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Roberto Donna On The Grill


Ted Task
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Roberto Donna does not need me to extol his cooking or his #1 restaurant, BUT....

here is the BIG surprise. What I report has been going on for about a month.

Several days a month...only when "The Big Guy" ( and he is a right fair sized fellow) is there..........HE cooks on the grill in the demo kitchen. Lunch offering today (food $5.00,soft drinks $1.00) was a choice of a gorgeous sausage OR a cut of pork shoulder, these sandwiches are on a grilled foccacia (style) bread about 9 inches long.....and who is making these .you got it........himself!!!!!!!!!!!! He is in front of the grill sweating and making sandwiches and putting on the fixings as requested. Worth calling ahead to see if he is there, and then jumping into DC just for the experiance.

I did not have the pleasure of THIS food, as I was there for a tasting of Cantina Tramin (Alto Adige) wines, so I had the following elegant lunch. (see the wine thread for my wine comments) Poached Shrimp over cannellini salad, a summer salad that could easily be enjoyed for dinner (just give me somemore). Tortellini of mozzarella and tomato in butter and sage sauce ( this BLEW my long term diet, as I sopped up the butter sage sauce with house made bread). Sea scallops with citrus sauce and potato puree (this was to show off the Gewurtz,we died and went to heaven. Selection of aged cheeses (with Lagrein) followed by a "Right out of the fields" watermelon granita. Espresso and I ran home to report.

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This phenomenon has been reported on an earlier thread in this forum:

"I'm not sure if this is what Robert Donna meant by 'Osteria Galileo', but he's been out on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant for the past couple days grilling up panini and ribs. No joke. I stopped by today at noon and was one of the last people served before he was shut down by city officials. "Fire hazard" was the reason-- completely ridiculous considering that everything within three blocks is concrete. Our fine DC government at work. Roberto joked he would "find a loophole", vowing that he'd grill out back if necessary. I had an excellent pork shoulder panini with a garlic-parsley sauce. There was also sausage and chicken paninis. You have to admire a chef of RD's stature standing out on the street asking "You want sauce with that?". "

Good to know this is still happening, but wish it was more predictable rather than just having to depend upon dumb luck.

See this to read more about it

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=44013

Edited by FunJohnny (log)

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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There's an email list you can sign up for at Galileo-- they'll send you a note to tell you when RD is grilling. I deleted the last one, otherwise I'd post the address you can send a note to in order to get the alerts. Lately, due to the heat, they've set the grill up inside the Lab (and you can stay and eat on the back porch).

I talked to him a bit about Osteria Galileo. He said he found out that 80% of Galileo's customers were from out of town and he decided he wanted to do something for Washingtonians.

Edited by cjsadler (log)

Chris Sadler

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I had the following elegant lunch. (see the wine thread for my wine comments) Poached Shrimp over cannellini salad, a summer salad that could easily be enjoyed for dinner (just give me somemore). Tortellini of mozzarella and tomato in butter and sage sauce ( this BLEW my long term diet, as I sopped up the butter sage sauce with house made bread). Sea scallops with citrus sauce and potato puree (this was to show off the Gewurtz,we died and went to heaven. Selection of aged cheeses (with Lagrein) followed by a "Right out of the fields" watermelon granita. Espresso and I ran home to report.

So you don't feel cheated out of RD's grilling then, I assume?!? :laugh: Good for you for breaking your diet--sounds like it was well worth it!!!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm imagining taut intestines splitting between my teeth and I open my mouth to order the pork sausage--

and 'sausage' somehow gets pronounced 'shoulder.'

Again.

has anybody made it past the pork shoulder? My intentions keep melting away as I look at the hunk of marbled meat roasting on the grill. Chewing optional--it's that tender.

(also--roberto said today that he's going to expand the grilling station---which is separate from Oseteria, according to the hostess. He'll add a nice soup, maybe a big--and here he stretched his arms wide, scooping the counter space--pizza, and maybe a nice fruit tart.)

Edited by babka (log)
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I have the same problem. Got there today meaning to try something else, but that pork shoulder just looked too good. Got the nice crunchy bits from the end in my sandwich.

I need to get back to Osteria G too. If you haven't been yet, go!

Chris Sadler

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If you have the schedule on when he is grilling, post it. I signed up for the email list, but have not seen anything yet. I will have to make the trip over the bridge from Crystal City for lunch. I am sure it would be well worth it!

Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.
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Emailed from Galileo yesterday:

Galileo Grill Dates

Pork Shoulder, Sausage and more! The upcoming Galileo Grill dates are:

Monday, August 16

Thursday, August 26

Friday, August 27

Tuesday, August 31

Thursday, September 2

Time: Noon til the grill is empty. Take your lunch to go or have a seat at a table on our courtyard terrace. Come early for the best selection.

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I want to add that the regular lunch menu at Galileo is the best fine dining deal in town. Last year I had a totally satisfying veal chop Milanese - pounded thin, breaded and pan fried - for $16. Where else can you get a whole veal chop for $16. That's what they cost raw at Whole Foods.

Mark

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I got an email that Roberto will be grilling every day this week. And he'll have cannoli now too.

Sweet deal. I just did a search on them, and they're on 21st and L! That's like, three blocks from where I work! Why haven't I gone yet?! What are the hours for lunch?

Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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I got an email that Roberto will be grilling every day this week.    And he'll have cannoli now too.

Sweet deal. I just did a search on them, and they're on 21st and L! That's like, three blocks from where I work! Why haven't I gone yet?! What are the hours for lunch?

Usually noon until about 1:15 or so... Today he had some great pizza he'd made in addition to the cannoli. "I'm full of surprises!" he said.

Chris Sadler

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The 4 Stooges (myself and my other 3 colleagues) just strolled down for the Grilling experience courtesy of Chef Donna. Got there around noon and there was a small line which became very long just as we were getting our food. The Chef was his jovial self. When I asked his assistant if I could get a glass of vino, he turned and said "get him what he wants and bring it out back." I had to insist to pay for it. I had the shoulder, one of my buds had the ribs, another, the youngest who doesn't quite understand what the big deal is here, had "a hot dog in a tux" --sausage, and the 4th stooge also had the shoulder + a cannoli. Hope this continues as the weather permits.

Oh, one thing: A large section of the available seating in back was "reserved for Chow Hounds" -- I think that we egulleteers need to make a statement by also reserving a space if that can be done without too much fuss.

Edited by FunJohnny (log)

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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The 4 Stooges (myself and my other 3 colleagues) just strolled down for the Grilling experience courtesy of Chef Donna. Got there around noon and there was a small line which became very long just as we were getting our food. The Chef was his jovial self. When I asked his assistant if I could get a glass of vino, he turned and said "get him what he wants and bring it out back." I had to insist to pay for it. I had the shoulder, one of my buds had the ribs, another, the youngest who doesn't quite understand what the big deal is here, had "a hot dog in a tux" --sausage, and the 4th stooge also had the shoulder + a cannoli. Hope this continues as the weather permits.

Oh, one thing: A large section of the available seating in back was "reserved for Chow Hounds" -- I think that we egulleteers need to make a statement by also reserving a space if that can be done without too much fuss.

Hey I saw you. I was about to ask you to join my table but your friend showe up. I was with the three top right next to you.

What a great deal! I had a double order. As I am Atkins meat is my lifeblood so I had the pork and sausage, hold the bread. Wonderful! Next time I need to track down some salt.

The reserving of tables thing was a bit 3rd grade, especially the guy (not CH) who held a large table for at least 30 mins after it opened.

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Well, my coworker couldn't make it, but I managed to get out and I was near the end of the "long line" as I got there around 12:15--I also managed to get the last cannoli, and picked up the pork shoulder for my coworker. I didn't have time to sit, and since I had been forewarned about the chowhound gathering, thought it best to try to avoid the crowd. What I did do, though, is tempt many more of my coworkers to want to go back tomorrow! Oh, and I had a delish sammie with fresh mozzarella and tomato, with that lovely smokey basil dressing.

The cannoli, in a word, was sublime. MMMMMHHHHHH.... :rolleyes:

CS--if you are so close by, you MUST get out of your office and get online early--then you can do take-out and get back quickly if you must. You will NOT regret it!

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Well, today was my third and best visit yet (and third grill location)! The pork shoulder was very tasty, and the foray into cannoli country was nice too. Has anyone tried the pizza yet? It's the only choice no one's mentioned having, I think.

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Well, today was my third and best visit yet (and third grill location)! The pork shoulder was very tasty, and the foray into cannoli country was nice too. Has anyone tried the pizza yet? It's the only choice no one's mentioned having, I think.

I ran in at 1:00 and got the last of the grill for Mr. Squids...the chef threw in a slice of pizza, as he was trying to clean out the last of the last on Friday afternoon. Hubby also said that everything was quite tasty, but too much food! (Have you seen the size of the slices? Must be at least 5" square!)

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I made my first trip there today and had the wonderful pork shoulder sandwich and cannoli. If the line was not so long when I was leaving I would have picked up some of those great looking ribs for later. This has to be one of the best lunch deals in the city.

Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Man, there's nothing wrong with that sandwich. OK, those sandwiches. Burp. Me and mdt got through the pork sausage, pork shoulder and pork ribs at lunch today. (Notice a theme emerging here?) Then he had a frickin' cannoli, too. Some people should be disqualified from being thin for gratuitous showing off. Chef Shogun joined us a bit later and then DCMark and friends arrived just in time to take over the table. They were ordering wine when we left. Those Gallic fellow-travelers know how to live, man.

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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BURP!

My diet has been working out well so how do I celebrate:

Pork Ribs (so good)

Pork Sausage (mmmm)

Bottle of Chianti (its Friday)

Canolli (slurp)

Pleaseure to see my egullet friends and thanks for the table.

Viva Roberto!

I made my first trip there today and had the wonderful pork shoulder sandwich and cannoli.  If the line was not so long when I was leaving I would have picked up some of those great looking ribs for later.  This has to be one of the best lunch deals in the city.

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Wow, I think today was the best day yet. The pork shoulder was outstanding. By pure luck I got an oversized piece of bread today so Roberto was like "looks like we'll need more meat for that!" A garlic clove was nested in my section of the shoulder so the meat was plenty tasty.

Also tried the pizza today. Pretty good but no reason to diverge from the pork.

I must've been there around the same time as you folks. I was up on the first raised level with the picnic table. Members of our party kept getting up and going inside to check on a straggling friend. The line was really long today.

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Wow. That is one hell of a sandwich for $5 - and now I know where to go when I get that occasional "need roast pork NOW" craving. And if it'd been a little cooler, that chickpea soup looked and smelled awfully good as well. Maybe next time.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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Met up with MDT and Mr. The Stretch for my first lunch at Galileo, and cursed my job for keeping me away so long! The sandwich had today is no less than the grilled pork shoulder sandwich of the gods! Hoping the email list kicks in so maybe I can get a sausage sandwich before they stop grilling. One interesting note was the cannoli: very tasty vanilla and chocolate filling, but more of a smoother, almost pudding-like texture than I'm used to seeing. Roberto Donna is a hero for this!

Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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  • 2 weeks later...

fyi, from the latest email newsletter:

"Galileo Grill Dates

Summer may be over, but the Galileo Grill will carry on into October. Enjoy Pork Shoulder, Grilled Chicken, Pork Ribs and more.

The next grill dates are Tuesday, October 12 and Thursday, October 14. Grilling starts at 11:45 a.m. and ends when the grill is empty. All sandwiches are $5.

Come in and take your lunch to go or have a seat on our courtyard terrace while the weather is still nice.

Please note the grill will not be open between October 1 and October 12."

I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.

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