Rich Massabny is a theatre, arts, & food critic in the nation's capital. He has been quoted in the Washington Post and Washington Times. One of the most visible cable television personalities in the Washington, D.C. area, his celebrity chefs on cooking shows, his weekly reviews and his hour long talk show, reach over 1,000,000 homes.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

SIGNATURE THEATRE - “Sizzlin’ Summer Nights” Plus 2015-2016 Season

     During the month of July, Signature Theatre offered over 16 summer concerts by popular actors who have appeared in past Signature productions. I wish I could have attended them all, but I did manage to catch singer/actress Sandy Bainum in “It Might Be Fun” concert of original songs from her latest album, written by Bruce Kimmel.  Sandy was last seen  at Signature in “Gypsy,” “Show Boat,” “Company” and “Sunset Boulevard.” I have all of Sandy’s albums. She is quite the performer with a fantastic voice.
     Now, let’s look at Signature’s new season which begins Aug. 11 with “The Fix,” described as sex, drugs and rock and roll, set in the nation’s capital. The next show, Sept. 29-Nov. 22, is “Cake Off,”  a world premiere musical comedy about a battle of baking sexes. For a full schedule, check the website at or call, 703-820-9771.


     Twenty years ago, The American Century Theater (TACT), produced its first play, “Twelve Angry Men” by Reginald Rose. It is only fitting that its final production should be “Twelve Angry Men.” Interestingly as well, a number of actors in the first production are also in this one, directed by  TACT co-founder and artistic director Jack Marshall. The setting is a jury room in New York City where 12 jurors are deliberating the guilt or innocence of a man charged with murder. The vote begins 11 guilty and one non-guilty. What happens next is riveting.
     I was in the audience 20 years ago and  knew then that TACT was going to be a great community theater group and I wasn’t disappointed. I encourage you to see this final production which runs through Aug. 8 at Gunston II, 2700 S. Lang St. (off S. Glebe Rd.). For information and tickets, call 704-998-4555 and check the website at
So long, Jack, we’re gonna’ miss you!

Monday, January 19, 2015


Bistro—Market—Wine Bar
     Recently opened at 1800 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, is a restaurant, market and wine bar called Bistro 360. Art Hauptman, who owns Cassatts restaurant on Lee Highway near Glebe Road, is a principal at Bistro 360.  Taking a look at Bistro’s menu, developed by executive chef Scott Person, my first thought was, “Wow! A little Asian, a little Italian, a little Southern, a little Eastern Europe and a little French.”  For starters, I tried the onion cabbage soup and butternut squash bisque with a side of fried green tomatoes. Delicious. I was tempted to get the antipasto platter with charcuterie, cheeses, salad and pickled vegetables because Bistro’s market features a wonderful array of cheeses. Another item I passed up, but will try later, was a roasted lamb flatbread with feta cheese and caramelized onions. It looked great! Entrees are divided into pastas and rice, seafood, rotisserie and meats. I chose the miso glazed salmon with bok choy along with lo mein noodles. My wife had a lemongrass pork chop served with gnocchi and snap peas. Both entrees were beautifully presented and seasoned perfectly. Chef Scott said his shrimp and grits and steak dishes are also very popular. Bistro 360 is an up and coming  restaurant between Rosslyn and Clarendon. It’s open seven days a week for dinner plus  brunch on Saturday and Sunday. For more information and reservations, call 703-522-3600 and check the website at

Sunday, December 14, 2014


     When was the last time you were in Leesburg? Well, now is the time to go and have dinner at the Palio Ristorante Italiano, located right in the heart of Leesburg—it’s well worth the trip! Recently, I met Palio’s experienced general manager, David Saavedra and got a tour of this charming and first-class restaurant. David’s also the GM of the newly opened Virginia Diner around the corner which is a fun, first-rate diner. Both eateries are owned by the genial Michael O’Connor. Back to Palio. In my opinion, part of its success are the servers like Hugo, Bill and C4.The head chef is Ian Dieter whose menu is outstanding. For starters I had a delicious lobster bisque followed by a great beef carpaccio with truly thinly sliced beef, red onions, arugula, capers and shaved parmigiano cheese. My wife wanted to try a pasta appetizer and was served linguini with Bolognese sauce. A real winner! There are great entrée items to choose from and at Hugo’s suggestion I ordered frutti di mare which consisted of pasta, clams, scallops, calamari, shrimp and mussels in a garlic white wine sauce. Delicious! My wife had one of Palio’s favorite items, risotto ai funghi con Capesante which is pan seared scallops with wild mushroom risotto, truffle oil and asparagus. Outstanding! Some of the other entrees are roasted chicken stuffed with spinach, veal scallopini, filet mignon, herb crusted rack of lamb and more. I don’t think you could go wrong with any choice.  Give Palio a try. It’s located at 2 West Market Street, Leesburg. For more information, call 703-779-0060 and check the website at

Saturday, October 4, 2014

SFIZI CAFÉ – Tratorria,Wine Shop & Deli Market

     Did you know there is a truly authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of Falls Church? Located at 800 W. Broad St., with easy access from a parking garage, SFIZI Cafe is not only a restaurant, but also a wine shop and deli market. Owner Lino Ricciardi is proud to point out that everything  in the wine shop and deli and on the menu is Italian. SFIZI’s  has a glorious  menu with appetizers, entrees, salads, pastas and desserts. One item that blew me away was the pizza. It is undoubtedly the best I’ve had since leaving Brooklyn. Reading the menu is a delightful experience.  Just hearing the server recommend crostini sfiziosi, calamari all griglia or melanzane alla parmigiana, lasagna casalinga and tagliatelle al gambere are enough to transfer you to a little town in Italy.  The food is wonderful and you’ll swear there are Italian grandmothers in the kitchen. Owner Ricciardi  says most of his recipes come from his mother and he only uses ingredients imported from Italy. SFIZI’s is my kind of restaurant—authentic homemade food, good service, pleasant ambiance and a convenient location. For more information and reservations, call 703-533-1191 and check the website at SFIZI’s is also open for lunch. By the way, SFIZI is pronounced sfeetzi which means a special treat—and indeed it is!