Recently S and I were invited to dine at Acqua Al 2, an Italian restaurant located in Gaslamp. We’re always up for trying new Italian food and happily went to check it out.
We were greeted by Carlos, the manager. He kindly talked to us about the restaurant, which has a location in Florence, Italy. The restaurant was started by executive chef Martin Gonzalez, who was introduced to Italian cuisine because he wanted to study abroad and happened to attend culinary school! There is also a location now in Washington D.C. He also took us on a brief tour of the restaurant:
Thursdays (which happened to be the night we were there!) are “Aperitivo” nights, which feature complimentary hors d’oeurves at the bar or patio area. We didn’t try any of the them, but they did look yummy. The walls of the restaurant are decorated with plates, signed by various celebrities or friends of the restaurant. Carlos mentioned that there are a lot of baseball players and athletes’ autographs on these plates. After the brief tour and intro to Acqua al 2, we were seated back at our table, and Carlos said that he would bring out a variety of menu items for us to sample.
The meal started with sliced baguettes, served in a paper bag. I thought that was pretty neat. It was paired with a tomato and herb dip, which was yummy but a bit on the salty side.
We’re noobs when it comes to wine and weren’t planning on having anything, but Carlos insisted that no Italian meal should be without a glass of wine – so he recommended this Donnafugata “Lighea”, a dry moscato that turned out to be quite good. I claim no knowledge when it comes to wine pairings, though.
Our dinner started with a sampler of five signature pasta dishes:
Orecchiette, literally meaning “little ear”, is one of my favorite types of pastas since the shape is optimal for little pockets of sauce that just oozes in your mouth when you take a bite. The Gorgonzola cheese-based sauce was creamy and smooth – I was initially worried that S wouldn’t like the sauce because he’s not a fan of stinky cheeses, but he actually enjoyed the flavor since the cheese taste was pretty mild.
The spinach and parmesan sauce in this one was light and refreshing, with just the right amount of creaminess….