I ate a lot of good food over the past week. There was the banh mi at Bonmi and the tasty nibbles at Proof (including the amazing sticky toffee pudding cake) where I was volunteering during Jose Andres’ Dine-N-Dash fundraising event. I tried the Jersey Shore pizza with fried calamari at Graffiato for the first time and discovered Chef Sébastien Rondier’s new mediterranean inspired menu at Decanter. And of course all the July 4th weekend indulgences… Somewhere in there, I managed to make my way to newly opened Osteria Marzano at Metro Park VI building at 6361 Walker Lane in Alexandria. I must say, I’m glad I did! While I don’t seek out Italian food (or trips to Virginia), I definitely enjoy it when it’s good. And it was definitely good at OM! The 6,000 square feet, modern restaurant is owned by chef Carmine Marzano and his daughter Elena Pouchelon. I am a big fan of the wood oven pizzas at Famous Luigi on 19th street, which is also owned by the Marzano family, and Osteria Marzano’s features a number of great pizzas as well as antipasti, homemade pastas and traditional Italian main courses like ossobuco and veal scalloppine. In a “French-Girl-Gone-Wild” kinda moment, I ate my way through the tagliere di formaggi, a sample of different Italian cheeses. Le gasp right? They were actually really good, especially the fontina (I have a soft spot, literally, for soft cheese…) The juniper flavoured ham and wine cured dry salami were perfect pairings to the cheeses as we moved on to main courses.
As far as pastas are concerned, the mezzalune di zucca, with a surprising sweet crunch added by the amaretto cookies was definitely my favourite though there are plenty I’d love to go back and try! Of course the dish I was the most eager to try was the Nutella pizza. That dish alone warrants a trip to VA! The crust is the same that is used for the savoury pizza but topped with a thin layer of hot chocolate-hazelnut sauce, whole pistachios and melted mini-marshmallows.
Apparently Nutella pizza is pretty common on pizzerias’ menu, though I had never seen one. I don’t know why all Italian restaurants don’t offer it. It’s a simple dish and who doesn’t love Nutella? Oh well, more reason to go check out Osteria Marzano I guess 😉
ps: Osteria Marzano is open Monday-Saturday. Monday through Friday they have a pretty amazing $10 lunch combo for those of you who may work in the area…