Generally speaking I don’t leave eating up to chance when we’re on the road. It’s too important to everyone in my family and nothing guarantees bad behavior more readily than walking around trying to find a restaurant with two hungry children. But on our trip to Washington, DC in the spring I left our first evening open, suggesting only that we catch a cab over to Georgetown. At the very least (I figured) there are some chain restaurants on the main drag that I know the kids would like. Happily, we ended up at Ristorante Piccolo instead.
Ristorante Piccolo is an old-school Italian restaurant with waiters in black pants and white shirts, plenty of Chianti on the wine list, and anise mints in a dish by the hostess station. Matt and I ate there previously on a cold January evening. I was pregnant with Teddy and we were spending a few days away while family watched toddler Tommy. There was only one of other table of customers and I remember how cozy the dining room felt and how ready to dive into a huge bowl of pasta I was. It was dim and romantic and certainly not the kind of place I’d think of bringing children to.
But when the four of us climbed out of the cab, wandered around the corner from M Street onto 31st, and saw the charming façade, something just seemed right. Before we knew it, we were tucked in an upstairs corner by the window, menus in hand.
Teddy can be tricky to feed in an Italian restaurant, since he’s not a huge fan of pasta. But when I saw the gnocchi tossed with pesto tomato sauce and parmesan cheese, I guessed we had a winner (we ordered a small portion, just to be on the safe side). Teddy was dubious when it arrived…
The food was delicious, but it wasn’t the best part of the evening. That came as we were finishing up, with the arrival of our own personal musician (well, I suppose he was there to play for other people too, but he spent a long time at our table taking requests from the boys).
The concert included everything from “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” to “Turkey in the Straw” to “As Time Goes By” which he played for me and Matt and the notes of which floated down the stairs after us as we made our happy way out the door and back to the Omni Shoreham. Who new that an evening without reservations or much of a plan could turn out so magical?
Looking for more delicious posts? Check out Wanderfood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick.