Judging Restaurants – Acqua al 2

Acqua al 2 is located at 212 7th Street SE. As huge fan of Italian food was I eagerly anticipating this opening since the spring. And while it is not cheap, I loved it. This is probably my favorite new restaurant that I’ve been to in a while (though I’m still waiting to get into Estadio). Since I went I’ve heard others who’ve loved it and others who’ve been very disappointed. Anyone else check them out yet? Must order items? You can see their menu here.

21 Comment

  • Pssst…it’s Acqua al 2.

  • I’ve eaten there a few times since it opened. The ambiance and food has continued to wow me. The service has improved dramatically since opening. The place is informal but very fine and while everyone is fantastically friendly they’re not in your face about it, very professional.
    Everything on the menu is great but I recommend trying the pasta sampler to get some real Italian noodles. Every sauce goes perfectly with every type of noodle (perfectly cooked, more or less al dente depending on the sauce consistency). The real shining light of the place is the filetto. Amazing beef. Balsamico is out of this world but the Filetto al Mirtillo is what made Acua al 2 famous in Florence. I don’t drink but I’ve heard the wine selection is good but not on par with the food. Highly recommended restaurant.

  • I was very impressed when I ate there. The pasta dish was fantastic, with a great sauce and presentation. The meat plate was also very delicious. The service was great and everyone was very friendly. I didn’t find the prices expensive, though I did go at lunch time. I think this is a great addition to the neighborhood. Gratzi!

  • Acqua al 2 serves fantastic authentic Italian food. I had been to the one in Florence many times while I was living there, and their blueberry steak had me hooked. I was shocked when I found out they were opening in DC and had to check it out.

    I got the background from the bartender there while waiting for friends- the owner is from DC but played soccer professionally in Florence for a few years. Apparently opening up a restaurant is the hip thing for soccer players to do, so he did, and it was a huge success, so he brought it do DC when he came home. Lucky us!

  • Glad everyone else liked it, but I thought the pasta (had the sampler) was nothing special, the place was too loud, and really expensive for what you get.

  • Really, really good. I’ve been twice. The gorgonzola gnocci is awesome and my husband loved their blueberry steak.

  • I have been there twice. First time the service was OK and food excellent. Second time it was too loud, poor service, but the food was still excellent. Our server only brought out half the table’s first plates, took 15 minutes to get the other ones from the kitchen. Apparently the kitchen messed up. That didn’t bother me as much as not being able to hear the person across the table from me. Probably won’t go back even thought he food is great. If I’m paying that much, I want to have a conversation.

    • We had problems with the host staff and a waiter in the beginning, but we went last time and it was markedly better. The decor lends itself to a louder restaurant -hardwood floors, open kitchen.

  • I’m looking forward to trying the place. A neighbor who had recently been to Florence said it was just like being there.

  • Have been there half a dozen times since it opened — reservations highly recommended since it’s on the small size. Pasta sauces are super super good. The Strozzapreti al Pomodoro is ridiculously fantastic! Pasta dishes are mostly vegetarian (yay!) but note that the pasta isn’t house-made. Desserts are so-so — but wine selection makes up for it.

  • Yes the blueberry steak is great!

  • meh, the food was good, delicate pasta, and sauces, but I felt like our waitress was rushing us the whole time to get out of her section.

  • I thought it was great. Loved all but one pasta in the sampler (but then again I hate broccoli so I can’t hold it against them) that I had when I was there. My service was excellent but it was a quiet evening. Wine list is fantastic, albeit a bit pricier than I’d like, but the food prices were reaonsable. The strozapetti appetizer I had was by far the highlight; in fact I put that up with Rasika’s crispy spinach as my favorite appetizer in D.C.

    Overall, I think here and Posto are the best bets for Italian in D.C., heck, maybe the only bets. Looking forward to, hopefully, more good options with the new places opening in Logan.

  • I’ve been a few times and now that they’re open for lunch, will be there a lot more. Food has always been excellent – service has been hit or miss. I generally prefer to sit at the bar for dinner at most places, and acqua al 2 is no exception. Normally, the bartenders are awesome, but the last time I was there, the bartender – who was new – was amazingly inattentive. The bar is tiny, so it’s not like he didn’t see us sitting there. Very bad.

    But, I’ll continue to go b/c the food is amazing and I absolutely love the atmosphere. They have outdoor seating out front now too, which is great (and quieter!).

  • Way too loud. Need to turn off the the music or relegate it to the bar and get tablecloths and padded chairs to help deaden the noise.

    Also I need to be able to get out of there in less than 3.5 hours…wow. How they can manage with such a slow turn around time…

    Service has been terrible, though friendly and apologetic, but definitely unprofessional and so slow.

    Food is excellent, but really Bistro Italiano is such a better deal.

    • “Food is excellent, but really Bistro Italiano is such a better deal.”

      That’s like saying, “The burger at Palena is excellent, but McDonald’s is such a better deal.”

      I love Bistro Italiano, but it’s apples and oranges. No way you can compare the two.

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