Is it Possible? New Italian Restaurant in Del Ray Disappoints

Photo courtesy of
‘Therapy Bear’
courtesy of ‘Tyrannous’

I mean it’s Italian food. How hard is that to screw up? And it’s in Del Ray, which is known for its great, local eats.

After seeing Sapore D’Italia, the new Italian restaurant in Del Ray, absolutely packed on several occasions, AND after reading reviews which claim that this restaurant is amazing, I had to go and check it out for myself. Recommending dinner with friends to this romantic new hot spot, we all left feeling sorely misled and disappointed.

My tortellini was soggy and water-logged. The lasagna was strange, with the largest noodles I’ve ever seen, laid on it’s side, and not yummy. The Chicken Parmigiano, the best of our four dishes, could pass as edible, but I could have made it more freshly at home. And the calzone seemed hastily thrown together, with each of the $1.00 additional-charge ingredients sparsely and randomly spotting the cheese. 

And to make matters worse, the waiter asked if we would like parmesan cheese with our just-served dinner – raising our hopes for a little freshly grated and nicely presented CHEESE, when he brought over the little shakers of Kraft-style parmesan powder. Instant dissatisfaction.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Or a good one to stick up for the 94% approval rating 17 people gave this restaurant on Urban Spoon? Am I too fancy for Del Ray, or am I right in being disappointed?

Bottom line: It wasn’t the service. It was the food. Unless you are looking for a great place to take your kids (their kid menu is family friendly), I’m sad to say it’s probably best to stick with the other Del Ray favorites for now. Let’s just be glad I didn’t take Katie with me.

Cathy was fortunate to spend a year in Paris – traveling to all surrounding countries and touring all that is worthy. Upon realizing that there is no place like home (she does hail from Kansas City – but did not click her heels to get back – thank you, Air France), she returned to America where she set out to explore every last inch of our massive country. From her base in the nation’s capital, she has worked in marketing and event planning for the past 4 years. Mail any and all DC related tips to Cathy (at) WeLoveDC (dot) com.

5 thoughts on “Is it Possible? New Italian Restaurant in Del Ray Disappoints

  1. I’m a total and complete pizza (and Italian food) snob and have extremely high standards. I grew up in Jersey and there are at least half a dozen excellent, basic Italian restaurants in the area in which I grew up.

    I brought my girls to Sapore D’Italia and was satisfied with our dinner. We enjoyed a large green salad and a large pizza for $25 bucks (with tip).

    The pizza was unusual, and almost tasted as if it had ricotta cheese on it. Which was nice. It was a little too cheesy for me, and a little underdone, but it was still good. For me, good is great to most people.

    I can’t comment on the other areas of the menu, but for pizza and salad it OK with me.

  2. Cathy, this is the same experience I had a couple weeks ago. The romaine in my Caesar salad was chopped and tasteless; the pasta with pesto was watery and tasteless; and my friend’s pasta with sausage & marinara was just a tad better. And I, too, was surprised with the parmesan presentation. It just seemed like not much thought and preparation had gone into the recipes (sort of like in my kitchen….), but you expect more in a restaurant.

    I was thinking of giving it another try for pizza rather than pasta, but after reading what Joe said….too cheesy & underdone…I doubt I’ll go back.

  3. The blinking neon sign in the window should have warned us, but we’ll try any new neighborhood spot once. Massively disappointing. For same style menu at same price but way better quality, go down five blocks to Braddock and hit La Piazza. For higher-end Italian experience, walk down Mt. Vernon the other way to La Strada. No way Sapore lasts.