Saturday, February 21, 2015

Osteria Marzano

Osteria Marzano brings a unique dining philosophy to the greater Alexandria/Springfield area of Northern Virginia. Experienced restaurateur-owner Chef Carmine Marzano and his daughter Elena Pouchelon, who brought us Famous Luigi's, now offer a distinctive Assaggini Italian tapas-style bar menu and modern take on authentic Italian fare with this new restaurant.  Luigi's was one of our favorite restaurants in DC, so Keith and I joined my parents at Osteria Marzano for dinner to celebrate Keith's birthday.

Located in an office complex area, the restaurant itself was a bit smaller than expected.  The main focus is the large bar area in the center, with smaller tables around the perimeter.  Our server was friendly, and gave us time to review the menu.  She also recited several appealing specials, which made it difficult for us to narrow down.


For starters, we shared the Insalata Mista - a salad of mixed greens, chickpeas, cucumber, carrots, kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette.  The salad was a nice large portion, however a bit too overdressed.


The Calamari was served crispy with marinara sauce and fresh lemon.  Our server explained that they make their own flour coating in-house.  It did help the fried dish not seem so heavy.


My dad and Keith enjoyed the Polpettetwo large meatballs, served with spicy Marzano tomato sauce, and a scoop of ricotta.  The meatballs were huge and dense.  The sauce was bright and fresh, with a nice tomato zing.  The ricotta in the middle looked like a scoop of ice cream, but provided a creamy contrast to the meat.


For his main entree, Keith ordered the Costoletta Di Vitello.  A gigantic, lightly fried, Milanese breaded veal chop was topped with fresh diced tomatoes, arugula, and mozzarella cheese.  My mom exclaimed: "Wow! Fit for a king!"  Keith also ordered a side of spaghetti to accompany the large chop.  The veal tasted good, but was too much to finish in one sitting, so he had leftovers to take home.  Keeping with the veal theme, my mom ordered the classic Veal Parmigiana which came with a side of spaghetti and mixed steamed vegetables.  Her meat was pounded thin and tender.  She also had plenty leftover to take home.



I chose one of the pasta specials - Crab Ravioli.  Large raviolis were stuffed with plenty of crab meat and then tossed in a fresh spicy tomato sauce.  The crab was prevalent and fresh.  I enjoyed my dish.  My dad ordered another pasta dish - Agnolotti di Magro.  Homemade agnolotti filled with spinach and ricotta in a walnut cream sauce.  The cream sauce as very nutty and thick, and somewhat overpowering. He did not like it as much as the other dishes that had tomato sauce.


Though we were all pretty full, we felt obligated to order dessert since it was Keith's birthday.  My parents chose Tiramisu.  Coffee and liquor-soaked-layers of lady finger cookies, were layered in a glass alternating with mascarpone cheese and chocolate, then topped with berries.  This dessert was super sweet and the coffee was strong.


Keith chose the Cannoli alla Siciliana filled with homemade ricotta cream, chocolate chips and pistachios.  These cannolis were very traditional in both presentation and flavor.

Overall, we had a decent dinner at Osteria Marzano.  I appreciate the modern redo of Italian fare, but think I will always still prefer the original offerings from Famous Luigi's.

Total Rating: 3.63
Food: 3.5, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 3

What I ate:
Insalata Mista
mixed greens, chickpeas, cucumber, carrots, kalamata olives,
grape tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette

Calamari
served crispy with marinara sauce and fresh lemon

Crab Ravioli

Tiramisu
coffee and liquor-soaked-layers of lady finger cookies,
alternating with mascarpone cheese and chocolate

Plus Others ate:
Polpette
two large meatballs, spicy Marzano tomato sauce, and a scoop of ricotta

Agnolotti di Magro
homemade agnolotti filled with spinach and ricotta in a walnut cream sauce

Veal Parmigiana
with a side of pasta and vegetable of the day

Costoletta Di Vitello
Milanese breaded veal chop, lightly fried, and topped with fresh diced tomatoes,
arugula, and mozzarella cheese

Cannoli alla Siciliana
filled with homemade ricotta cream, chocolate chips and pistachio

Osteria Marzano on Urbanspoon

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