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Jinmyo

Laboratorio del Galileo

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We went to Galileo mistakenly during RW last year. I had a great time - everyone else there looked miserable. Go figure.

They say that, to get the best view of Paris, you should always ascend the Tour Montparnasse rather than the Eiffel Tower - that way, you can see the Eiffel Tower rather than the hideous Tour Montparnasse. :cool:

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Is there some magic trick to getting a response to a reservation inquiry? I am starting to be reminded of my ill-fated efforts to snag a French Laundry reservation a year ago.

When I call Galileo's main number (202-293-7191), they say that the person who takes Laboratorio reservation is unavailable. When I call the Laboratorio number (202-331-0880), I get an answering machine that prompts me to leave a message, which I have done to no avail. I am calling nearly 2 months in advance for a reservation for 2. If I can't get in, so be it. But, it is rather annoying to not even be able to get someone to say "yea" or "nay."

Any ideas or explanation? They don't like out-of-towners perhaps?

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I am not sure if they take reservations that far out (one month max might be the rule here). But she will get back to you. I forget her name, but she will get back to you. Keep trying, it is worth it!

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I received a return call. They take reservations 2 months out. They are usually open about three nights a week (in October it is 2). Unfortunately, they are not open when I am in town. She said that, for weekends, you can usually get a reservation 1 month in advance. For weekdays, 2 weeks is usually ok.

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Don't forget, you can always try to snag last minute cancellations Zeb.

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I ate for the first time at Laboratorio last Thursday and had a grand time. Here's a run down of what was served

Tempura Fried Oyster wrapped in Basil and Mint with Aioli Sauce.

Duck Liver Custard topped with Peaches

Carrot Soup with Herbed Cream

Tortelloni of Turnip in a Parmesan Cheese Sauce

Potato Dumpling with Sausage Ragu

Risotto with diced Red Pepper and Yellow Pepper Foam

Steamed Turbot with Potato Puree, Baby White Asparagus and Zucchini

Muscovy Duck with Figs, Fig Sauce, Sauteed Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Tomato Confit and Haircot Vert

Cheese Trolley

Bra Duro O Tenero Dop

Stassionatadi Capra

Gorgonzola

Bruss

Spicy Watermelon Tomato Sorbet with Basil Oil

Baba al Rum with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Peach Carpaccio with Verbana Sauce

Bombolini

everything was really good, except perhaps the carrot soup, didn't really do much for me, but to be fair it did have a wonderfully bright carrot flavor. Stand out dishes included the oysters, duck custard, Turbot, roast duck, and the sorbet. of the cheese course the Bra Duro and Gorganzola were both awesome.

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Tweaked,

Thanks for posting this. I am looking forward to finally convincing my wife, who loves good food but is a little picky about some ingredients (veal, rabbit, duck to name three) to trust Roberto and just go with it.

I have seen you on that "other" site a lot. Welcome to eGullet.

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Thanks, I decided to check out this side. seems to be alot more DC chefs posting here.

tell your wife to go for it! also when you call for a reservation, they e-mail you a confirmation form that you have to sign, which includes a section for dietary restrictions and foods you won't eat. So your wife could put down the food items she absolutely won't eat.

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seems to be alot more DC chefs posting here.

tell your wife to go for it!  also when you call for a reservation, they e-mail you a confirmation form that you have to sign, which includes a section for dietary restrictions and foods you won't eat.

Sounds as if DC chefs are really hip to the Internet and how to use it.

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seems to be alot more DC chefs posting here.

tell your wife to go for it!  also when you call for a reservation, they e-mail you a confirmation form that you have to sign, which includes a section for dietary restrictions and foods you won't eat.

Sounds as if DC chefs are really hip to the Internet and how to use it.

None hipper :raz:

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Who's watching the stoves? :raz:

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I called today and got a reservation for the 11th.

It wasn't that hard.

Bruce

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Does anyone know the days the Laboratorio is open in October and November.

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Does anyone know the days the Laboratorio is open in October and November.

Is there a reason you can't ask the restaurant?

Bruce

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Yeah, give em a ding. I am pretty sure that it is open -- Roberto often does double duty on some days -- a coooking course (hands on) followed by a cooking course (demonstration) followed by a mega dinner in the Laboratorio.

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Went to Laboratorio for my birthday last night. Here's the run-down of the 'main' courses:

1. Crunchy tuna, "Citronelle Style"

Roberto explained that he 'borrowed' this idea from Michel Richard. A thin crisp of potato with a layer of tuna tartare, served with chive oil and artichokes. Was a refreshing way to begin the meal.

2. Duck Liver Custard with Peach Marmalade

Delicious-- probably the best dish of the night. This custard seems to be a standard, with the sauces/garnishes varying. Was topped with some sort of edible flower (didn't quite get what the waiter said the name of it was)

3. Raviolini of Veal with Veal Jus

Ok, but not all that flavorful.

4. Pappardelle with Venison Ragu

Good, but was unexciting. I stood next to the stove to watch Roberto prepare this dish. He mixed in an ungodly amount of butter with the pappardelle.

5. Risotto with Lobster

Very deeply flavored with some chunks of knuckle meat. The rice was perfectly cooked vialone nona. I'd love to sit through an all-risotto tasting menu just to experience what he can do with it.

6. Roasted Monkfish with Periwinkles and Red Wine Sauce

I love monkfish and this was well prepared. A small piece sitting atop a roasted portabella circle. The sauce was somewhat dull, but the periwinkles were interesting, as I've never had them before (they're sea snails).

7. Basil Crusted Lamb Loin with Black Olive Sauce, Roasted Leeks, and Eggplant puree

Very good, especially the black olive sauce. Somehow only half our table ended up getting the eggplant puree on the dish.

8. Persimmon sorbet

Was very creamy and smooth for a sorbet. Interesting flavor.

9. Chocolate-Espresso Mousse

Extremely rich and chocolate-y. Was more like a semi-solid ganache (held in place by a caramelized shell) than a mousse (too dense). People really liked this one. The presentation was beautiful, but I thought this was an unexceptional ending.

I ate quite a few pieces of the fantastic breads throughout the meal. A black olive flavored one and one baked with some sort of cured meat were standouts.

We all really enjoyed the experience. That said, somehow I left with a feeling of disappointment-- I just wasn't as blown away as I expected to be.

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I have to agree with CJ on Laboratorio-- some dishes were fantastic others not-too-exciting. I thought Roberto Donna would at least make an effort to say hello to each table especially since we were celebrating a 30th anniversary. There are only 6 or 7 tables. But maybe I went in expecting too much. What did people think of the service??

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Only nine courses are listed-was this a Smithsonian dinner which is different from the usual 12 course dinners and not on the same level?

Having hosted a dinner for 30 in early November I am quite surprised since Laboratorio is literally one of the finest Italian restaurants in the world. This is the link to 74 comments about my Chowhound dinner:

http://www.chowhound.com/midatlantic/board...ages/27249.html

There are also many photographs of the dinner including this one:

http://dell.shutterfly.com/my/slide2.jsp?a...d6fa65fe&idx=33

There are a total of 48 photos which you can view starting with this.

The first post is actually critical since they had a "vegetarian" meal. The other 29 did not and every single one of them thought it a great meal as well as a fantastic experience. Additionally I've had six dinners at Laboratorio over the past 18 months and every one was exceptional.

As for coming by the tables Roberto does not do this. At some dinners there were often diners standing, wine glass in hand, by the counter where he plates the food. I've also, for two years, promoted table #7 since you can talk to him just as if he is cooking for you personally. But, I've never seen him walk to any of the tables. It is not his style.

I am sorry if you were disappointed. But on every one of my visits Laboratorio has been a superb, world class experience with exemplery service including exceptional wine service.

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