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D’Acqua Restaurant: Cibo Magnifico!

April 23, 2009

D’Acqua Restaurant
801 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004
Nearest Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial or Galleryplace-Chinatown


It had been a long week when I stepped into D’Acqua with three other  frazzled and stressed out 1Ls looking for a break from the tediousness of studying Property, Criminal Procedure, and Constitutional Law. After a long day and an even longer week, we were famished and in dire need of a good meal. From the moment we entered D’Acqua, we got first-class service, impeccable food, and a great view of the U.S. Naval Memorial.

I had the pleasure of dining with my “colleagues” Kate, Bob, and Pawel. Shortly, after being seated we were led to D’Acqua’s “raw bar,” where our waiter thoughtfully described the fresh fish and other seafood selections and the restaurant’s methods of preparing them. As we headed back to our table to ponder our options for the evening, we discovered that fresh bread and olive oil were eagerly awaiting our return. Kate suggested trying the 3-course tasting menu, and we all agreed that we deserved to treat ourselves. While taking our order, the waiter informed us that the 3-course tasting menu did include a fish course, but not with D’Acqua’s signature preparation of a sea salt, rock salt, and egg encrustment. The encrusted fish normally comes as part of the 5-course tasting menu. However, after returning with our drinks, the waiter generously hooked it up and told us he had managed to get us the signature preparation.

The first course consisted of five different appetizers. There was (1) Grilled Baby Octopus  (2) Crab Cake with Pesto  (3) Calamari, Zucchini, Eggplant with a Pesto dip  (4) Caprese Salad with Mozzarella and Ricotta cheese  and  (5) Flaky Puff Pastries with Roasted Portobello, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese.

The second course was pumpkin filled mini ravioli with a mascarpone fondue and flash fried artichoke heart.

Finally, the third course was the fish. Salt encrusted Dorado and Bronzini fish were brought to the table by the waiter, who decrusted, deboned, and filleted them right before us. The fish had been seasoned with olive oil, lemon zest, and capers. They were served with a fresh argula salad.

Honestly, the entire meal was a delight. Every dish was beautifully presented and even more important was that each of the flavor combinations had been thoughtfully planned to best allow diners the experience of all of the delicious and distinct flavors. The puff pastry appetizer was in a league of its own. While the pumpkin filled ravioli was a truly brilliant melding of sweet, savory, crunchy, and just a bit of kick from freshly ground black pepper. D’Acqua’s fish prepared with the encrustment was fresh, light, distinctly flavorful. It was truly a memorable meal that served as an uplifting end to another brutal week in the life of 1Ls. Each of my co-diners had many compliments for D’Acqua and I wanted to give them a chance to express their feelings on The DC Dish.

The meal was delicious from start to finish. You can tell they focus on having the freshest ingredients because everything they fixed was simple and the flavors spoke for themselves. The wait staff was superb.”

“While everything we ate was delicious and the service was literally the best I’ve ever had, the pumpkin ravioli with mascarpone and the salt-encrusted fish had one most impressive thing in common: they essentially melted in your mouth.”

“The meal was delicious. It was extremely filling yet felt light.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. 8thStreetEater permalink
    April 30, 2009 5:05 pm

    I went to D’Acqua last week and I have to say Pete is right on…the ingredients are what makes the restaurant, so fresh! Also, the service was top notch. Well written review, definitely hits the main points that makes this place special!

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