Boston-based restaurateur Michael Schlow is building a strong presence in Washington, having opened two popular restaurants in the District—Tico and the Riggsby—in under two years. Next up for the James Beard Award-winning chef: Alta Strada, an Italian osteria, and a still-unnamed international crudo bar, all bound for the former Kushi space in Mt. Vernon Triangle this spring.
The 3,900 square-foot restaurant joins two other Alta Strada locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut, though Schlow says the DC branch will have a unique aesthetic—wife and mixed-media artist Adrienne Schlow will contribute works—and mostly-new menu, created with the surrounding community in mind.
“It’s a neighborhood Italian restaurant with classic dishes,” says Schlow. “It’s uncomplicated, the kind of food I can eat every day.”
Schlow tapped fellow Boston chef Michael Zentner to run the kitchen, which will focus on specialties from Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, and the Amalfi Coast, accompanied by an all-Italian wine list. The menu will feature antipasti, house-made pastas, seasonal entrees, and Schlow’s own style of thin-crust pizza that he’s been developing since the first Alta Strada opened nearly a decade ago.
“If New York were to meet Rome were to meet Tuscany, that’s where we’re at,” says Schlow, a Brooklyn native.
The 25-seat crudo bar will be tucked inside Alta Strada, and operate as an entirely separate concept in the City Vista development. Schlow says he was inspired by other DC operators that combine eclectic dining experiences under one roof, like Komi and Little Serow. Crudo, which means “raw” in Italian, often denotes uncooked fish, but the menu will feature a global variety of raw dishes that expand beyond the sea, as well as a few cooked preparations and a small spirits-focused bar. Guests will be able to order a-la-carte, or opt for two tasting menus: a $45 prix-fixe, or a blowout $185 meal.
Alta Strada is set to open for dinner in March, whereas the crudo bar will open shortly after. An outdoor patio will be added in warm weather, as well as lunch and Sunday brunch.
465 K St., NW