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Trattoria Liliana - Maurizio and Liliana Dumas


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Hi

Liam and I are in search of decent places to eat closeby to his apartment building at Connecticut and Ellicot. We've done Bucks, as well as Uptown Cathay and the thai place next to Bucks.

What about Trattoria Liliana? I know Tom said good things awhile back. Anyone else been???

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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Hey neighbor,

TL is a nice spot. Very good food (although they're rigid on the no substitutions rule) and charming mom-and-pop (literally) service. I wish they'd update the menu though because it's small and as far as I know, it hasn't changed since they opened.

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Hi there

Trattoria Liliana is perhaps my favorite neighborhood restaurant for quality eats. Their ravioli, roast lamb, mixed seafood appetizer and winelist are enough to keep me coming back. While the menu doesn't vary much, the specials are almost always worth a bi-weekly stop in.

A note: good Tiramisu if you like that kind of thing :)

Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.

Anna Freud

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Went there about a year or so ago. We had a good, but not great meal. I'd definitely go back, but I'm rarely in that neighborhood. I remember we really enjoyed the pasta. A gnocchi dish and a tagliatelle. Good wines too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

(First, a disclaimer: I externed in the kitchen of T.L.'s chef/owner, Maurizio Dumas, and he's been a close friend & mentor to me for years...)

Actually, the main menu at Trattoria Liliana changes seasonally. And the specials change from day to day. They also have on ongoing series of special nights, each with a menu devoted to a single region of Italy. But on most nights, it's just a great place (and perhaps the only place now in DC) to experience the food of Liguria, a.k.a. the Italian Riviera. It's a gentle and comforting cuisine that makes lavish use of fresh herbs and great olive oil, not your typical tomato- and cheese-heavy Americanized Italian food. Appreciate the subtlety, the ingredients, the attention to detail and the service. But you'll be disappointed if you want a glitzy place where a hot young chef serves one-of-a-kind signature dishes on precious-looking plates. And don't forget to order dessert! Liliana makes them all in-house. My favorites are her moist cakes that use almond flour, with some type of hazelnut- or pistachio- or chocolate-flavored creamy stuff between the layers.

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(First, a disclaimer: I externed in the kitchen of T.L.'s chef/owner, Maurizio Dumas, and he's been a close friend & mentor to me for years...)

Actually, the main menu at Trattoria Liliana changes seasonally. And the specials change from day to day. They also have on ongoing series of special nights, each with a menu devoted to a single region of Italy. But on most nights, it's just a great place (and perhaps the only place now in DC) to experience the food of Liguria, a.k.a. the Italian Riviera. It's a gentle and comforting cuisine that makes lavish use of fresh herbs and great olive oil, not your typical tomato- and cheese-heavy Americanized Italian food. Appreciate the subtlety, the ingredients, the attention to detail and the service. But you'll be disappointed if you want a glitzy place where a hot young chef serves one-of-a-kind signature dishes on precious-looking plates. And don't forget to order dessert! Liliana makes them all in-house. My favorites are her moist cakes that use almond flour, with some type of hazelnut- or pistachio- or chocolate-flavored creamy stuff between the layers.

Do they have a website or post anywhere when (and what) these special nights are?

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But on most nights, it's just a great place (and perhaps the only place now in DC) to experience the food of Liguria, a.k.a. the Italian Riviera. It's a gentle and comforting cuisine that makes lavish use of fresh herbs and great olive oil, not your typical tomato- and cheese-heavy Americanized Italian food.

for those searching in vain for ligurian lusciousness i believe that coppi's on u street has some entrees in addition to stellar pizzas (if only her name was amy and she happened to have a twin sister identically named i may be converted away from my own personal pizza cathedral in the shadow of THAT one).

sadly, mournfully, lugubriously, the vigorelli just opposite the uptown has gone the way of the dodo, gravity-defying food-stacking, serially printed novels and those four years of a blue america and grey confederacy. does anyone remember that place?

and one more thing: nutella calzones. order. you will not complain.

there is no love sincerer than the love of food

- george bernard shaw

i feel like love is in the kitchen with a culinary eye, think she's making something special and i'm smart enough to try

- interpol

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  • 6 months later...

Met some friends for dinner here on Saturday night, my first visit here in, perhaps, two years. I started with an Otter Creek winter ale that they had on special for the night while I ran through the menu. Of the 10 or so tables in the place, only about 5 were busy. So service was very attentive.

I really wanted to have a pasta for a starter, but they will not serve them in anything but entrée size, which kinda sucks. So we ordered the gnocchi pesto and all four of us shared it. It’s not as mouthwateringly divine like the gnocchi you get at Palena, but it’s still a luscious plate. I guess it’s the difference between “homestyle goodness” and “fine cuisine,” with Liliana being the former and Palena the latter. Both have their place.

For entrees, the two women ordered the filet mignon special. Can’t recall the accompaniments, but this was a huge chunk of meat. It really was delicious, and easily beat the lamb dish that me and my buddy each ordered. The lamb (and probably the filet, for that matter) came with a side of organic vegetables (potato, carrots, green beans) simply sautéed. One word of note. My wife and I each ordered our meats medium rare, and they came out rare. I sent mine back for a little more fire. The couple we were with ordered rare, and got what they wanted. I suggest ordering medium if you want it medium rare.

For dessert I had a pear tart with Belgian chocolate. When it was served it looked more like a Belgian Chocolate tart with a few pears. The desserts are made daily by the owners/chefs (both of whom, by the way, visited our table to chat with us a couple times during the meal), and if you see this tart on the menu when you go….get it. You won’t be disappointed.

Another thing to note: The coffees and espressos were not hot. In fact they were only moderately warm. It’s easy to get to via Metro. Just about 3 blocks walk up Connecticut Ave from Van Ness station, which only means it’s about 10 minutes further than if I was going to go to Palena. Overall, we were really pleased with our meal. It’s a very comfortable place. I want to go again and try more of the pastas. I think there’s probably a lot more that I’ll like in addition to the gnocchi. I’m not going to wait another two years before my next visit.

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  • 1 year later...
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