Dupont Italian Kitchen: Not Your Nonna’s Cooking
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 16:10
Georgetown is full of delicious food, but it isn’t always the cheapest. The less expensive options can leave a lot to be desired: O’Donovan’s on the Waterfront is awful, Epicurean is expensive and my arteries chant “No” at the thought of another Hot Chick from Unhealthy Wisey’s. In an act of rebellion, I took the GUTS bus to meet up with friends at the frequently reviewed Dupont Italian Kitchen in Dupont Circle, which I hoped would be both cheap and delicious. Brace yourself, innocent reader: This is an unconventional review for an unconventional restaurant.
I sat down at a table for six — I have a lot of friends — and started taking in my surroundings. Waiters wearing shorts, a plethora of old gay couples dining and passerby drag queens strutting their stuff set the scene. It’s not a surprise why yelp.com classifies the restaurant under “Gay Bars, Italian.” Then again, the gays have exceptionally good taste — would Neil Patrick Harris or Ellen DeGeneres waste five minutes at a bad restaurant? Absofruitly not.
Anyway, the short-clad server brought over bread and the world’s most garlicky olive oil within five minutes of our arrival. The bread isn’t the best — Nonna Piccione would not be impressed. The olive oil, on the other hand, was so potent that I’m sure there are zero vampires within a 10-block radius of the restaurant.
We then ordered bruschetta, which was fantastic, for the table. I was definitely the guy who had a torrid love affair with the toasted bread, diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and vinegar. Oh, I’m sorry five other people at the table — I'm in the zone.
For an entree, I ordered pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, capers, garlic and olive oil for $12. The pasta was served a bit too al dente, and you can definitely tell that the sun-dried tomatoes and capers come from cans, but the quality was good enough for the price. Remember, we’re in college; I know that, for a lot of people, the whole “I’m broke” thing is just a hipster way of saying that one hasn’t hit the ATM in a while, but this former Guide editor is as broke as a joke. Cheap food is on my radar, and Dupont Italian Kitchen caught my eye.
As we ate dinner — keep in mind that we’re at a table outside, essentially on the sidewalk — a dozen drag queens paraded by, accompanied by several photographers snapping hundreds of pictures of them. Let’s just say that the old gays were not having it. Sighs of disapproval were almost as pervasive as the amount of sweater and button-down combinations.
The highlights are the modest prices, the friendly waitstaff and the beautiful neighborhood of Dupont Circle. But honestly, it’s really just cheap Italian food with some gems on the menu. I probably won’t be returning any time soon unless I can convince those aforementioned guys to pretend to be my friends again in public. Thankfully, now that Leo’s has corrected all of the health code violations (“Leo’s Corrects Health Code Violations,” A1, Oct. 5, 2012), I’m certain that everything over yonder is healthy, delicious and rat free.