As a 12-year-old restaurant apprentice, central Italy native Domenico Cornacchia crafted his first pastas and authentic Italian specialties by hand. Since then, he has honed his culinary skills in Swiss, French, and American kitchens, finally opening Assaggi Mozzarella Bar in 2008. There, chef Cornacchia and his chef de cuisine, Michele Lisi, pair mozzarellas from Italy, California, and Virginia with toppings such as homemade green-tomato marmalade and grilled zucchini. Cornacchia—who is “a whiz with pasta,” according to the Washingtonian—also tosses and fills homemade noodles with produce sourced from Amish farms, seafood, veal, and beef. Homemade desserts such as ice creams and sorbets complement authentic Italian meals, which, like Julia Child's short-lived attempt to serve food by slingshot, unfold in a dining room with an open kitchen.