465 K Street, NW formerly Kushi
From a press release:
“Award-winning chef Michael Schlow will open his third Washington, D.C. location, Alta Strada, on Tuesday March 22. A neighborhood Italian restaurant in Mt. Vernon Triangle’s City Vista, Alta Strada will offer dishes that Schlow learned through working and traveling in Tuscany, Piedmonte, Emilia-Romagna, and Campania. Located at 465 K Street, NW, the 75-seat restaurant designed by Brian Miller of Edit Lab at Streetsense, will also feature a separate crudo bar, Conosci, [pronounced koh-no-shee], which will open in April.
The kitchen, overseen by recent Boston transplant, Chef Michael Zentner, will serve beloved Italian dishes. “It’s important to me that we be respectful when it comes to the origins of these dishes,” says Schlow. This type of restaurant appeals to us on so many levels. I’m excited to be opening in such a vibrant neighborhood, and my hope is for Alta Strada to become everyone’s local, go-to place”.
Guests will find a wide variety of antipasti, house-made pastas, pizzas, and authentic entrees. Highlights include dishes such as grilled octopus with chickpeas, Calabrian chiles and lemon; an authentic version of tagliatelle Bolognese (which Schlow learned in Bologna); maltagliati with rabbit and fresh fava beans, and pollo al mattone. The open kitchen will produce light, airy pizzas which Schlow calls a cross between New York, Rome and Naples, with varieties ranging from a classic margherita, to soppresata and hot chiles, to Schlow’s personal favorite, the pizza bianco, made with homemade ricotta, mozzarella, fontina, rosemary, and hot pepper. Playful desserts such as the “Mascaporeos,” the restaurant’s Italian riff on already unscrewed Oreos®, made with dark chocolate shortbreads, mascarpone with whipped cream, vanilla and cinnamon will round out the menu.
Veteran bartender Anthony Marlowe will oversee a cocktail menu of classic Italian drinks, such as an Americano on draft, and the restaurant’s take on an Aperol Spritz with Aperol, gin, Prosecco and lavender bitters, alongside his own unique creations such as the Kiss the Ring, made with blended scotch, Nardini Mandorla and Angostura Bitters. Assistant General Manager Eric DiNardo, who lived in Italy for several years, has selected an extensive all-Italian wine list, with a wide selection of wines by the glass. The menu will also feature Amaros, Italian liqueurs as well as Italian craft beers.
Designed by Edit Lab, the warm and inviting space evokes a vibrant, urban Italian trattoria. Mixed media artist Adrienne Schlow’s playful painted shapes and figures decorate the walls around the tiled open kitchen. The pockmarked concrete floor shows the past life of the restaurant, and a wall of red leather booths under wine storage shelving provides smaller niches within the open space. A sky blue back bar draws inspiration from Italian storefronts. Since opening TICO in 2014, Adrienne has played an integral role in selecting and creating much of the artwork in all of Schlow’s restaurant locations in Washington.
Initially opening for dinner service only, Schlow plans to debut weekday lunch and weekend brunch in late spring. As the weather warms, Alta Strada will welcome diners on their outdoor patio as well. Dinner service begins at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday the 22nd, and the last reservation will be at 10:30 during the week and 11:30 on the weekends.
Conosci, which translates loosely to ‘do you know?’ or ‘are you are aware of’ in Italian, will open later this spring. Schlow and his team will serve imaginative crudos, a daily soup, market driven vegetable dishes, and other inspired creations in the intimate 25-seat space. The cocktail program will feature a list of spirits and specialty cocktails that will be mixed tableside on a vintage bar cart. The menu, priced at $45 or $185 per person, will vary based on seasonality and the chef’s whims, offering nightly a la carte options as well as the guest’s ability to leave the menu up to the chefs. More details and a menu for Conosci will follow.”