Friday, November 4, 2011

Papa Razzi

Are you familiar with Papa Razzi? Not the catchy Lady Gaga song or the hordes of camera-toting, traffic-causing "reporters" that stake out celebrities. I'm talking about the Italian restaurant in Georgetown that is directly across the street from another Italian restaurant in Georgetown.

Papa Razzi is part of a mini-chain with 11 other restaurants (mostly in Massachusetts). It bills itself as "a taste of Italy without the airfare," which is precisely why we found ourselves there recently. We just booked a winter trip to Italy and wanted to celebrate over an Italian dinner and discuss all things Italian.

We toasted Italy with a flight of Italian wines (white for me and red for B). Since I'm not a huge drinker, tasting flights are the perfect way for me to get the variety without the hangover. Bonus points for placing each glass on a card describing the wine.

While a Caesar salad may not be an authentic way to kick off an Italian meal, Papa Razzi claims to have an award winning Caesar. They kindly split the salad on two plates to avoid the inevitable "dropping the croutons on the tablecloth" that arises when we try to split a salad ourselves. B, who ordered a Caesar salad at every restaurant as a kid, gave this one high marks.

As we perused the menu, I was torn between the gnocchi with a pink sauce and the evening's special risotto with beef tenderloin. Because B is awesome, he ordered the gnocchi so I could focus on the risotto. I've never met a gnocchi I didn't like and I think pink sauce can make anything taste amazing, so this dish was perfect for me. Sure, it is probably uber-Americanized, but it was tasty!

The risotto was very unique. It was very al dente and the rice appeared to have a longer grain, lending it more of a rice feel than a pasta dish feel. The beef tenderloin portion was generous enough that it felt like eating an entire steak served on a large bed of risotto. I had plenty left to take home for a great lunch the next day.

We have had several enjoyable meals at Papa Razzi. Is it the most authentic Italian experience? I suspect not, but I'll let you know after I eat my way through Italy next month!

Second Thoughts from B

When we were new to DC, we made the terrible mistake of going to Georgetown for Halloween, which has all the charm of a traffic jam.

Barricades are erected to keep people out of the streets, which would be fine if the sidewalks were not overflowing with a) drunk people, b) drunk people in huge, unwieldy outfits, and c) drunk people in huge, unwieldy outfits that were compelled to stop every four steps to take a picture. The point is, unless you are hammered or have a desire to be a slaughterhouse cow for Halloween, I'd recommend avoiding Georgetown.

So there we stood; packed in with nowhere to escape and moving at a rate of 1 block/hour. When we finally got to an intersection, we jumped at the opportunity to escape to the calm of whatever restaurant would take us. That was Papa Razzi.

Since that traumatic time we've been back several times, including a visit with a proud Italian friend of ours who gave the pasta his coveted stamp of approval. We've also discovered the glory of Papa Razzi's neighbor, Filomena, which certainly splits our pasta-eating loyalties. Nevertheless, like that favorite childhood blankie, we'll always have special place in our heart for the place that offered us shelter from the storm.
Papa Razzi on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

April said...

I went to Papa Razzi years ago and got the gnocchi, glad to know it still tastes great :)