Rich Massabny is on a Sabbatical and will return in late summer or early Fall.
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, February 1, 2015
Vanessa Hudgens, starring as “Gigi” at The Kennedy Center, has the stuff to make her a star like her “Gigi” predecessors, Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron. “Gigi” is playing through February 12 and then it’s off to Broadway, where I’m sure it will be a big hit! It’s a glorious production from beginning to end, directed by Eric Schaeffer. Lovely, lovely, lovely is what I was thinking when the curtains opened and I saw the set by Derek McLane, the costumes by Catherine Zuber and the choreography by Joshua Bergasse. The story is about a teenage girl, Gigi, being guided and groomed by her grandmother Mamita (Victoria Clark) and her aunt Alicia (Dee Hoty) as she develops a relationship with Gaston Lachaille (Corey Cott). Gaston is being advised by his uncle, Honore Lachaille (Howard McGillin) who once had a relationship with Mamita. Also in the cast is Steffanie Leigh as Liane d’Exelmans. The book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Lowe
include their well-known songs such as “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” “I Remember it Well,” “Gigi” and “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore.” This 2015 revival of “Gigi” was adapted by Heidi Thomas and several new songs were added. James Moore did a grand job as the musical director. For more information and tickets to “Gigi”, call 202-467-4600 or check the website at www.kennedy-center.org.
Monday, January 19, 2015
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 www.Bistro360.net.
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 www.palioofleesburg.com.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
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 www.sfizi.com. SFIZI’s is also open for lunch. By the way, SFIZI is pronounced sfeetzi which means a special treat—and indeed it is!
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
There’s a classy new Indian restaurant in southwest D.C. at 1101 4th Street, called Masala Art. It’s in a brand new space just around the corner from the Arena Stage. My guest and I had a sampling of several specialties including chicken tikka, south Indian spicy fish curry in chili coconut sauce, lamb shank curry and goat cheese dumplings. Masala Art has quite the menu and one of the best parts is that each dish has a description. Indian food is all about spices and flavor. Spices are called masalas, hence the restaurant’s name, Masala Art. The menu has appetizers, tandoori specialties, tawa selections, non-vegetarian and vegetarian entrees, biryani, breads, side dishes and desserts. Several dishes caught my attention such as the panipoori appetizer, puffed hollows with diced potatoes and chickpeas topped with chutney plus stuffed tandoori made with marinated potatoes stuffed with ricotta cheese and dried fruit. Also, lamb in a rich mint and cilantro gravy served with a side of their traditional nan or other bread selections. And for dessert, rasmalal—cottage cheese dumplings in sweetened milk. Masala Art is owned by Atul Bhola. He and general manager, Jay and Masala Art’s chef, Ajay Ramola, have a real winner on their hands. Give it a try--you won’t be disappointed! For more information and reservations, call 202-554-1101 and check the website at www.masalaartdc.com. They also have another location at 4441B Wisconsin Avenue Northwest.