Last night the three of us headed to Chef Bob Kinkead's new hotspot just across from the Kennedy Center.(www.ancoradc.com)
ANCORA is Italian for "again" and this is indeed a place you can return to again and again with a huge varied menu of starters, pastas, fish and meats.
There is something for everyone and an Italian-centric wine list with many reasonable choices under $40 as well.
Ancora moved into the Watergate two months ago where the late Rivers was, and what a welcome departure that was. I ate there once, and attended a reception
once and the food was overpriced and awful, for the most part. While the present incarnation of ANCORA is considered a "pop-up," the place will close
at the end of the year for a complete gutting and reopening in early 2014 if all goes well. It should be MAGNIFICENT.
Next door, where Cuppa Cuppa closed just days ago, Chef Kinkead will open a pizza, sandwich, and more outlet that is sure to be jammed with
Kennedy Center attendees looking for a quick bite before or after a show!
We saw many of the old faces from Kinkead's, so that was a warm welcome to begin with, especially, since Will worked there for so many years.
We sat down to a crisp refreshing bottle of San Quirico VERNACCIA di SAN GIMIGNANO 2011 that was superb with our starter of
MOLECHE e GAMBERETTI, a gorgeous chick pea flour crusted Soft Shell CRAB (first of the season) with Shrimp, Capers, Lemon,
Cherry Tomatoes, Parsley and Cauliflower. The preparation was perfect, the crabs superb and even Samuel adored the tasty lemon sauce.
Samuel had the RIGATONI alla MATRICIANA which came with plump tomatoes in the sauce (which he did not like-but were fresh and tasty), pancetta, onion,
olives and pecorino. A good douse of parmeggiano and he was in heaven. It was a medium size portion as the pastas are meant as a separate course, so he asked for
another plate, but switched to the rich and divine SPAGHETTI all CARBONARA di Fabriano which was made with pancetta, sausage, egg and parmesan.
For the main course, Will had the PESCE SPADA, plain grilled SWORDFISH with yummy Fried Zucchini and Marinated Fresh Cherry Tomatoes. My CONIGLIO BRASATO
was RABBIT prepared two ways with a leg on one said braised with Fava beans and peas and the Loin on the other layered with Cherignola Olive slices. A tasty huge bulb of
spring onion was also braised on the side.
It's hard to resist desserts at Kinkead's, so the same goes here, Will had ANCORA's PANNA COTTA which is a honey vanilla flavor smothered with Strawberries and Rhubarb
and a Shortbread cookie.
I went for the cheese which was served with apple slices, grapes and two slices of nutty (pistachio?) dark chocolate which reminded me of a Dolce Torinese I made decades ago.
There were three crisp slices of grilled bread. I choose the hard tasty PECORINO SENESI TARFTUFO (with a hint of truffle), the yummy GORGOZOLA DOLCE, which was quite mild and the
divine LA TUR (Caselficio dell atta Langa) which can make any gooey cheese lover happy.
It was a great time and we can't wait to return!