The Washington Post

Red-sauce Italian joint Alphonse Italian Market and Osteria now open on U street

An affordable neighborhood red-sauce joint? That's amore. Look to Alphonse Italian Market and Osteria, which quietly opened 10 days ago on U Street, for coffee and sandwiches during the day, and hearty pastas and pizza at night. The restaurant, at 1212 U Street, is the newest venture from the owners of Dupont's Russia House.

(Maura Judkis/for The Post) (Maura Judkis/for The Post)

Alphonse, with its trendy name, is the kind of place where you can expect to hear Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin over the speakers, and the cooks cursing in Italian from the kitchen. In the market portion of the space, you'll find canned and dry goods, like imported olive oil and tiramisu-ready ladyfinger cookies on the shelves to the right, while the house-made pastas, desserts and antipasti are at the counter to your left. In the mornings, you can grab an espresso and a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich on foccaccia on your way to the Metro. For lunch, grab a $10 sandwich, like a fried eggplant or classic chicken parm to go.

Artichoke and anchovy salad (Maura Judkis/for The Post)

Tall booths and a bar in the back will accommodate groups who want to grab a glass of wine or a bowl of fresh pasta. Alphonse's menu includes excellent artichoke-anchovy and caprese salads, among other starters, to be followed by bison pappardelle, vegetarian lasagna and mussel, clam and prawn bucatini. The pizza menu offers pies topped with anchovies and capers, pancetta and egg, and spicy pepperoni and meatballs. (Obligatory "That's a spicy meatball!" reference here).

Once a plate of spaghetti makes its way to your red-checkered-cloth-covered table, you'll think of this great moment in cinematic history:

After the generous portions of pasta, we weren't inclined to order dessert. But our server made us an offer we couldn't refuse: "Would you like any of our desserts boxed to take home?" she asked. Cannoli to go. It's $4. Do it. And watch this space: A more upscale restaurant, Nona's Kitchen, will open on the restaurant's second floor in one week.

Bison pappardelle (Maura Judkis/for The Post)

Alphonse Italian Market and Osteria, 1212 U St. NW (Metro: U Street).

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read
Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Next Story
Lavanya Ramanathan · August 25, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.