Cafe Milano Washington Reviews
The Best Italian Experience in or around Washington, D.C. Jan 02, 2013
A visit to Washington, D.C. would not be complete without a visit to the upscale Georgetown neighborhood. A visit to Georgetown would not be complete without a visit to Cafe Milano. Nestled off the main drag on Prospect Street (Behind the Banana Republic, next to Peacock Cafe), Cafe Milano is THE place to be seen in DC.
Ambassadors, politicians, celebrites- all have made Milano their go-to spot for Italian in DC; and for good reason! An Italian restaurant is only as good as its atmosphere. If the food is great but the restaurant has no vibe- the meal is forgotten. In short, a good Italian restaurant offers you a great experience, not just great food. Cafe Milano on Prospect street has refined this to an art and consistently delivers memorable experiences for its patrons.
The experience begins as you're greeted by Laurent and his expert hosting staff. A quick look to your left and right before you're seated gives you a head's up on Ermenegildo Zegna's latest offerings displayed in the eatery's foyer. If you're here for lunch, the dining area is full but not packed. If you're here for dinner, you're led through the bustling dining area and quickly seated. Seating is tight, but part of the excitement of a city Italian restaurant is overhearing other coversations and putting in your two cents (being Sicilian, I can tell you this is true!).
Your experience is continued as your server greets you with water (gas or no gas) and tells you about tonight's recommendations. I've been here many times, and guarantee that with Jose or Nabil M as your waiter you'll have the very best experience possible! It's to the point now that I don't look at the menu, and simply ask them to order whatever it is they think we'd like. I've yet to be disappointed. The wait staff as a whole are professional, knowlegeable, and attentive and could serve as a benchmark for what wait staff should be.
While waiting for your food, take the time to look around and above you. On the ceiling you'll see DC related frescoes that really identify Milano as a DC landmark. The artwork around you is current and not boring. But really pay attention to the faces around you... this is a hot spot for the famous and the infamous. The windows and doors in the front room fold away and allow for all in the restaurant to enjoy a beautiful evening and the sounds of the city.
Once your food arrives, note how fresh and aromatic everything is. Cafe Milano is known for its veal and you can't go wrong with the Veal Milanese, however, I can't recommend enough that you try their fish. Both the John Dory and the Spigola are worth coming back for time and time again. The Butternut Squash Ravioli and Calamari make for excellent appetizers as well. Paired with your meal is an extensive list of wines (by the glass and bottle). You'll note some are prefaced by a NW. This stands for Nuschese Winery (the owner's winery) and represents a significant portion of the available selections of Reds. I emplore you to try them as they are truly fantastic.
No meal experience is complete without the obligatory dessert. Of course they have Tiramisu (which is fantastic), but the real winner here is the pumpkin poundcake with dolce de lece ice cream drizzled with honey. I can also attest to Nabil's concoction of lemon sorbet with chocolate ice cream. Finish this all up with an espresso or a shot of Campari and your check is brought to you.
As you're leaving Milano, take in the sights and sounds of the city and take a walk down by the waterfront. This is the perfect way to finish off a great experience!
I have been here no fewer than 10 times, most recently for their 2013 New Year's Event. The James Bond themed event was executed flawlessly! I constantly look for reasons to come here... I hope you have the same great experiences I have!
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