A first date or fifty years of marriage alike, Rialto in Georgetown is sure to win you a second date… or another year of marriage. Just use the excuse that since October is pasta month (this is true), you thought celebration was necessary and that you would like to recommend an authentic Italian restaurant. So ladies, if asking that guy to join you, let him know that Peroni is a great Italian beer available on tap at Rialto. And men, if asking a lady to be your guest, do tell her about the mostly imported décor throughout the restaurant and how it is in fact Georgetown so shopping is a stone’s throw away. Rialto is best described by me as old world Italian romance meeting progressive new world aptitude all wrapped together in a cute little ravioli. And as I speak of that, Rialto cuts no corners with their pasta. It is all made fresh daily, exactly what you want and need to expect as far as authenticity is concerned. Chef Ryan Fichter has a goal in mind as you make your initial decision to have a seat within the warmness and vibrancy of Rialto and this goal is to take your taste buds on a journey that is out of your normal everyday routine and discover something new. I did fail to mention that I am attending a masquerade dinner, and it’s about an hour into it and I’m still wearing my simple yet moderately awkward raccoon mask. A nicely dressed couple close to me speaks about how upon taking their many trips and long stays in Tuscany, they would consider Chef Richter and Rialto some of the better Italian cuisine that they have had. I thought to myself how this was indeed a huge compliment. Next, I realized my peripheral vision hasn't been good for awhile now so I took off the raccoon eyes. A table across from us was Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta. So this means two things to me, first, the food is top notch and second, I think I wore my mask for too long. Some of the foods I was given to sample include Ravioli Al Formaggi (house made cheese stuffed ravioli sautéed with sage butter, which was perfect), Pappardelle Al Funghi (fresh papardelle, a wider sort of linguini, with sautéed seasonal mushrooms and herbs), and gnocchi al pomodoro (Light potato dumplings covered in tomato sauce and sprinkled with cheese). All of these dishes pleased me and made me very thankful for Italy and their influence on the world. Thanks, Italy. Then, I remembered the words of the wise sage Chef Fichter and quickly put them to work. I remembered the part about getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new. I did it. And so I tried an old world Italian dish known as seppia with ink sauce. This meal is better known as grilled cuttle fish (larger calamari) in its own ink. I didn't think well of this concept before tonight, yet after giving it a shot I can say that it was actually pretty decent. Plus, I not only ate the squid, but it’s ink too. Take that, creatures of the sea. These are bragging rights at your next party. In the heart of Georgetown, Rialto is found at 2915 M street NW. Plan your next night on the town around some perfectly orchestrated Italian fare in an upscale environment suitable for great taste buds. I highly recommend your next Italian visit to be here. Fine print: Daniel Fecht does not in any way, shape or form guarantee or endorse a dating or marriage relationship to improve or succeed due to a visit to Rialto. However, a meal plus satisfaction as well as enjoyment are more likely.
Written by: Daniel Fecht