Restaurant Review: Il Canale

June 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Georgetown area has more than just cupcake shops, which you might have thought had you just been reading my previous posts. There are really nice restaurants lining the blocks and around every corner. Most of the places are fairly pricey so last night when we ventured into the neighborhood we tried to chose one that would satisfy all our palates without breaking the bank.

On 31st Street, off of the quaint canal that runs through the area, we found a cluster of Italian restaurants. We chose Il Canale, the one with the smart business practice of offering free samples of their thin crust pizza to passerbys on the street. The large brick oven and kitchen are located front and center to the restaurant, and there are seating areas on the first floor, second floor, and a balcony area.

The menu is very traditional. There were several pizza options, antipasto, salads, and entrees in the $15-30 range. Two people in our group ordered pizzas and they were quite large for personal sized pizzas (around 10 to 12 inches across). I tried a slice of my friend’s parmagiano pizza, and it was terrific. The crust was very thin but chewy, so much so that it was difficult to cut with a knife, and the fresh cheese was plentiful. My friends both raved about their pizzas.

I ordered the Meditarranea salad, which was arugula with imported bufala mozzarella, grape tomatoes, carrots, olives, grilled zucchini, and smoked mozzarella. I added grilled chicken on top. The salad arrived plated beautifully. There was a large amount of chicken breast which was carved into strips. It was decent, though cooked a bit too long so that it was blackened in some pieces. I was a bit disappointed in the amount of some of the other toppings. There was a total of two olives, a few tomatoes, and one piece of grilled zucchini, on top of a mound of arugula leaves. To be fair, the server did say that this was an appetizer sized portion (I ordered the small salad at $9 + $6 for the chicken).

The cheeses were great – there was one ball of the bufala mozzarella and a thick slice of the smoked mozzarella. They both were fairly mild in taste but very fresh.

The service was efficient and polite. The restaurant seems to have a fast turnover and we were asked for our orders about five minutes after being seated, and got our dishes within ten to fifteen minutes of ordering. We had a great view of the canal from our window-side table on the second floor. I would recommend this place for anyone looking for mid-price great pizza or a nice Italian restaurant in the Georgetown area.

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