1220 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 | (202) 835-0459

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Feast of the Seven Fishes

Two American Women in an Italian Kitchen – Antinori Wine Dinner

It’s always a blessing to find someone with whom you share your greatest passion. To those of you who know me, it goes without saying, that passion revolves around the traditions of the Tuscan kitchen. Ever since I heard of Kim Wiss, Estate Chef of Antinori’s stunning vineyards in Napa Valley – ANTICA, I have been intrigued by her story. Southern girl, brought up in New Orleans, moves to Napa and then to Italy to work at renowned Florentine trattoria – Buca Lapi, Antinori’s wine bar – La Cantinetta, and then is personally tutored by Marchese Antinori himself. This women had my dream job!

So I had to meet Kim and invite her to cook with me here at i Ricchi. Italy, much like other countries around the world, is in danger of losing some of its most treasured culinary traditions, as people’s lives change and become more hectic. Enter two American women who fell in love with those traditions and who are devoting their careers to maintaining them.

Marchese Piero Antinori and his three daughters, Albiera, Alessia and Allegra (there are not only women in the kitchen, but also women in the vineyards!) bought the famous Atlas Peak property in Napa Valley in the mid 1980s and transformed it into ANTICA – a name derived from combining ANTInori and CAlifornia, blending Antinori’s traditions with Napa’s terroir.

Join Chef Kim and I as we prepare some of Marchese Antinori’s favorite dishes paired with his exquisite wines from their Italian and US properties. “Due Americane in Cucina” – Two American Women in an Italian Kitchen, Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 at 7 pm. Five courses – Five wines $120 (tax & tip exclude). Everyone will leave with a gift bottle of Antica Napa’s exquisite extra virgin olive oil!

TICKETS: Eventbrite –https://antinori2019.eventbrite.com or CALL: 202.835.0459 (Remember – ALWAYS FREE VALET PARKING)

Restaurant Week August 12-17, 2019

It was the Fall of 2001, when I received a call from Alan Stillman, owner at the time of the newly opened Smith & Wollensky’s here on 19th St. It was a national catastrophe. What happened on September 11th had shaken us all to the core. No one felt safe enough to leave their home. There were public appeals (even from the White House) for people to go back out, travel, and conduct their lives as before. DC restaurants were suffering a 60% or more decline in sales. Alan said they had been organizing Restaurant Weeks in NY for years and offered to send his marketing team to help us do the same here in Washington. I reached out to a group of fellow restaurateurs and together we organized the first DC Restaurant Week in January 2002. Soon after, our local Restaurant Association took it over and has continued what we started, now twice a year, in August and January, when restaurants are in need of additional POSITIVE exposure.

I tell this story to first and foremost explain how much we (ownership AND staff) look forward to and are grateful for Restaurant Week especially now during the summer when Congress is not in session and business slows considerably. But, most importantly, to explain how we look forward to this week as a golden opportunity to open our doors to those who (for whatever reason) have not tried our restaurant. As most everyone will agree, there are a great number of restaurants and customers have countless options, including to stay home and “order in”.

i Ricchi is a small independent restaurant serving the community for over thirty years. In our American culture of always wanting to experience “the best new thing” a restaurant like ours is at a disadvantage. I speak to many young people who say they don’t dine with us because they think it is too expensive. In addition to all our special offers; Groupon, 50% Women’s Club Tuesdays, etc., we look forward to Restaurant Week to welcome everyone and view this as targeted marketing to those who are interested in what we do.

Restaurant Week offers are a great deal. The promotional prices of $22 lunches and $35 dinners have remained the same for many years notwithstanding increases in the cost of doing business in DC. For those of us who must stay in the city for work during the summer, Restaurant Week offers a great opportunity for a fantastic staycation.

To make things even more fun, this year we are offering an added perk for all those who order our special Restaurant Week menu. We are pleased to start serving Illy’s cold brew nitro infused coffee. Believe me, you have never tasted coffee like this. It is a richer tasting and effervescent experience. When coffee gets hot, it tends to get bitter. By steeping the coffee in COLD water for an extended time (+/- 12 hrs) you create a “sweeter”, smoother product. With the totally fun addition of natural nitrogen, it changes the mouth feel or texture, highlighting flavors and creating a thick, cold “crema”

PALIO DI SIENA – Annual Community Dinner Party

Siena, Italy is the scene of one of the most anticipated horse races of the year! The “Palio di Siena” is the world’s most exciting horse race, celebrated twice a year in the Piazza del Campo (Siena’s historic square), on July 2nd and August 16th, in honor of the Virgin Mary, Patron Protector of the City. It has been held almost uninterruptedly since the days of the medieval Republic of Siena. It is the centuries old horse race between the various districts (contrade) of the city of Siena in which ten horses, each representing a particular district, are ridden bareback by a jockey who races at breakneck speeds around the city’s sand covered main square, surrounded by ancient buildings and cheered on by a passionate crowd of thousands of locals and tourists. The horses are selected and allocated by lot just three days before the race. The responsibility for choosing and paying the jockey lies within each Contrada.

The Palio is more than a simple horse race. It is the culmination of ongoing rivalry and competition between the districts (contrade), whereas, the race itself only lasts for a little more than a minute. The ceremony surrounding the event includes such elements as the blessing of the horses, with each horse being led into a church to be blessed by a priest on the afternoon of the race. Young drummers prepare and practice their rhythms and flag bearers rehearse all around the city. Additionally, each district gathers its citizens for a feast on the night before the event, stoking the excitement of the residents and promoting community spirit. The entire year evolves around these races.

For the past four years, we have paid tribute to this colorful tradition by recreating a festive communal dinner on our Piazza outside. After the unbearable high temperatures of the last few weeks, we have decided to move our party inside this year where it certainly promises to be more comfortable!

Please join us for a festive evening of camaraderie, merriment and fine Tuscan specialties unique to the Palio di Siena – Friday, August 16th @ 6:30 PM – cocktails & 4 course dinner, $79 (+ tax & tip).

MENU Summer Spritz cocktails and Tuscan crostini Homemade pasta with wild boar sauce Grilled skewers of pork loin, chicken, sausage & bay leaf croutons, fried summer garden vegetables with chicory, arugula and fresh mint Homemade peach & almond tart

For tickets call: 202 835 0459 or http://www.palio2019.eventbrite.com

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