One year later and I still want to call this fantastic Italian restaurant Acqua Al “Two,” so apparently I still need to brush up on my grasp of languages. Acqua Al 2 came to Capitol Hill a little more than one year ago thanks to DC natives Ari Gejdenson and Ralph Lee. The first location is actually in Florence, Italy and the other is located in San Diego.
Acqua Al 2 is long and narrow. You just can’t imagine how far back it goes when looking at the small front. Still, good luck trying to come here during dinner hours and not have to wait – it’s impossible. Thankfully, you have a bar to your right to hold you over (with extra seats). Or walk around looking at the plates encased in glass and signed/decorated by patrons.
Once you’re seated, you start with the traditional Tuscan fare – I don’t know what it is about bread served in a brown bag that makes me like it more. Had I known then that I would be so full by the end of the meal, I would have resisted attacking the the basket.
If you want to try a little bit of everything, go for the samplers. Acqua Al 2 does samplers great justice – you leave happy and satisfied, not hungry. With the pasta sampler you get five dishes of house-made pasta, which the server brings out to you one by one. Surprise! My favorites are the Long fussili pasta sautéed with porcini mushrooms and mascarpone cheese, and the Seashell-shaped pasta in a light broccoli sauce. Who would have guessed that broccoli sauce could be so tasty?
The salads are also fantastic. I’ve never had a better tomato mozzarella salad anywhere. The presentation was beautiful, and it was drizzled with just the right amount of vinegar.
Still hungry? Go for the sampler of house steaks and you’ll love what the chef sends out. My favorite is the hand carved filet mignon topped with a blueberry sauce. I promise that it is better than it sounds and completely melts in your mouth! The sauce is a great compliment and isn’t at all overpowering.
One year after opening Acqua Al 2 has become a wonderful (pricey) neighborhood spot and for good reason. Now if only I could get myself there for brunch and sit out on the lovely patio.
Acqua Al 2 is located at 212 7th Street SE. The closest metro station is Eastern Market (Orange/Blue Lines). For more information, please call 202-525-4375.