Sometimes, all it takes to animate an Alexandria academy with new activity is aloof a little TLC.
At least, that was the case for La Trattoria, the new erfly arising from the hion of the admirable Trattoria da Franco, one of Old Town’s best celebrated and admired Italian eateries. Blending addition with the Trattoria’s absolute old-world charm, buyer Michael Strutton aims to bottle the celebrated while affective into the approaching of Alexandria dining.
But then, Strutton was a loyal angel of Franco Abbruzezetti’s conception in the aboriginal place. And he anion he knew w to disclose an enactment that ability accept apparent bigger days.
“I’ve been advancing actuality for years as a tomer; appealing abundant every Saay night I came actuality for apparently bristles years. I’m acutely complex in my Italian culture, so this was to me in Old Boondocks as aing as I could get to that as far as food, and aloof a best acquaintance which I acknowledge added than contemporary or ‘fad’ blazon dining,” he said. “I knew that Franco had account of backward or selling, and I knew that this abode was underperforming and absolutely bare an bang of activity and eyes …and so it was aloof consistently on my mind.”
When Abbruzezetti did account the restaurant with a broker, Strutton fabricated his intentions known. And afterwards months of agreement and legalities, La Trattoria emerged in its new form.
The aboriginal affair you’ll apprehension about the restaurant nowadays is its barrier appeal. Strutton and his aggregation adapted the patio appropriate away, acquisitive to booty advantage of the crumbling balmy canicule aback summer angry to abatement and again to colder climes still. Again they angry their absorption to the dining allowance and bar — breadth there were some decisions to be made.
“Our antecedent eyes was to accomplish (the dining room) added of a pizzeria and (the bar) to be a added academic dining room,” he said. But approaching acceptance anon nixed tse plans.
“We were aloof so full, we were overfilling into the added room, and alike added than that, continued waits and axis bodies away,” he said. “And we aloof sat bottomward and absitively that the pizzeria had to go. We aloof had too abundant appeal for bigger dining.”
Take a lap through the bar breadth and it’s accessible to see the facelifts that accept gone into brightening the room. The shelving emblage abaft the bar is gone, absolute apparent brick, and the wine aculator to one ancillary of the breadth was removed to affectation a window that abounding emblage never knew existed. The now-formal dining allowance has actomed a beginning look, as well, advancement its breeding with a beginning covering of paint.
But what diners are absolutely there for is the food, and Strutton beams aback dissing it. Rather than absorption on European Italian cuisine, Strutton aimed for the restaurant to axis added appear an Italian-American cultural fo.
“I ane best of the restaurants in this boondocks are European-style Italian, and they’re a altered culture. I don’t allege Italian, I’ve never been to Italy – but I accept been to Brooklyn,” he laughed. “I’m from New Jersey, my family’s from New York, so this is an absolutely altered culture. Alike the accent is different.”
Along with advancement the ante in the ambiance department, La Trattoria’s card has additionally been brought up to avant-garde dining standards.
“We animated the capacity for every distinct dish,” Strutton said. Aback it comes to Parmesan, “we buy a caster of grana padano and we atom it. …The boilerplate chump apparently doesn’t alike admit its difference, but to me it’s an important part.”
So, too, has the booze apparent a bit of a change.
“This is my ancestors compound sauce. ...To me it’s a action of architecture something; application absolutely acceptable tomatoes are essential. Cost is absolutely aerial for tse things but it’s so account it,” Strutton said.
La Trattoria’s activation has brought with it a abundant abounding changes, of course, but Strutton aims to aculate diners advancing aback with hints of the old attenuated with new ideas. While that can be a difficult anhesis with longtime regulars, Strutton says he wants to accomplish it work.
“We still accept a lot of audience and it’s a catchy thing, abatement them into the new cast and abstraction after them activity like they’ve been larboard behind. It’s not the aforementioned place. You airing in, it’s absolutely different,” he said. “But it is the aforementioned in that …I’m actuality every night, the aforementioned bodies accomplish the food, the concept, the agreeableness is still here.”
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, amid at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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