This Italian restaurant in McLean is the sister to Assagi Mozarella Bar in Bethesda (#90 on the best of list), and also Open Table's winner of Diner's Choice 2010. But the reason we decided to eat there was because we missed Italy. We were sat in the private-ish wine room at the back of the restaurant, which fills up pretty quickly. The view out of the large windows was, unfortunately, of the Irish Pub next door. Other than that, it was a very nice table. The outdoor sitting at the front of the restaurant looks lovely, though.
We were served fresh bread accompanied by some FANTASTIC olive oil that needed no salt or vinegar added to it. The Sommelier recommended a fantastic Super Tuscan (Il Solissimo Lucignano) based on our description of wines that we liked. We decided to start in the traditional Italian way with some fresh burrata cheese with baby tomatoes and basil. Fresh, creamy, with a juicy tang from the tomatoes - this is the perfect way to start an evening (or morning, or afternoon...). For my primi piatti I had the butternut squash soup with crispy prosciutto. It was very good, just right for a squash soup - but nothing extra special. Jasper had the scallop risotto, which he found tasted too fishy. For our secondi piatti we both had the special - a veal ravioli with mushrooms and sage. This was excellent (Jasper is still talking about it weeks later). The veal was moist and flavorful and rich, and the sage flavor was very present without being overpowering. The pasta, of course, was the perfect texture. If this was a regular menu item, we would go back all the time. For dessert we had the signature zeppoli - Italian doughnuts served with a sabayon sauce. One word: heaven.
While there were some missteps, the overall experience was very nice and we will likely return. Based on other reviews I have read, I definitely want to try the beet ravioli stuffed with goat cheese. It is purported to be a winner. But oh, those zeppoli... I will be thinking of them the entire dinner.