never had tartar. Once you get over the raw part of the beef tartar, you’ll actually enjoy it.
For the main event the Bucatini Nero and the Branzino Al Forno were ordered. The Bucatini consisted of Squid Ink Pasta, Tiger Prawn, Grilled Calamari, and Mussels in a semi-spicy tomato sauce. This pasta was by far the best pasta I’ve had in my life. The pasta wasn’t too soft and tasted fresh. The calamari wasn’t too rubbery, and the mussels weren’t overcooked. They have this dish in a half portion or a regular size, I went for the regular portion and it was a nice size, but if you’re hungry order an appetizer as well. The pasta was so flavorful that I seriously contemplated on ordering another one to go. If a second dish wasn’t ordered, my contemplation would’ve became a reality.
The second dish that was ordered was branzino which is a flaky white fish. It was slow roasted in tomatoes, red peppers, and olives. Sometimes when ordering fish at restaurants you end up leaving the restaurant wishing you ordered more because it didn’t fill you up but this fish was a pretty nice size. I believe the fished was grilled then finished off in the oven with some sort of bread crumbs, which in all honesty they could’ve done without, but the inside of the skin was so moist, flavorful, and juicy. It literally tasted like they went behind the restaurant to the ocean (wait, I don’t know where Branzino are caught, whether it be the ocean, lake, river, or pond, but you can tell me if you’re actually reading my blog or interested, or I’ll just tell you … One minute let me google……… Ok, it’s from the ocean. It’s a European Seabass). The fish was so fresh and the olives added a nice acidity with the tomato broth.
RATING- “FIRST CLASS EXPERIENCE”
There are not too many restaurants that I boast or brag about, but this restaurant would be the one that I tell you all to go to. This restaurant is a 5 out of 5. Even though I didn’t care for the bread crumbs on top of the fish I wouldn’t let it stop me from giving this restaurant the respect that they’ve earned. I WILL go back to this restaurant, and usually I go to different restaurants before I try a new one, but I have to go back soon. The only question I’m going to ask myself is, will I get the same dish or try something else? Decisions, Decisions.