Atmosphere: A low-key, candlelight look.
Hours: Lunch: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; Dinner: 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Sunday, dinner only from 5 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
Price range: From $5.95 for speaghetti with meat sauce to $8.95 for spaghetti with shrimp and veal dishes.
Credit cards: American Express, Carte Blanche, Diner's, MasterCard, VISA.
Special facilities: No children's menu, but a side order of spaghetti can be provided. Entrance accessible to handicapped. Highchairs and booster seats.
If one can hustle around the Metro construction and hassle with the street-parking situation, this newly relocated restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue has many fine features.
Music played faintly in the background as we entered the Adriatico.Except for the Italian map on the back of the wine list, we were left without a sense of nationality. But the food ended any doubts we might have had.
Tables were covered with tablecloths and lit with candlelight. But it was too romantic for our squinting 9-year-old, who insisted we borrow another candle from the unoccupied next table.
Water glases were filled soon after we were seated, which satisfied thirsty children. However, the basket of bread arrived much later, making it an accompaniment to the meal rather than an appetizer.
We started with two orders of crostini (60 cents each), aptly labeled by my husband as the "poor man's escargot." This blend of seasonings atop a slice of bread was delicious, but one slice by itself is too small an order, and it looks pathetic alone on a plate. Escargots are available for $3.50.
The large minestrone ($1.75) mysteriously arrived with extra spoons. The waitress recognized that the children would be unable to resist sampling.
Each entree is accompanied by a dinner salad with garbanzo beans and a mushroom slice. It is a fresh bowl of iceberg that has received a plentiful dousing of the house dressing.
The pastas made fresh by Adriatico are worth sampling. My husband's tagiatelle alla bolognese was an instant pleaser: A large portion of egg noodles perfectly prepared with a tasty meat sauce thick enough to adhere to the pasta rather than pass through it.
Our son ordered plain garlic and parmesan spaghetti, which arrived with two meatballs ($5.95).
The portion of spaghetti was ample, but the meatballs were dry and overcooked, needing the fine thick sauce accompanying my ravioli or the tagiatelle.
We knew our 5-year-old could never finish a dinner portion of spaghetti, and the waitress said a side order could be provided ($1.75). Our daughter also had a side order of meatballs that were the same consistency as her brother's.
My chicken parmigiana ($1.75) convinced me that one should concentrate on pasta and not stray. The melted mozzarella-tomato topping is the best part of what appears to be a distant relative to a lightly covered chicken breast. The packaged ravioli accompanying the entree had one virtue: the tomato sauce.
Find out what the fresh pasta dishes are and concentrate on them. Homemade pasta is advertised and worth ordering. Sometimes it is the canneloni ($6.95), which we have found light and fresh on other evenings at the Adriatico.
Some nice, light desserts are available. The milk chocolate fluffy mousse or the recently filled cannoli with light pastry shells are both good.
One problem at the Adriatico was that dinner took a long time to arrive. No one ordered anything complicated, and the restaurant was nearly empty on the weeknight we visited. Romantic twosomes may enjoy the long, lingering dinner experience, but families with young children are likely to upset the ambience before the main course arrives.
The four of us had large portions and a complete sampling of the menu for $41.80, including tax and tip.