Date night @ Al Crostino

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Al Crostino
1324 U Street NW  
Bus- 90, 96
Cost (with tip)- $84

Maybe for a weeknight a reservation isn't needed. But I made one anyway by calling around dinner time, being reminded why I like Opentable. The night we walked in there were a few diners at the bar, a family at a table, a few people sitting further back and us. I could see an upstairs but that wasn't being used for a slow night.

Lately, I'd been worried that I'd been getting spoiled by fine dining, only being wowed by a couple of restaurants. The joy I used to have was going somewhere, encountering a dish that I just had to have again and again, either with a return visit or an attempt to make it at home. Our meal took me back to those old joys of dining out and eating. I ordered grilled squid salad. I noticed the dressing was flavorful without being too acidic, which is a problem (according to some people) with my own salad dressing making. So I took away a lesson. The second joy of the night was the Spaghetti alla Carbonara. It's just pasta. $18 a plate pasta, but dang that was some good pasta and worth the money. It was a perfect kind of al dente. The Help had some ravioli, it was good, but I was falling in love with my plate. I tried to recreate it at home, I failed.

We've been back since and will return, until I figure out how to make perfect pasta. The $84 covered two antipasti, two pasta dishes, one glass of wine, taxes, and the tip.

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