Tortino Pasta.jpgMy final night in Washington DC, I took a gamble and went to Founding Farmers, hoping that being by myself I could get a seat. Unfortunately the gamble didn’t pay off. They were booked out and there was also a line out the door. Never mind, I had a back up.

On my walks around the neighborhood near my hotel I had spotted a small, Italian trattoria that intrigued me. Tucked into the basement of a brownstone, in amongst residences, Tortino just looked like the perfect neighborhood restaurant. Inviting, small and fingers crossed, delicious!

I took a seat at the bar to eat and also because it was still happy hour, I ordered myself a bellini (prosecco with peach puree). The bellini was delicious and I had to make sure I didn’t drink in a few seconds.

I chatted with the bartender about football (NFL… GO BEARS!) for a while and then asked him to recommend a pasta dish Bellini.jpgfor me. After making sure I liked seafood he suggested the pasta special. Handmade spaghetti with cherry tomatoes, mussels, and broccoli in a garlic butter sauce! I went with his recommendation!

While waiting for my food to arrive I sipped on a second bellini – I couldn’t help it, they were just too delicious!

My pasta arrived! A large bowl filled with spaghetti and a surprisingly huge amount of mussels. The pasta was good, al dente, just how I like it and how it should be. The mussels were perfectly cooked and smothered in the garlic butter sauce. The crusty bread was great dipped in the sauce. And even though I am not a big broccoli fan, I ate every bite.

This was a lovely, intimate little restaurant – it would be perfect for a date night. The food was good Italian comfort food and they had lovely, friendly staff who chatted to me and kept me company at the bar. Oh, and the bellinis were yummy.

I was happy with my random choice, even though it wasn’t Founding Farmers. I will go back to this restaurant next time I am in DC and will also hopefully make it into Founding Farmers too!

  1. Nice! Founding Farmers is amazing, but you have to make a reservation… I’d love to try this one, since I’m always on the lookout for new places to go in DC 🙂

    • I tried to make a reservation when it was recommended to me but that was only a week in advance and I had no chance. I was hoping the walk in would work. I will plan ahead a little better next time.

    • saramcscott says:

      I totally agree with Dailyinakitchen. Founding Farmers is amazing with top mixologists and dedication to using local ingredients. I’m a DC native and the restaurant scene keeps getting better. The pasta and mussels look like a great catch, too!

  2. I love random finds! They’re normally the hidden gems.

  3. Justice Sisters says:

    The food looks delish and the atmosphere is what you want in a small family style setting. Oh, and I’m glad you liked the Bellini, I wasn’t too sure about that. LOL. Thanks for sharing

  4. KerryCan says:

    Sounds great! I like these random finds even better than the famous places–it makes me feel like an insider!

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