Monday, January 29, 2007

Teatro Goldoni - An Italian Restaurant with a Decor that Liberace Would Adore

Bobby: With a group of nine, we went to the K street Italian restaurant Teatro Goldoni. The first thing that bears mentioning about this place is that the chef's name, Fabrizio Aielli, is awesome. I wanted to name my first son Fabrizio for a long time after the main character in Stendhal's Charterhouse of Parma. However, the name has become mostly associated with the annoying drummer of the Strokes who dated Drew Barrymore, so it's off the list now. I still like the name, though.

Giada: Bobby? You're a little wierd sometimes.

Bobby: Anyway, it was our second trip to this particular establishment. The first time was about a year ago and I have mostly pleasant memories associated with it.

Giada: Yeah, that was a fun night. Of course, it may have just been that Bobby was the center of an incredibly juicy love-triangle (these were pre-Giada days, natch), and so the conversation masked any possible problems with the restaurant. Still, I was excited to return.

Bobby: Giada? Sometimes you have a big mouth.

The Decor

Bobby: I would describe the decor of the place as busy. On the website, it says that the decor is supposed to be theatrical and Venetian, which I guess it is. Just not my cup of tea. I've always thought Venice, though a fun city in general, had odd styles that the world needs less rather than more of.

Giada: I actually quite like the decor. I think it's whimsical. And I really like the large banquets. Not as much of a fan of the wall of theater masks though -- they're a little creepy.

Bobby: Because we were a group of nine, we ended up with just a so-so table. It was much too close to the entrance of the restaurant, which was particularly annoying on a cold evening because the people at end of the table were treated to a frigid blast of wind whenever the door to the restaurant was opened

Giada: Yeah, that made me happy to be sitting at the end of the table not near the door. But I'm selfish.

Bobby: However, in general, I think the arrangement of the tables is quite nice in this restaurant. They aren't too cramped like so many places in the city.

Bobby's decor rating: 6 out of 10
Giada's decor rating: 7.5 out of 10

The Food

Bobby: As part of my continuing effort to eat more vegetables, I started once again with a salad. I thought the salad was a little dry and the tomatoes a little sour. But it wasn't terrible. A pretty standard issue salad.

Giada: I also had a salad. Way too heavy on the lettuce and not enough cheese and pine nuts. Dressing was super skimpy, so I was left with too much plain lettuce (yum, huh?). Another dining companion that got the same salad said that on one side of the salad, it tasted as though someone had spilled salt into the dish, so it was basically inedible.

Bobby: For the main course, I perused the menu for quite some time and found something that wouldn't make me mad if they brought me. It was the tortelli stuffed with venison sausage. This actually sounded good in the description, although I chose it mostly because the other pasta dishes on the menu were a little boring. Unfortunately, there is way too much meat in the form of the venison sausage relative to the pasta. The pasta was also undercooked. Granted, it is more difficult to cook for a group of nine, but this dish still left me underwhelmed.

Giada: Bobby's dish did look pretty unappetizing. Poor Bobby. I went with linguine in a "spicy" tomato sauce with shrimp. It was fine, the shrimp were decent size, the pasta was cooked well, and the sauce was pretty good, although definitely not spicy as advertised.

Giada: It's probably worth noting that others at the table seemed pretty happy with their dishes, although we didn't try anyone's.

Bobby: Because we had to run to a surprise gathering across town, we didn't have dessert.

Giada: And that made Bobby sad. Especially since he hadn't eaten much. Although his empty stomach made for a much more interesting evening once we got to the bar and started drinking.

Bobby's food rating: 5 out of 10
Giada's food rating: 5 out of 10

The Service

Bobby: Stated bluntly, the service in this place leaves much to be desired. At the end of the evening when the time for the check came, the waiter was no where to be seen. Then when we finally tracked down the waiter it took him an eon or so to bring back the check. This was particularlly annoying because we had made it clear on a couple of occasions that we had to leave the restaurant at a certain time.

Giada: I realize the waiting on large groups isn't much fun, and initially the server did a great job waiting on us promptly and bringing out everyone's food at the same time. However, 35 minutes is way too long for it to take to get the check and pay (while there on a Saturday evening, we finished dining by 7:30 and things weren't too busy. Plus, it's only a matter of paying the bill). Additionally, another dining companion mentioned that when she asked another server where the bathroom was, he was very short with her.

Bobby's service rating: 4 out of 10
Giada's service rating: 5 out of 10


Bobby: I'd probably only go back to Teatro Goldpni if my choices were extremely limited. It has a odd location, the food was just okay, and the service was poor. Definitely overpriced (about $140 for three with no dessert, one glass of wine, and a 15% tip) for such a lackluster place.

Giada: Agreed, especially on the overpriced part. Pasta dishes were around $25, and the place doesn't warrant it.

Washingtonpost reference page (no review)
Washingtonian review

Teatro Goldoni
1909 K Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006


Anonymous said...

As one of the fellow diners on this occasion, I would have to agree with their overall assessment. I had the beet and goat cheese salad, which was particularly tasty, but my gnocchi entree was lacking flavor and tenderness normally associated with this italien treat. I also found our waiter completely useless, and regretted paying the imposed gratuity for larger tables.

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