Osteria Morini, a classic dinner-date night experience
To prep for my most recent ABC Let's Talk Live segment, my favorite guy in D.C. and I went to Osteria Morini in Washington, D.C.'s bourgeoning Navy Yard District. I wish we would have better planned for how much food we ate so I could have worked out more during the day! Amateur mistake on my part as we were both so incredibly stuffed by the end of the evening we barely managed to walk the few blocks home! Good thing Osteria Morini only gave us four courses, not including a traditional meat course, or else they might have had to pump our stomach's, haha.
Osteria Morini is located just underneath the Forest City office complex on Water Street, aka the developers of The Yards DC community. Plenty of both indoor and outdoor space, as well as a fairly big bar area, means there tons of options for whatever occasion brings guests to the restaurant. Also, the open kitchen concept allows for the restaurant to consistently be enveloped in a heady aroma while the floor-to-ceiling windows set off the candlelight well.
As I am wont to do, I started the evening with a cocktail. At Osteria Morini, I ordered the Strawberry Jalisco, a sweeter drink topped with a lovely, light froth. The drink went down like water -- DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS! -- and made for a nice compliment to the gorgeous BATTILARDO DI AFFETTATI. I can not say enough good things about the cuts of meat and cheeses in the presentation. Additionally the sweet onion jam provided a classic relief to all the salt.
We coursed through to the Antipasti with the refreshing Insalata di Mare, my favorite dish of the evening. Comprised of poached scallops, shrimp, octopus, castelvetrano olives, oregano -- and a mere $14 -- I felt brighter having eaten it. We also tried the Polpettine, aka meatballs. The dish wasn't unpleasant, however, it was also not memorable either. Just a solid staple to the menu.
I think the best thing I can say about the meatballs has to do with its beautiful presentation.
After our initial cocktail (and complimentary Prosecco), Osteria's sommelier brought out this beautiful white wine to go with the Antipasti. We loved the gentle finish of the drink so much we both drank two glasses of it, but the red wine for our pasta course was my favorite. I was shocked to learn it was a Pinot Noir from Washington State. "Made by our restaurant group," the helpful General Manager intoned. Fun!
The bulk of our food drowsiness came from the pasta course.
We both agreed our favorite pasta dish was the Pansotti. Both in presentation, as well as in flavor, the dish really set off my taste-buds! Also, I have a thing for sweet corn lately and it provided the right texture for this dish.
The classic Cacio e Pepe was our other pasta dish and it was, again, very nice. Not memorable like the Pansotti but good none-the-less.
To close the meal, Osteria Morini was kind enough to bring us their Tiramisu dessert, which was the best Tiramisu I've had in D.C. Though filling, because I am a real dessert-a-holic, I had the restaurant also bring out every single one of their desserts. "This sounds wonderful," the GM indulged me. My date, of course, just laughed appreciatively because he had frequently seen me do this at other restaurants we have dined at. My reasoning for this is, "Why bother coming back to try a dessert when I am here? Might as well just try it now!"
Of the other three which came (the Tortino, the Torta Di Formaggio, and the Semifreddo), the ice cream sundae was definitely the best. I would have maybe preferred more brownie bites in there ... overall though a great end to a lovely evening! We will definitely be coming back!!