Agrodolce
Wood-fired pizza and inventive Cal-Ital cuisine in a bustling trattoria.
Reviewed By Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published October 6, 2006
Agro Dolce
Address: 21030-J Frederick Road, Germantown, MD 20876
Phone: 301-528-6150
Neighborhood: Germantown
Cuisines: Pizza, Italian
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11 to 9, Friday and Saturday 11 to 10, and Sunday 4 to 9.
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Fried squid; parmesan-crusted asparagus with prosciutto; wood-fired pizzas; farfalle with chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and pancetta; shrimp sauteed with cannellini beans and radicchio; veal scallopine; chicken with walnut-cream sauce; rack of w
Price Details: Appetizers, $5 to $15. Entrees, $9 to $21.

January 2003 100 Very Best Restaurants

This youthful Italian trattoria buzzes with energy to spare. It has a creative regional-Italian menu, and the kitchen whips up daily specials--flights of fancy that keep things fresh even if they don't always work. Yellow walls with vivid murals make for a sunny backdrop; in good weather, tables are set up on the plaza outdoors.

Start with brittle fried squid or asparagus swathed with prosciutto and crusted with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Or dive into a thin-crusted pizza from the wood-burning oven. The inventive Cal-Ital pastas--farfalle with chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and pancetta; sautéed shrimp with cannellini beans and radicchio sauce--can be split as starters or ordered as entrées. Some of the entrées, such as a savory veal scallopine with citrus-Marsala sauce and pistachios, are served over pasta as well. Among the interesting main courses: chicken with walnut-rum-cream sauce, green apples, and preserved ginger; rack of wild boar with pomegranate-balsamic reduction; wonderfully crisp duck confit with orange-star-anise glaze (get the pear-ginger chutney on the side); and salmon with lemon, capers, wilted spinach, and grilled polenta. The bold flavors beg for a simpler, sturdier bread than the focaccia in the basket, but the general exuberance overcomes the missteps. Highs on the dessert roster are a tiramisu in a clear glass coffee cup and the clever mousse-filled chocolate cigar.
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