Keith and I took advantage of our day off to have a little lunch date followed by a brief visit to a museum. All-Purpose recently appeared in The Washington Post's 2016 Fall Dining Guide as No. 1 on Tom Sietsema's Top 10, so we thought why not check it out for ourselves. It seemed we did not have an original idea as it was packed in the dining room during this lunch hour. We anticipated a slower service due to the crowd, so we thoughtfully chose a few appetizers to share along with one pie.
A surprising highlight that I enjoyed very much was the Sicilian Tuna Mousse topped with a fragrant and herbal salsa verde with baby celery, served with toast. The mousse was super smooth and had a great briny balance.
The Calamari Fritto came with fried lemon, dill, and a Calabrian chili aioli that gave just the right amount of spice. The calamari was fresh and tender; not chewy at all.
One item that called to us was the Eggplant Parm, simply described as "Jersey-style" on the menu. Layers of thinly sliced eggplant were baked with a sweet tomato sauce and lots of gooey mozzarella. It was delicious and hit the spot.
Overall, we enjoyed our lunch at All-Purpose. The Italian food had a nice balance of classic ingredients with a hint of elevated flare. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, reminiscent of old school pizzerias with a mix of wooden accents, old ceramic tiles, and raw walls. Reservations are strongly advised, as the dining room quickly fills up.
Total Rating: 4.23
Food: 4.5, Price: 3.5, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5