Da Domenico: No Accolades here


Da Domenico, established in 1980, is a small, family-oriented, Italian restaurant nestled into the heart of today’s bustling Tysons Corner. The restaurant’s founders, the Ramella family came to America from Imperia, in northern Italy and successfully ran their business for more than 40 years. It is currently owned and operated by Sayed, who was with the original owners for 10 years.

According to the website, “The recipe to Da Domenico’s success is the spirit, warmth and culinary talent of the Da Domenico family”. Perhaps the culinary talent had the day off on New Year’s Eve (NYE). Granted, New Year’s was my first visit (and probably my last), but I expect that no matter what I order, that my food is served warm.
Apparently they had a special NYE menu, because neither of the two dishes that my husband and I ordered is on their regular menu. They had a prix fixe menu, three courses for sixty dollars per person.

The appetizers that they offered except the Calamari Fritti, were new to their dinner menu. They offered a lobster stuffed ravioli with salmon caviar, lobster bisque, crab stuffed shrimp, and two choices of salads; an arugula and a Caesar. All of the options were very tempting. I couldn’t decide which would be better, since I like crab and lobster, however, for the first course, I ordered the lobster bisque and my husband ordered the stuffed shrimp. The bisque was smooth and creamy and was served at the perfect temperature in a white oval bowl with a small round crustini floating on top. I liked the bisque, but have had better. Actually the Lobster Bisque served at the Great American Restaurants, as I recall, is surprisingly better. The bisque was spicy but lacked the occasional chunk of lobster meat that I think most people expect in a quality bisque. I was unable to taste the stuffed shrimp, as my husband said that it was loaded with bell peppers, which I am allergic.

For the second course, there were mainly seafood options, even though I had heard that Da Domenico is well known for their Veal Chop, however, I just wasn’t in the mood for the Chop. It was on the menu, but I ordered the Cotoletta Porchini … the menu described it as Veal Scaloppine with a creamy mushroom sauce. It sounded delicious and I figured if they are good with Veal that it would be good, as well. I was rather disappointed when my dinner arrived. The Scaloppine cutlet was borderline cold and the mushroom sauce was almost bland. Served with the veal was one single quartered potato slice and a few green beans with a quartered tomato slice. I ate the potato, even though that wasn’t warm either. The green beans were crisp, just the way that I like them. I didn’t ask for them to heat it up, although I probably should have. Instead, I just picked at it and ate an occasional bite here and there, but it looked like I barely touched it when they took my plate away.
I ordered the cheesecake as a dessert, but was disappointed, as well. The top coating of the cheesecake gave it a roasted flavor that I don’t care for on cheesecake.
Overall, I just expected more. I am thoroughly disappointed. Maybe I should have ordered the Chop, since that’s what they say is their best dish. C’est La Vie!

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