Bargain Bites-While pasta prices edge ever upward in restaurants, often to $7 a portion, Toscanini restaurant on Capitol Hill serves a farinaceous bargain. If you order a small portion of pasta as an appatizer, they consider it a side dish and charge only $1.75 for the likes of linguine with pesto or fettucine Alfredo.
Cheap at Any Price-It wasn't that II Giardino was charging $4.75 for its baked oyster appetizer that rankled the diner, or even that one of the oysters was bad. That can happen, although it would be nice if the cook smelled the oysters as he opened them to be sure of their freshness. But the whole plate reeked, and when the diner sent the offensive oyster back to the kitchen to verify its being spoiled, the maitre d' hotel left the rest and simply replaced the bad one with one good baked oyster. One wonders what would happen if a diner found a strand of undercooked pasta or a burned mushroom in a sauce.
Watergate is Long Past, But Still Nobody Welcomes Bugs-Mail is running heavy-and angry-regarding cockroaches in restaurant dining rooms. The bugs have been found scurrying across linen cloths and linoleum, fleeing salads and emerging from entrees. What kind of society is this, where even the insects are dining out more often?
Market Research-Just when we thought thedays of chefs doing their own marketing personally were a thing of the past, Dominique d'Ermo has gone on the mostambitious grocery trip seen to date. He personally flew to the Andes to pick out mountain trout and white asparagus, flying them among his luggage back to his restaurant, and served them fresh to the lucky few. Now he has made arrangements for regular deliveries of these delicacies, and whatever the price it is cheaper for the diner than flying to Brussels for fresh white asparagus in spring.
Game Board-It's game season around town, with wild boar, venison and pheasant on its way to becoming common place. Only Picaddilyy, 5510 Connecticut Ave.NW, gives yoy a chance to sample several at once, on a Huntler's Platter of pheasant, venison and rabbit.
P. G. Means Pretty Good-In the wake of knee-deep letters telling me about restaurants in Prince George's County I may have missed, I have found one surprise in Langley Park. Eddie Leonard's-not a sandwich shop, but a real restaurant, with big screen TV and all-has french fried onion rings better than Langley Park has seen since the Hot Shoppes' heydays in the '50s. The onions rings outshine the steaks and certainly the fryer-thawed seafood, but are matched by down-home-friendly service and the fruit that comes on the salad bar (three kinds of melon in one day).
Table Talk-Rustling through the bottles at the bar, a man was heard querying, "Where's the diet gin?"