July 8th, 2008 Categories: Dining Favorites
La Strada, featuring Northern Italian cuisine, is the latest eatery to open on Del Ray’s Mt. Vernon Avenue. And like all good things Italian, it’s a family affair.
Father Stephen Scott, Sr. handles the front of the house with a sure hand and friendly conversation. Mother Diana Balboni oversees the small dining room and is quick to correct any imperfection – like needing more bread, more wine, more anything!
Sisters Kristen and Courtney lead the wait staff and the kitchen is commanded by top chef Stephen Scott, Jr.
But there’s more – dishes can be ordered family style. And it was Stephen Jr’s., grandmother, his ‘Nona’ who inspired his culinary journey with family dinners rich with pastas, sausages and sauces.
Stephen, Jr., (Steve) began cooking at home and then started hands on restaurant work at the age of 13, eventually interning with the great Roberto Donna at Primi Piatti in Adams Morgan.
It was on to Italy for culinary school and then back to Washington for stints at Radicchio, Galileo and Zola.
The younger Scotts are all residents of Del Ray and when the location inhabited by Los Amigos for some 20 years became available – well, the family made a decision and La Strada was born.
Open since June 4, La Strada is, by all indications, a hit. There are no reservations but a communal table in the entrance invites diners to sit, talk, have a glass of wine and, dare we say it, act like Italians! The main dining room seats 50 and the outside patio accomodates another 12.
The menu and wine list are still evolving but look for locally sourced and seasonally sustainable ingredients to take center stage. So relax, enjoy and let a bit of Northern Italy transport you for a night.
And, you heard it here first – look for La Strada to be one of the newest entries in next year’s Zagat Guide for Alexandria.
We only live 2 1/2 blocks down East Howell so guess what – we’ll see you there!