It is 2016, and we have just celebrated 27 years at the helm of the DC restaurant scene! My 18 years in the Tuscan countryside fueled the passion, authenticity and the magic for i Ricchi that has earned us accolades and awards such as the Hottest Restaurant in Washington and One of the Best Italian Restaurants in the World. In an age of constant change and innovation, we deliver what people expect of an Italian dining experience: comforting, authentic, quality food. With a wine list that is 100% from Italian wineries, a wood-burning hearth that produces the signature taste of the Tuscan grill, and our updated twists on classic recipes, you will leave with an appreciation for the rustic country food of Italy. From the food, to the frescos on the walls, the original terracotta floors and antique olive oil urns, we want to transport you to Tuscany even if just for a little while.
If you prefer the Asian appeal, we have a special night for you at our Italian Sake Dinner Tuesday, August 30 at 7 pm when you can experience the coming together of the cultures of Italy and Japan. You may not be aware that sake was first introduced in Italy in 2001 at the Bra and Slow Food Cheese Festival by Makiko Tejima when her idea to pair sake and cheese was crowd pleasing. In July 2015, a Milano Sake Week took place in relation to the Expo Milano. The focus of Sake week was to show how Japanese sake can adapt to different cultures’ foods. Italians are embracing sake, and you now can find it being offered in many restaurants there. For more about sake in Italy, click here. Be sure to buy your tickets now to give us your opinion of how well sake pairs with Italian!
Giorgio Colutta is visiting the states for a short time, and we are excited he will be with us this Wednesday, August 10 at 7 pm for our Under the Friulian Stars Wine Dinner. Along with his distinctive Colutta wines, we will be serving a special Friulian menu. The meal will begin with San Daniele Proscuitto which is produced only in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region alongside a very typical Friulian dish of “Frico” – Montasio cheese crisps (pictured). Our second course of Tagliolini Alla Trota Affumicata (hand-cut fresh egg pasta and smoked trout) incorporates poppy seeds which isn’t a standard Italian seasoning. The Friuli area flavors are influenced by its proximity to Austria and Eastern Europe. You may also see the use of dill, ginger, saffron and wild herbs and grasses in this style of cooking.
We’ve all had Italian, but this is your chance to try Friulian Italian which offers a unique palate of flavors for your tongue to savor. Get your tickets now before they sell out, and escape to Friuli, Italy with us.
If you plan to travel to Italy between late July and early September, be sure to check ahead of time to see if the places you desire to visit are open. Ferragasto (Assumption Day) is celebrated August 15 through September 1. Some businesses take off the last half of August, but some choose to close as early as late July and not reopen until early September! Many of us cannot get away for that long, so i Ricchi is offering fun getaways in August for you to escape from your routine and try being Italian for a bit.
We kick off the month with an informative Books Worth Reading with Dr. Ludy Green, Tuesday, August 9 from 5:30-7 pm that will address overcoming domestic violence and human trafficking through economic empowerment.
The following evening, Wednesday, August 10, provides an opportunity for you to savor the wines of Giorgio Colutta on our Piazza at our Under the Friulian Stars Wine Dinner.
We are participating in Restaurant Week once again, Monday-Saturday, August 15-20, and we close out the month with two unique events you should put on your calendar now: Stems + Spritz, Tuesday, August 23 and an Italian Sake Dinner, Tuesday, August 30.
There is also a plan for another Pop-Up Piazza Happy Hour from 5-7 pm–so be watching your email, Facebook and Twitter on those beautiful sunny days.
For more information on all of these events, click here.
The anticipation is mounting for our Tuscan Coastal Wine Dinner this Wednesday, July 20 at 7 pm. I am serving some of my favorite dishes alongside unique Banfi wines, and we get to eat outdoors on our Piazza under the starry sky! We are looking so forward to serving you a special dessert Zuppa Inglese (Tuscan trifle) paired with Rosa Regale. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, buy them now!
When I was living in Cercina and cooking at Trattoria i Ricchi, every Saturday afternoon I would start the process of assembling our version of Zuppa Inglese. It was the first authentic Tuscan dessert I learned to make. Under the patient tutelage of our signore, Maria and Bianca, I learned the secrets to creating this rustic Italian version of the English trifle. This was the mainstay of our dessert list before the famous tira-mi-su became so popular.
Shortly after I mastered this dessert and a few other crostata recipes, I started adding some traditional American desserts to the list. It wasn’t long before we became known for the likes of pineapple upside down cake, baked rice pudding, orange glazed angel food cake, brownies and jelly rolls. At the time, it might have seemed a little odd to see Florentines driving out to a countryside trattoria to feast on Tuscan grilled specialties and desserts by “L’Americana.”