Young and Hungry

Y&H Speaks Italian Today on WAMU


You can't throw a meatball — no, sorry, a gnocco slathered in goat ragu — without hitting some downtown Italian restaurant these days. I wrote about the crowded field in a recent Y&H column, but since that piece, Bibiana has opened and more Italian places are planned for neighborhoods just around the perimeter of downtown, including a Penn Quarter outlet of the NYC red sauce house, Carmine's, and a Cap Hill location of the Italian export, Acqua al 2.

What's going on here?

It's a good question, and it's one that host David Furst put to me during this week's edition of Metro ConnectionYou can hear Furst and I delve into the subject today at 1 p.m. (and 5 a.m. on Saturday) on WAMU. That's 88.5 FM on whatever the hell device people use nowadays to listen to the radio.

I don't know what frequency that is for Rep. Joe Wilson. He'll just have to turn the foil-wrapped strainer on his head until the signal comes in loud and clear.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery


    And now for something completely different...

    Wow. Nice gratuitous Joe Wilson slam.

    How does that tie in to Italian restaurants downtown?

  • NotesOnMyBathroomMirror

    Never, EVER hold an event here. I tried to have a small work event at one of the tables in the front of the restaurant. First, whenever I would call the restaurant, the owner, Raul, was always "asleep" or "unavailable". I NEVER talked to the same person about my event twice and had to make multiple calls to firm up all my details. The event itself was okay, but when it came time to make the payment, Raul would not accept the check my company had written him because he "didn't like the way it was made out" (The restaurant name was incomplete, something my boss wrote in and initialed as correct.) He chased my boss out of the restaurant and argued with her about the check in the street (in front of clients and a Congressman!) and insisted that she LEAVE her credit card with him. He said I could come back tomorrow with a rewritten check to get her credit card at 10 am. When I arrived at 11 am, his cook staff informed me that, yet again, Raul was "asleep" and despite trying to call him three times, they could not get him to wake up. (I should note that the cook staff tried their hardest to be helpful. They deserve better leadership!) It was only after I had gotten all the way back to my office and called Raul that I finally heard from him...around 11:30am. He said he was there now and that I could come exchange the check for the credit card "anytime". For the second time that day, I traveled all the way to SE to resolve the situation. When I got there, once again, Raul was not at the restaurant and had to be called by his employees. When he finally appeared with the credit card, I asked him for a receipt verifying that he had reversed the charge. It was at this point that he informed me that he was not able to reverse the charge and that his General Manager, the only person able to reverse charges, would not arrive until 3:30. He told me I would have to come back then. I told him I thought this entire situation was ridiculous, took back my check, and left, to return at 3:30 to try and resolve the issue again. I have NEVER encountered such incompetence with event staff in a restaurant, especially not one on Capitol Hill, where a lot of their bread and butter comes from doing events. I will NEVER be working with Acqua Al 2 DC again.