When Pangaea—the earth's greatest rock supergroup—broke up, many fans blamed it on the high-heeled wiles of Europe's inseparable girlfriend, Italia. Discover a sweeter side to the globe's Yoko with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian cuisine at Il Canale in Georgetown.
Il Canale offers a truly memorable dining experience with indoor views of exposed brick walls and fabulous contemporary photographs, as well as outdoor glimpses of the C&O Canal from the rooftop terrazza. The menu is brimming with authentic Italian delights and a secret code containing the marinara recipes of grandmas across the globe. The gourmet Neapolitan thin-crust pizza is made exclusively with ingredients imported from Italy, and it is wood-fired in the open kitchen. Like electrical current, pizzas come in two varieties (rosse and bianche) and are capable of bringing Frankensteins to life. The Sofia bianche pizza, with its melted bufala mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil, warms the soul from the cockles of the taste buds to the shackles of the bootstraps ($13). Noodle into the main course with a pasta entree such as maccheroncini al salmone affumicato, fresh smoked salmon on a bed of macaroni in a roasted brandy and cherry shallot tomato sauce ($18), or hang a fang on a meatier selection such as salmone alla Siciliana (roasted filet of salmon, $22).
Complement the meal with a selection from Il Canale’s collection of fine wines, such as a 2009 Pravis pinot grigio ($14 for a third, $40 for a bottle). A glass of grappa ($8–$15) or limoncello ($5–$8) provides a palate-cleaning dinner treat for good grown-up boys and girls. To not neglect sweet teeth, induce a belly-satisfying sugar rush with an authentic dessert such as the Sicilian cannoli ($8) or the tiramisu alla bufala, with bufala ricotta and mascarpone cream ($9).
Reservations recommended. Il Canale is also open for lunch, but offerings change daily. Call ahead for the special of the day.
Gayot, The Georgetown Dish, and Tiny Urban Kitchen reviewed Il Canale. Yelpers give the restaurant an average of 3.5 stars, and 91% of 13 Urbanspooners recommend it. OpenTable reviewers give it an average of four stars:
- Although the menu offers a selection of antipasti, soups, salads, pastas, and the typical hearty meat and seafood entrées, the main draw are the restaurant’s wood-fired, oven-baked pizzas. In fact, the stone oven and the pizza master are right up front, enticing patrons to sit down to wine, pizza, and bread dunked in olive oil. Faced with multiple pie choices, patrons must select either a white or a red Neapolitan pizza; while many are classic combos, the white Georgetown pie with imported mozzarella, rapini, sausage and basil is a winner. – Gayot
- Yes, it's pizza. Honestly, the best we've ever tasted. The new Italian restaurant of Sicilian-born restaurateur Giuseppe “Joe” Farruggio has a lot more to offer than thin-crust pizza, but to miss it would be to miss a wonder of Georgetown, if not the western world. – Judith Beermann, The Georgetown Dish