2017 Summer Restaurant Weeks: Week Three, Day Two
The restaurant of the day—make that the ristorante della giornata—was Bibiana, an elegant Italian member of the Knightsbridge Restaurant Group, which includes some of the best dining establishments in Washington.*
(Years ago, Roger Price wrote a book that included a section on how to avoid people. He offered a list 10 sentences that were so profoundly dull they would immediately bring an end to any attempt to engage the speaker in further conversation. Two that I remember are “A girl I went to high school with works for the phone company” and “I used to live down that street.”)
I used to work in the building right across the street from this restaurant.
I had a special reason I wanted to eat at Bibiana.
When I was in Venice last spring, I had lunch at Ca’ D’Oro, a restaurant where, according to the Michelin Guide, “…the meatballs are…legendary.” Those legendary meatballs are called “polpette,” and Ca’ D’Oro’s were said to be the best in Venice.
I wasn’t impressed. I thought they were nowhere nearly as good as the polpette I’d had at Bibiana.
Had my memory been inaccurate? Time for a taste test.
Bibiana’s Sicilian-style meatballs with tomato sauce and white polenta won, hands down.
My main was pan-seared Atlantic grouper. I had a little trouble identifying the vegetable component, which was eggplant caponata. I liked the slight lemony taste of the carrot purée, and the fish was perfect.
A nice Baba al Rum for dessert, made with rum-soaked sponge cake, vanilla bean Chantilly fIlling, and pistachio gelato.
*The Oval Room and 701 are Knightsbridge restaurants. So are Rasika and its offshoot, Rasika West. Rasika has a good claim to being the best Indian restaurant in the US.