Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On the waterfront: Osteria Morini

Osteria Morini

301 Water Street S.E., Suite 109
Washington, DC 20003 • (202)484-0660

Dined on Dec. 14, 2013

Dining at Osteria Morini was like dining at a friend's place. The atmosphere is convivial, the staff pays attention to every detail as they want you to be comfortable in their "home". While the food did not meet my high expectations based on ratings and reviews, I nonetheless had a good and relaxing dining experience. At Osteria Morini you will definitely be taken care of and for this reason I will return and try some of their other menu items, and save room for dessert.
The biggest mistake Osteria Morini makes is having a really large flat screen TV in the dining room. It hangs over the bar, near the entrance, and is visible from the entire dining area. That TV really detracts from the ambiance. My dining companion faced the TV. Even though I wasn't facing the TV, it was fully reflected in the floor to ceiling glass wall, which I faced and the image flashes did distract me a few times. Why do restaurants do this? It's not a sports bar? The volume in Osteria Morini was lively to loud; it was a full house when we went but at least it drowned out TV volume.

My dining companion and I selected our entrees based on what we liked but also with the idea that we would share. We each wanted the Cappeletti (pasta) and the Stracotto (short ribs), so he had the pasta and I had the short ribs.

Cappeletti: Truffled ricotta ravioli, melted butter, prosciutto

Stracotto: Sangiovese-braised short ribs, whipped potatoes, gremolata

Must try appetizer: Mare - Adriatic style seafood salad, olives, capers. The seafood was fresh, tasty and there was lots of it-- shrimp, scallop, squid, calamari.

Complimentary focaccia is very good.

I am glad that the Cappeletti was not my main choice; it was not to my liking. The pasta was very soft, fell apart; and had mild to non-existent flavor except for the prosciutto. However, my dining companion is the one who ordered the dish, he said it was fine. He loved my short ribs (Stracotto). We both thought the dish could have a little less salt, and agreed that the whipped potatoes were too salty and barely palatable. The short ribs was a large piece of meat, and it was nice & tender. Perhaps with a little less salt, more of the Sangiovese-wine flavor would come through in the reduction.

We also had a side of Brussel sprouts with pancetta. The sprouts were cooked perfectly--caramelized, firm with portions of crispness.

Yes, do save room for dessert. What we had:
  • Affagato - Cardamom gelato served in a goblet, with cardamaro, and at the table freshly brewed espresso is poured on top. I will return for this dessert.
  • Tortino al Cioccolato - Warm chocolate cake, liquid ganache, espresso gelato; smooth, deep chocolate flavor, not sweet. Yes, get this too.
I recommend the desserts, the coffee, the mare, the sprouts, the short ribs. Overall, the food was just okay, with some standout desserts. I rate it 3 out of 5 stars.

food chick

Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Osteria Morini on Urbanspoon

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