La Forchetta, located near Glover Park and the National Cathedral at 3201 New Mexico Avenue (same area as Chef Geoff) has been open for about a month, but in spite of this, was packed on last night's rainy Wednesday when Luc Zeigler and I went to try it out.
We don't claim to be a foodies, so we won't go into nitty gritty cuisine details, other than saying that each course was expertly executed and so delicious--no surprises there, as the executive chef Roberto Donna is a James Beard winner and was named DC "Chef of the Year" twice by RAMW. But first, the Caprese salad. I order this at almost every Italian restaurant I go to, and it was the best EVER here. The mozarella was thick and 'meaty,' and the tomato was roasted to perfection, so make sure you order that to start if you come here.
What we do think is important to highlight is what an excellent place this is for a date--whether it's a girl you are trying to impress on your first date, or you are trying to do something new with your significant other.
Sharing And Sampling. La Forchetta's menu is set up so a lot of the plates can be sampled and shared. Try one or all three bread dipping sauces, then try three of their hot appetizers for $23, or three ($15) or six ($28) of their cold appetizers. Trying a bunch of different dishes Italian tapas-style is definitely more fun than envying your date's food.
The Wine List. La Forchetta has wines starting at $24/bottle and $6/glass, with many of them priced at the lower end of this spectrum. The list was compiled by Eric Felton and owner Hakan Ilhan with price in mind so everyone would be able to enjoy wine with dinner. We were very happy with the $29 Dolcetto D'Alba 2010.
Modern and hip. This place has tangerine tango pantones all over the place, modern furniture and plating styles, hip chandeliers, and a gigantic Mona Lisa keeping it real.
Parking. No one wants to go on a parking game with their date. There is a $4 parking garage on the restaurant's premises.
Tip: The lights dim at 8pm!
First Date Tip: Ask for seats at the bar facing the pizza oven for a more casual set up (and something to talk about!)
[Executive Chef Roberto Donna]
[Bottom four photos by Stacy Goldberg]