In September, Chef Luigi Diotaiuti, proprietor of Al Tiramisu, opened a new restaurant Aperto in Foggy Bottom (2013 I Street NW), to serve lunch and dinner.
Last week, the Chef invited some folks to the ornate, intimate setting for a grand opening party, where we could tour the space and nibble on some hors d’oeuvres. Aperto proved to be a wonderful date spot with outstanding food and remarkably attentive service.
From the moment you walk in the door, you feel like you’ve entered a wonderful hideaway where you can enjoy hidden pleasures all your own. You stroll into the main bar, which has doors that open onto a cozy patio. Although you can see I Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in front of you, you feel as if you are watching them from a personal Italian alcove somehow separate from the scene.
In the back, the beautiful dining room beckons for seated service. Diners can enjoy great food at Aperto, including an extensive selection of cured meats (including house-made lamb and duck prosciuttos and pancetta) and cheeses, appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta and classic Italian entrees with a contemporary twist. Indeed, Luigi dubs Aperto a “contemporary Italian” restaurant. Luigi personally greeted guests with gusto, and you could see how he beamed with pride in satisfaction of his fabulous new restaurant.
The Chef is particularly proud of his house-made pastas, such as Squid Ink Fettuccine, Laganelle, and Olive Tagliarini. The restaurant recommends the Tagliata, a Tuscan-style ribeye with green peppercorns, arugula, rosemary, and olive oil, and the Basilicata-style Wild Greens and Fava Purée appetizer. The house also offers an extensive Italian wine list, and I personally can vouch for the lovely Poggio Verde Frascati, a very floral and quite quaffable white wine.
Luigi opened Aperto in the location formerly occupied by Primi Piatti, and it pleased him to return to the space.
“I am thrilled that Aperto is now open in the former location of Primi Piatti, where I was head chef prior to opening Al Tiramisu,” Chef Luigi said. “It has been such a dream of mine to continue to share my Basilicata-influenced Italian cooking with Washington in another location.”
17/27 Studio designed the space for Luigi, and they knocked it out of the park when you consider Aperto means “open.” The space has the comfy atmosphere of an authentic Italian home kitchen, while providing an “open air” feel to an otherwise intimate setting.
Here are a few pictures of the space from the grand opening party on Oct. 17, 2016, to give you some reference! Parklife DC visited Aperto at the invitation of the owners. If you would like to invite us to check out your restaurant or bar, email us at parklifedc AT gmail.com.