3/06/2012 11:59:00 AM

Sneak Peek at La Forchetta

Chef Roberto Donna, who is back in town after a cooking stint in Scottsdale, Arizona, and his new boss, restaurant entrepreneur Hakan Ilhan, took Zagat on a tour of La Forchetta, the midpriced, family-friendly Italian restaurant slated to open in Wesley Heights, Northwest DC, on April 1.

Its sleek, industrial modern design looks like it came straight from Milan, with a black and white wood-burning pizza oven acting as a centerpiece, surrounded by a molded concrete bar and grey tile floors that resemble wood. Vivid orange metal cut-out screens and wall sculptures, exposed black ductwork in the high ceilings and elaborate chandeliers also catch the eye, while shadowy, Mona Lisa-inspired wall paintings add a touch of mystery.


An exhibition kitchen fronted by a bar will showcase Donna whipping up his pastas, risotto and specialties like short ribs and pork shank. Expect him to make good use of the wood-burning oven, not only for his Neapolitan-style pies and breads, but for baked pastas like timbales. There will be small dishes, and pressed panini at lunch. As for beverages, cocktails will feature classic Italian aperitivos like Campari, alongside draft beer and wine.

3201 New Mexico Ave. NW

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