Food

Seafood-Centric Casolare Opens in Glover Park

Take a look inside Michael Schlow's coastal Italian restaurant.
Seafood-Centric Casolare Opens in Glover Park
Restaurateur Michael Schlow brings coastal Italian cusine to Glover Park with Casolare. Photograph by Evy Mages

Restauratuer Michael Schlow adds to Glover Park’s culinary game with Casolare, a 156-seat coastal Italian restaurant opening Monday in the recently revamped Kimpton hotel. This is the fifth DC eatery for the Boston-based chef, who began his Washington expansion with Tico, and most recently debuted fellow Italian ventures Alta Strada and Conosci in Mt. Vernon Triangle. Chef Philippe Reininger, formerly of sister restaurant the Riggsby, has swapped kitchens to execute Casolare’s seafood-centric fare.  Here’s what to know before you go.

Seafood plays a large role on the menu, like this seafood stew with grilled bread. Photograph by Anna Spiegel
Seafood plays a large role on the menu, like this seafood stew with grilled bread. Photograph by Anna Spiegel

The menu: Coastal Italian, which encompasses the whole boot. While you’ll find classic Southern dishes such as Sicilian swordfish with caponata and Capri-style seafood salad, Schlow includes specialties from other seaside regions. Look for items like Genovese-style pasta with shrimp and pesto, or lamb with chickpeas and Calabrian chilies.

Antipasti include simple seafood and vegetable dishes like these shrimp with chilies and breadcrumbs. Photograph by Anna Spiegel
Antipasti include simple seafood and vegetable dishes like these shrimp with chilies and breadcrumbs. Photograph by Anna Spiegel

The vibe: Neighborhood Italian—but chic enough to impress a date. Design powerhouse Edit Lab at Streetsense is behind the warm-hued dining room, set with deep booths and flanked by an open pizza kitchen. Like at sister Schlow restaurants, wife Adrienne Schlow’s modern artwork adds to the style.

Artist Adrienne Schlow, the chef/owner's wife, contributed works for the restaurant. Photograph by Evy Mages
Artist Adrienne Schlow, the chef/owner’s wife, contributed works for the restaurant. Photograph by Evy Mages

The must-try cocktail: The spagliato. Barkeep Christine Kim offers five riffs on a draft combination of Campari and two types of Italian vermouth, including a classic gin negroni and whiskey-spiked boulevardier. The sparkling version capped off with Prosecco makes for refreshing summer sip.

No Neapolitan here--pizzas are thin and crisp-crusted. Photograph by Anna Spiegel
No Neapolitan here–pizzas are thin and crisp-crusted. Photograph by Anna Spiegel

The pizza: Not Neapolitan, for a change. Instead, you’ll find a small selection of thin, crisp-crusted pizzas, all with simple toppings like tangy marinara, capers, and anchovies.

You won't miss the meat in these bread-based meatballs, cloaked in spicy tomato sauce and cheese. Photograph by Anna Spiegel
You won’t miss the meat in these bread-based meatballs, cloaked in spicy tomato sauce and cheese. Photograph by Anna Spiegel

The good news for vegetarians: Meatless “meatballs,” a classic Pugliese dish of polpette fashioned from two day-old bread, cloaked in spicy tomato sauce, pine nuts, and  aged ricotta. The menu reflects the coastal emphasis on vegetables, such as fresh orecchiette with cauliflower and chilies, and roasted “Mama Zecca’s” eggplant (like a lighter riff on parm).

The restaurant, located in the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel, is also open for breakfast. Photograph by Evy Mages
The restaurant, located in the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel, will also open for breakfast, lunch, and brunch. Photograph by Evy Mages

The reason you can’t skip dessert: Pizzelle cannoli. Two classic Italian desserts, together at last. Instead of the crumbly cannoli crust, the sweet ricotta is cradled in a chewy pizzelle waffle cookie.

Casolare. 2505 Wisconsin Ave., NW. Open nightly for dinner, 5:oo to 10:30. Breakfast, lunch, and brunch coming soon.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.