Todd) You are an event planner in a sense, and a designer, and a coordinator, and a bit of an accountant, a business major at the University of Maryland, and so you saw this concept coming in Georgetown, and you thought this could really work right.
CiCi) When I met the owners, they said this is what they are doing...They wanted to do an Italian restaurant in georgetown
and that this is a wonderful idea.
TCW) Were you surprised to hear that?
CiCi) When you think of italian food, it's bigger, larger dishes, I
love their idea. I think it's a wonderful way to encourage the family.. Was this everything you thought you could be to be involved with this? The owners are great. I love working with them. I can call them at 3 in the morning and they're going to answer
Todd) Oh you've tried! You've got experience. Especially when you're running the restaurant.
CiCi) They take good care of each one of their businesses. And that's why they hired me. And you care because you been there
as a customer. You want to be waited on by somebody who
knows the food right? When you're very detailed about service.
We want our guests to feel like it's their home. It can feel like a home when you have comfortable furniture right?
Todd) You did it tonight, at least for the media, but I want to say
in particular the warm ravioli was really a delicacy. That's what
you want, ravioli that melts in your mouth. And our Chef Ryan. Yea, he pulled it off. And we saw the pasta making machine, and you're not the only one's besides Filominas in Georgetown that can make your own pasta.
CiCi) We make our own right here and it's fresh. And that's a
staple now to see that it's being done. Ryan is very particular
Todd) He probably learned that from Roberta Donna, and some of the other people that he's worked with.
CiCi) We are opening for lunch next week. We open late for dinner and weekends.
TCW) But can you dance?
CiCi) We'll make room for you if you want...
Todd) That's what I wanted to hear...chow!
Rialto Restaurant Georgetown,
October 2013, Washington DC
Sihanm Zouine Stoops (CiCi)
Chef Ryan Fichter
Waiter Santino Filipetto
My name is Tommaso, and I'm the general manager of Realto. I was born and raised in Italy, in Pavlova, a city a few miles from Venice.I moved to America when I was about 21.
Todd) How long have you been in the restaurant business?
Tommaso) All my life, since I was 15.
Todd) So you've seen it all? Every kind of Mushroom?
Todd) Been there, done that, as you say it over here. What do you bring to Georgetown, that we want to see in Washington DC? We're bringing
what Georgetown is missing…The character of place with a fine dining experience
Tommaso) A good place where people as far as Georgetown is, I'm not going to mention our competitors but we need a good italian restaurant, I want to say amazing.
Todd) You want to say amazing, but do your customers say that?
Tommaso) So far, I'm reflecting what the customers have said. Tonight the Ravioli was extraordinary, and I have worked in Italian Restaurants.
Todd) The temperature in which you served the rravioli was just right, but what I also noticed was the extraordinary service. The attention to detail, the shiny silverware.
Tommaso) We going to keep it up for the opening and for the future. We want everyone to be happy in Realto. We don't have the stuffy, the table cloth atmosphere, but we want people to enjoy the casual dining in a great way. And it's romantic, and someplace to think about for a date.
You saw what the place looks like. We have space for everybody. Space for college students, and romantics, to professionals.
Tommaso) Ryan is our executive chef, and he's been collaborating with a couple of He's worked with Chef Michaela In collaboration with him, we came up with this extraordinary menu. We have every thing available. We have the pizzas, the salads, the antipasti, the pizzas. What's special is both the oven are imported from Italy, which makes the difference. The love, passion. You've got the point So far, this is one of our strengths. Is what people comment on most. And then the variety of authentic toppings and sauces.
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Interviewing Shoes Designer and restaurant reviewer, Simone, of www.Simonesez.com
Foodie fun: We were at the Capital Food Fight recently at the Reagan Building which invites some of the best chefs in the area.
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Here's Laurie of Swiss Bakery in Burke Va. at recent Capital Food Fight event at Reagan Building
Lance London is Expanding...
Lance London’s Carolina Kitchen in Hyattsville, Maryland, is known for its signature Soul Food and American cuisine that’s based off his late grandmothers recipes. Its weekly events include poetry and jazz night, and are popular with his customers who don’t hesitate to sing the venue’s praises. Never one to rest on his laurels, the entrepreneur is looking to expand his venues, and his menu.
His empire started in a downtown Silver Springs location, and has grown into a successful line that includes Carolina Kitchen Express, Carolina Kitchen (Largo, MD), and Carolina Kitchen Bar & Grill. His next endeavor is a conceptual restaurant named CK Burger, part of a new Carolina Kitchen location.
CK Burger plans to serve “the original country burger,” says London. The restaurant will offer a variety of burgers ranging from salmon, veggie, turkey and other options including a jerk burger. He also plans to offer an Angus all-beef burger to customers who want a traditional hamburger. The burgers, prepared cookout-style, will be available with sides such as potato salad, baked beans and coleslaw.
London plans for CK Burger and Carolina Kitchen to operate in a split location at 2300 Washington Place NE, where they’ll share a kitchen. He wants to open both restaurants by August. Additionally, there are plans in the works to take Carolina Kitchen nationwide, but he’s undecided as of yet. He told the Washington Business Journal, “I have almost 200 people who want to open a franchise but I haven’t decided whether or not I want to do that yet.”
London credits his late father for his entrepreneurial spirit.
“My father would sit with me at night, and talk about how he wanted me to own my own businesses, and be an entrepreneur,” he says.
The same way his father motivated him, London gives back to the small business community as a speaker, providing guidance and inspiration.
At the 2012 Hoodie Awards where Carolina Kitchen won Best Soul Food Restaurant, when asked what he would impart to aspiring business men and women he said, “Communities need more financial heroes to teach the importance of entrepreneurship and the power of economics.”
Here's a representative of Policy Restaurant on 14th st. ...
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