Saturday, December 24, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Countdown - Two Gentleman of Verona at the Shakespeare Theatre Company

Still haven't found the perfect gift? Time is running out, but you can be a great santa by scoring tickets to the DC Shakespeare Theatre Company's production of Two Gentleman of Verona. This story about mistaken identity is considered to be one of Shakespeare's first romantic comedy's.

Additionally, from January 2-29th, a special twist on the play will take place in the form of a rock opera!

Two Gentleman of Verona is playing at the Shakespeare Theatre Company / Harman Center for the Arts,Lansburgh Theatre, Sidney Harman Hall 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004 starting January 17, 2012.

Friday, December 23, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Countdown - Half-off Rocco's Capriccio in Baltimore

For the next 28 hours you can purchase a $35 credit toward Rocco'a Capriccio in Baltimore's Little Italy, for just $17 - through Google offers! This is a great steal, whether for a low-key dinner date for yourself, or a last-minute gift for your favorite connoisseur of Italian food. This family restaurant is named after it's native Italian chef and owner, Rocco Gargano. Specializing in Northern Italian cuisine, trip advisor visitors recommend the stuffed veal and the soft shell crab appetizer. Don't forget to sign-up for their email list to receive special offers!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Countdown ~ Cartellate Recipe from Rosella Rago

Chef Rosella Rago, who joined CiaoDC earlier this year for our Taste of Italy event in August, shows us how to make Cartellate. She is joined by her own Nonna, Romana Sciddurlo.

Here's what you'll need for this delicious fried pastry treat for Christmas:
2 Lbs - Flour
1 3/4 Cups - Dry white wine
1/2 Cup - Olive oil
2 Cups - Vin Cotto (made from figs) or Honey
Cinnamon powder
Olive oil for frying

Watch the clip here for the methods. Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 Days of Christmas: Ring in the Holidays with 25 Cocktails at Bibiana ~Infused with homemade liquors

Tired of the same old cocktails? Osteria Bibiana has the cure for your bored taste buds. General Manager/Beverage Director Francesco Amodeo and Bartender Milton Hernandez have joined forces behind the bar at Ashok Bajaj’s Italian hot spot Bibiana to create 25 new seasonally-inspired cocktails; a countdown to December 25th and the merrymaking holidays. These exclusive libations are made with Bibiana’s delicious homemade liquors. Festive cocktails like the Samantha made with VSOP Cognac, Homemade Biscotti Liquor, Lemon Juice and a Dash of Orange Bitters; the Alessandra with H1 Spiced Pear Vodka, Pear Liqueur and Pear Juice; the Maria with Ceci Lambrusco, Cocchi Chinato Vermouth, Sangue Morlacco Cherry Liquor and Cranberry Juice, and the Simona with Blackwell Rhum, Homemade Vanilla Citrus Liquor, Egg White and Nutmeg are perfect for a special toast to all those naughty and nice friends. The best news of all? There are enough new drinks to experience a one every evening, well into the new year, and each is priced at $12.

Additionally, Bibiana is serving homemade Rosolio, a traditional liqueur distilled from the peel of lemons, mandarin, fennel and other ingredients most commonly found throughout the Amalfi Coast. Francesco Amodeo is making his own version of the natural liqueur and according to the Neapolitan tradition, Rosolio is must to be savored after coffee. It can be served at room temperature or cold, like a digestive or aperitif. Every Italian has an opinion on the best way to enjoy Rosolio as some like it plain, while others prefer adding tonic water or Champagne. The new holiday cocktails are as follows:

1 Lucretia: Homemade Almond Grappa, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Egg Whites

2 Vin Cotto: Red wine, Concerto (homemade digestive with 27 spices, coffee and barley) Saba, Dry Fruits and Nuts.

3 Alessandra: H1 Spiced Pear Vodka, Pear Liqueur, Pear Juice

4 Annalisa: Etichetta Nera Brandy, Lazzaroni Amaretto, Amaro Montenegro, Lemon Juice,

5 Rosanna: G’ Vine Gin, Homemade Prickly Pear Liquor, Maraschino, Grapefruit Juice

6 Antonella: Gordons Gin, Fernet Branca, Dolin Bianco

7 Gabriella: Amaro Zucca, Chinotto Italian Bitter Orange Soda

8 Simona: Blackwell Rhum, Homemade Vanilla Citrus Liquor, Egg Whites, Nutmeg

9 Bibiana: Prosecco, White Peach & Ginger

10 Mia: Redemption Bourbon, Carpano Antica, Pineapple Syrup

11 Nicoletta: Ketel One Citron, Limoncello, Pinot Grigio, Lemon Juice

12 Maddalena: Svedka Vodka, Campari, Martini Rosso & Splash of Prosecco

13 Nina: Etichetta Nera Brandy, Homemade Hibiscus Liquor, Lemon Juice

14 Pa pa l' Americano: Hendricks Gin, Cocchi Americano, Homemade Plum Liquor

15 Luisa: Gordon's Gin, Pineapple Juice, Fresh Basil

16 Stefania: Gordon's Gin, Homemade Apricot Liquor, Orange & Lemon Juice

17 Maria: Ceci Lambrusco, Cocchi Chinato Vermouth, Sangue Morlacco Cherry
Liquor, Cranberry Juice

18 Amalfi: Homemade Limocello, Gassoza Italian Lemon Soda

19 Giulia: Hendricks’s Gin, Aperol, Orange Juice

20 Samantha: VSOP Cognac, Homemade Biscotti Liquor, Lemon Juice, Dash of Orange Bitters

21 Andrea: Homemade Mandarin Liquor, Cocchi Americano, Luxardo Bitter, Grapefruit Juice

22 Katia: Redemption Rye , Amaro Averna, Homemade Cherry Liquor, Homemade Chocolate

23 Marta: Vanilla Infused JW Red Label, Fresh Thyme, Thyme Syrup

24 Laura: Hendricks, Homemade Limoncello, Crème de Violette, Cocchi Americano

25 Angelica: Etichetta Nera Italian Brandy, Luxardo Triple Sec, Lemon Juice

Give them a try and let us know what are your favorites!

Bibiana is located close to Metro Center at 1100 New York Avenue, NW, at the corner of 12th and H Streets in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. It opens weekdays for lunch from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and dinner is served from 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM Monday through Wednesday, and 5:30 PM to 11 PM Thursday through Saturday. For more information, please call (202) 216-9550 or visit the website at

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Eve in Little Italy!

12 Days of Christmas - Christmas Eve Dinner in Little Italy

In Italy, the big Christmas meal is eaten on Christmas Eve. For religious reasons, this traditional dinner is meatless (not even meat broth is allowed) but substantial. It is the most important family holiday. There is a saying in Italy that you may spend Easter with whomever you please, but Christmas must be spent with the family.

Over the years, it has become an Italian/American tradition to have the lucky number 7 incorporated into this meal. Therefore, in keeping with tradition Da Mimmo will offer a seven course seafood dinner on Christmas Eve for family and friends to enjoy. After dinner we may all attend Midnight Mass at St Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church here in Baltimore's Little Italy. For those who would like to go to mass before dinner, there is also one at 6:00 pm. Da Mimmo will also have the regular menu and daily specialities available from 11:30 am until 11:30 pm. Menu is as follows:

Christmas Eve Dinner
First Course:
Cold Seafood Antipasto
Shrimp, Clams, Mussels & Calamari are steamed & lightly tossed in an extra virgin olive oil & lemon vinaigrette

Second Course:
Grilled Calamari
Marinated Calamari are grilled & served over a bed
of baby arugula with grape tomatoes drizzled with
extra virgin olive oil & aged balsamic vinegar

Third Course:
Shrimp Reganati
Large gulf butterflied shrimp are sauteed in butter,
brandy & white wine topped with seasoned bread crumbs

Fourth Course:
Oysters PortofinoOysters Rockefeller Italian Style

Fifth Course:
Linguine con Vongole, Cozze e Pomodorini
Linguine with Clams, Mussels and Cherry Tomatoes

Sixth Course:

Capesante con Verdure
Scallops served with a medley of vegetables
in a reduction of balsamic vinegar and toasted sesame seeds

Seventh Course:
Orange Roughy Almondine
A delicate fish from New Zealand lightly dusted with flour and sauteed in a lemon, butter and white wine sauce with while grapes

Dinner is $68.00 exclusive of beverages, tax and gratuity
For reservations phone 410-727-6876 or email:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

12 Days of Christmas -Instant Christmas Gifts

By now we are all familiar with Living Social, Groupon, and other discount coupon companies as a way to do more fun things for less money. However, they can also be a great source of gift ideas during this holiday season and throughout the year!

Today, Ristorante Piccolo in Georgetown is offering 40 dollar dining certificate at half price, for just 20 dollars. Offering Sicilian-style fare since 1986, Ristorante Piccolo has been recognized by neighbors who named it both the restaurant with
the Best Entrée (the agnolotti with porcini mushrooms) by Taste of Georgetown and Most Romantic Restaurant by Open Table for its Murano glass-decorated dining room and views that look out over the canal.

Deals usually only last for a day, so don't delay! Pick-up this quick and easy present for a friend or co-worker, at just a fraction of the price.

Friday, December 16, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Countdown Continues

Year's ago at holiday time, many of would be arguing about what relative will host Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve dinners. However, as we turn toward the trend of eating out more and more frequently, restaurants are staying open on holidays. Today, wrote their Holiday Restaurant Roundup 2011 which features two of the districts most popular Italian restaurants.

Bibiana Osteria Enoteca will be open on Christmas Eve, where Chef Nicholas Stefanelli will feature the traditional "Feast of Seven Fishes," with his own special twist. On New Year's Eve, Chef Mike Isabella's Graffiato will feature it's usual delicious menu and prosecco on tap!

Need more idea's read-up here!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Countdown!

Everyday until Christmas we'll bring you some of the most exciting Italian news happening in DC

While it won't be open in time for Christmas, new sources tell us that DC's Eataly will open much earlier than originally expected. Based on the amount of space needed for the humongous retail and restaurant outlet, the website Eater speculates today about four possible sites in D.C. where it could be: City Center, The Shops at Georgetown Park, the previous Borders' location at Farragut Square, and the building the previously housed ESPN zone.

But can any of these locations really compare to the NYC flagship? Let us know what you think: do you favor any of the sites above, or do you have something more fitting in mind?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

CiaoDC's Holiday Giveaway Shakespeare Style!

Congratulations to Marylou Bono of Gaithersburg, MD. She is the winner of the Holiday Giveaway of four (4) tickets to The Shakespeare Theatre's production of the Two Gentleman of Verona. Buon Natale Marylou!

Directed by PJ Paparelli on stage at the Lansburgh Theatre January 17, 2012 through March 4, 2012. Stay tuned for more promotions to celebrate this great production.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta!

Looking for that special dish to make for Christmas Eve? For most Southern Italians, Christmas Eve is celebrated with a Seven Fishes (festa dei sette pesci) or The Vigil (La Vigilia) dinner. And Domenica Marchetti, Author and Food Writer of The Glorious Pasta of Italy, has just the dish.

Click here for the recipe. Listen to interview with Domenica on pasta and more here.

Meet and greet Domenica at The National Organization of Italian American Women's (NOIAW) Epiphany Event on January 11 at Maggiano's in Chevy Chase, MD.

Buon Natale e Buon Appetito!