Friday evening, we were looking for a place that we could get some comfort food. Although, unlike most households where comfort food involves some sort of mystery meatloaf, our idea is more like porcini mushroom ravioli with a pistachio cream sauce.
We returned to Spezie, after not having been there for a few months. There were a few changes on the menu -- some dishes that were new, but mostly it was the same old Spezie. The first thing that I noticed was that the prices had gone up. This is pretty normal, especially considering that the restaurants that Spezie competes with, namely Galileo and Tosca, are still considerably more expensive.
In light of some other meals that I've eaten recently with dishes containing complex lists of ingredients, Spezie is a welcome change. The insalata di spinaci (spinach salad with gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, pears and crispy pancetta) is a classic salad that begs to be enjoyed. The spinach is topped with just enough balsamic vinegar to compliment the flavors of the gorgonzola, pancetta and pears. Eaten all together, you've got one blissful mouthful of salad.
As usual, the pasta I ordered was cooked perfectly. A simple tomato-based ragu with some fresh herbs and spices will always beat an overloaded pasta dish with seven or eight ingredients in my mind. The Pappardelle al Sugo D'Anatra (homemade wide-noodle pasta with tomato-based duck ragu) with was no exception to this rule. And as usual, Amy got herself an order of the ravioli with pistachio cream sauce. I couldn't help but feel a twinge of inadequacy watching Amy drool over at the plate of pasta in front of her. Eccellente!
Something a little disappointing was the prosciutto and mozzarella salad. The mozzarella was dense and too cold as if it was "fresh" out of the freezer. Given our recent trips to Dino and 2Amys, we also found the prosciutto, that we once used to lust after, to be substandard. Other than that, it was a typically good meal at Spezie.
Our check came to a little over $100 -- that with only one glass of wine, but 2 apps, 2 pastas and desserts. It's getting harder and harder for me to find a decent Italian meal in this city for under that.
1736 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Monday - Saturday: 5:30 PM. - 10:00 PM
Monday - Friday: 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Dress Code: Business Casual. I saw someone in shorts -- they deserve a beat down.
Smoking: Allowed at the bar.
Closest Metro: Farragut North
Parking: No valet anymore. I can usually find a parking spot for dinner, and there are plenty of paid lots in the area.
Reservations: Taken. Not necessarily needed for dinner. Definitely needed for lunch.
Amy's Bathroom Rating: Beautifully clean.