Galileo III is upscale, quiet, and “grand” with a large dramatic staircase that leads to an upstairs dining section. While I prefer something a bit more comfortable and casual for my everyday dinner out, Roberto Donna’s new restaurant is a nice option for a special occasion, a pre-theater meal, or a work related function. My friend and I were a little confused by the pricing when we first arrived until one of waiters explained that it is based on a prix fixe menu with an option of two courses plus dessert for $55, three courses plus dessert for $72, or four courses plus dessert for $89. Knowing that we really wanted to get a lay of the land and try a lot of different things on the menu, this setup worked nicely and allowed us to do so.
In total we ordered five dishes which included two appetizers, two pastas, and one main course to split. We started with the porcini mushroom two days and the sauteed sea scallops atop yellow and black polenta with mushrooms in a light cream sauce. I particularly enjoyed the polenta on the scallop dish which had a wonderful texture… and who knew there was black polenta? That was my first time experiencing it and I enjoyed it very much. Next came the pastas and I must say that the service was incredibly fast and attentive as the dishes continued to come out at an impressive speed. The pasta course was our favorite because both dishes were slightly different than your average option at an Italian restaurant. The first was a black taglierini in a lobster cream sauce along with a butter poached lobster tail and the second was a green ravioli with fonduta filling in a butter and sage sauce. While the lobster pasta sounds heavy, it actually was much less intense than I expected, and we were thrilled to use the bread to soak up every last speck of the sauce. The lobster was plentiful, and the dish was wonderfully concocted. While the ravioli sounds simple, it might have been my favorite thing of the night. I easily tasted the spinach in the homemade green pasta, and the filling was pillowy and made them little bites of heaven. The portion size was small but not too small, and it really was an example of a classic and simple dish done right.
We then received our main entree which was porcini powder dusted veal filet medallions with mushrooms, cippollini onions, and taleggio cheese. The veal was moist and went beautifully with the sweetness of the onions and the light jus on the plate. Both my friend and I found the veal to be cooked well and a nice finish to the pastas we had just completed. Finally, it was time for dessert which is included in the cost and therefore gives you no excuse to not indulge. At the waiter’s recommendation we ordered the dark chocolate torta with pistachio, lime, basil, and coconut and the gianduja semi freddo with coffee, cinnamon, hazelnut, banana, and rum. We both were crazy about the semi freddo which had a soft consistency balanced perfectly with the crunch of the hazelnuts on the bottom of the dish. The flavors were absolutely delicious and the dessert was not incredibly heavy or overdone. The chocolate torta was delicious, but a bit more dense and I wasn’t wild about the citrus flavors in the dish, but really enjoyed the the pistachio and coconut ice creams with a little cookie crunch on the plate.
At the end of the evening, we tallied up a total of three glasses of wine (very reasonably priced at $7-$12 on average), two appetizers, two pastas (one with a full lobster tail might I add), a meat course and two desserts and we each owed around $100.00 including tip. While it was expensive and not a place you can go to every night, I actually think it was not unreasonably priced considering all of the ingredients that were included and the amount of food that was consumed. All in all, Galileo III delivered a wonderful fine dining experience with delicious food that makes Roberto Donna’s third iteration one that might stick around for awhile.
600 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005