Casa Luca (Washington, DC)

Casa Luca is a relatively new restaurant by Fabio Trabocchi, who also started the more well-known Fiola’s and the newly opened Fiola Mare. Casa Luca is the more informal and relaxed sibling of those two restaurants.

We dined at Casa Luca as part of a bet over whether the Obamacare website would be fixed by November 30 as promised by Jeff Zients. Jim knows Jeff well and thought that if Jeff committed to the website being fixed by November 30, it would be fixed by November 30. I pointed out that the problem was not Jeff’s intelligence and skill but the fact that the number of bugs in the website was unknown because you have no idea what additional bugs might be behind the one you fix until you fix the existing one. So the bet was as follows: if the Obamacare website was fixed by November 30, we would eat at a Mexican restaurant. If the website was not fixed by November 30, we would eat at an Italian restaurant. This bet was devised by our oh-so-clever 15 year old daughter who clearly likes both Mexican and Italian food. She came out a winner either way.

(It might amuse those who are reading this that the day after we made our bet, Jeff announced that the website would not be fixed by November 30 because they discovered additional bugs every time one bug was fixed.)

Onto more important matters: the food. We started with appetizers, of course. We selected the beef tartar & horseradish crema; the Maine lobster, artichoke & smoked faro; and the Prosciutto di Parma. All three were excellent. The beef tartar was well seasoned with capers and olive oil, with the horseradish cream adding just the right amount of tang. The lobster was perfectly cooked, and the artichoke added a crunch to give the dish a nice texture. And we have rarely had as good quality prosciutto as was served that evening.

For the main dishes (and we include pasta in that category even if the Italians don’t), our 12 year old son had the Fusilli Cacio e Pepe (fusilli served in a rich butter sauce topped with burrata cheese); our daughter had the Smoked Potato Gnocchi served with Bolognese sauce; Jim had the Monkfish Milanese served with lemon breadcrumbs, artichokes, dill and lemon; and I had the Bucatini alla Puttanesca, served with Mayan prawns, capers and olives.

All the entrees were excellent, beautifully prepared and delicious. Our son didn’t finish his fusilli, but that was more because he had gorged himself on the prosciutto than any deficiency in the dish.

For dessert, we shared the Piccola Pasticceria, a dish of house made Italian cookies and sweets. The almond cookies with powdered sugar were my personal favorite, although the chocolate lovers in the group spoke glowingly about the chocolate caramels.

It was a sign of how delicious the food was that Jim expressed his willingness to come back. Which we certainly will!

Casa Luca is located at 1099 New York Ave, NW in Washington, DC (the entrance to the restaurant is on 11th St, and there is valet parking for dinner).

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