Before discovering marinara, chefs topped pasta with less fitting cuisine coverings such as chocolate syrup or teapot lids. Discerningly cap off your culinary base with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of authentic Italian cuisine at Ristorante Piccolo.
The culinary artisans at Ristorante Piccolo toss handmade pasta and broil authentic Italian entrees in an intimately elegant setting. Ristorante Piccolo populates its dinner menu with robustly seasoned, fresh pastas such as agnolotti ai porcini—sage-kissed forkfuls of hand-rolled ravioli bursting with porcini mushrooms ($15/lunch, $19/dinner)—that patrons can pair up with a Peroni Italian beer ($8) or a glass of Blackstone chardonnay ($8). Chefs patiently prepare nodino di vitello alla Piccolo, marinating 14-ounce veal chops for 48 hours to capture flavor without rigging elaborate spice snares and to prove that even Roman cuisine wasn't built in a day ($29/dinner). In addition to several smaller entrees, Ristorante Piccolo's lunch menu also serves up crisp paninis ($10–$12) and antipasti ($5–$9).
Weekend violinists serenade evening guests in the restaurant's restored historic interior and on wrought-iron balconies, which afford diners a bird's eye view of pictorial Georgetown and the C&O canal's famed goose-powered gondolas. Ornate, textile-sheathed walls framed in finely carved wood glow under the radiance of romantic lighting, and elegance greets guests at every turn.
Under the watchful eye of Chef Arnaldo Rubio, who has been a part of Piccolo's family since its inception in 1986, Piccolo offers seasonal rustic Italian fare, with hand-rolled pastas, meats, fish and seafood dishes, along with daily specials and desserts. Menu highlights "Taste of Georgetown"-winning dishes like the hand-rolled porcini-stuffed agnolotti in a sage and butter sauce and the nodino di vitello all' piccolo, a 14oz. veal chop marinated for 48 hours and pan-seared to order, served on a bed of saffron risotto with seasonal vegetables.