Acqua Al 2212 7th Street Southeast, Washington DC, 20003 • (202) 525-4375
Dined on April 21, 2014
Total bill for two: 71 USD
Acqua Al 2. There were 3 people at the hostess stand when I arrived. There was a little confusion because no one knew where the hostess was. I waited about 3 minutes while people ran around trying to find the hostess. It was a gorgeous evening so I just stepped outside to the sidewalk cafe dining area while they searched for the hostess. No hostess was found so one of the waitstaff seated me. Ten minutes later there was still confusion at the hostess desk because my guest arrived and someone there told him that I had not arrived! He brushed past them and came into the restaurant and there I was.
Acqua Al 2 is a lovely looking place with rustic, Old World decor. The restaurant is located in the Eastern Market neighborhood, right on 7th Street across from Eastern Market. The location makes the outdoor dining scene one of the best in DC--pretty, lots of foot traffic but very few vehicles.
The cocktails were delicious. Verdolino-Bubbly gin cooler with fresh cucumber juice and elderflower liquer. Tasty and refreshing. It rivals the Pimm's Cup made at H Street Country Club, which is a real Pimm's and the best I've ever tasted. The non-alcohol cocktail Zenzero Rinfrescante was good because I like ginger beer but that flavor overpowered everything else--Refreshing fruit juices shaken with seasonal herbs and poured over ginger beer. Zenzero is a $6, 6 ounce ginger beer with ice.
Go for the salads. They are big and full of flavor. Insalata Finocchio--Shaved fennel with pine nuts, radicchio, parmigiano olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. The Rucola e Pere salad was excellent, with dinstinct layers of flavor. Ingredients: Arugula, pear, citrus & Dijon vinaigrette, and Parmesan cheese.
Main courses and sides. Fussilli Lunghi al Mascarpone e Funghi--Long fussili (cork screw) pasta with porcini mushrooms, mascarpone cheese and parmigiano. I liked this dish more than my own because I love mushrooms and it was very mushroom-y, with a light, light cream sauce. I would order this again. Cannelloni Mascarpone e Funghi--Porcini mushrooms with mascarpone rolled in fresh pasta, baked in a bowl with house-made tomato sauce, béchamel and parmigiano. The mushrooms are lost in this very saucy dish, which is disappointing if you want to taste mushrooms but the dish is still very tasty. Yes, I would order it again but not before I ordered the Fussilli Lunghi al Mascarpone e Funghi. The side of Red Skin Roasted Potatoes with rosemary and garlic was satisfactory. They could have been roasted more, half the order was cooked but not truly roasted.
Besides the confusion upon arrival at Acqua Al 2 everyone was pleasant. Our waitress was just okay. The server was very good--gracious, mannerly, observant (he should be a waiter); and, he had to act as our waiter a few times because the waitress was a little scarce. There was one other waitperson in the restaurant (in fact he seated me), I could see he was far better at his job than our waitperson.
Plus: All meats are organically raised, hormone and antibiotic free.
Would I go back to Acqua Al 2? Sure, but it is not going to be my go-to Italian food restaurant.
Best Bet: It would be a great place to people-watch, sit, converse and enjoy drinks in the beautiful bar or in the picturesque outdoor cafe.
Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)