Young and Hungry

Italian Eateries Are Getting Quite Famoso in Downtown D.C.

When Galileo was forced to leave town in 2006, downtown D.C. was left with only a handful of decent Italian restaurants, including Tosca and the woefully underrated Spezie. But in recent months, the dearth has turned into a near glut. (Relax, you word mavens; I understand that "near glut" has all the contradictory overtones of "near miss.")

Just look at the newbies on the market: Ristorante Posto, Siroc (whose arugula salad with lemon-and-black-pepper vinaigrette makes my list of best salads of the young year), and even the resurgent Teatro Goldoni under chef Enzo Fargione, who has made the K Street institution seem suddenly new again.  And that list doesn't even include two other Italian restaurants yet to hit the area: Ashok Bajaj's forthcoming property (his seventh) in mid-town and Stir Food Group's Potenza, a 10,000 square-foot operation set to open later this month in the Woodward building at 1430 H St. NW.

Stir sent out a press release yesterday announcing its chef de cuisine for Potenza: Anthony Acinapura, former executive chef and owner of Prime 707 Steakhouse and Oyster Bar in Lake Worth, Fla., who will work under Stir's Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello. More from the release on Acinapura:

Prior to this position from 2005-2007, he served as Executive Chef/Owner of Aquaterra Ristorante in New York City overseeing the menu development for the 150-seat Italian restaurant.

Acinapura’s culinary career also includes working as Executive Chef of China Grill from 2003 to 2005, where he was responsible for fine-tuning the restaurant’s menu. Other important kitchens for garnering experience on his career path include Blue Ribbon Restaurant; Tribeca Grill; The Cub Room and Restaurant Bouley in New York City.

Chef Acinapura earned a Bachelor of Arts in Hotel and Restaurant Management in 1998 at the University of Denver. He then pursued his culinary degree in Hyde Park, New York at the Culinary Institute of America, graduating with an Associate Degree in Occupational Studies in 1992. Born and raised in Angie Cliffs, New Jersey, Anthony Acinapura’s hobbies include skiing, mountain biking and deep sea fishing.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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