Michael Schlow seems to be taking over DC, one restaurant at a time. Alta Strada is one of his recent Italian endeavors, and from the standpoint of a gluten-free eater, or any kind of eater, really, he knocked it out of the park. While it’s hard to choose what I love most about Alta Strada, I think it’s the fact that they serve brunch, and that they still have delicious, gluten-free pasta on the brunch menu. It’s like two of my biggest loves combined into one…
While I did not opt for a brunch cocktail on this occasion, I can attest Alta Strada excels in this area as well – they have a bottomless mimosa deal for $19 which is pretty good by DC standards. When it came to ordering food I went hog wild. I ordered the steak and eggs, grilled Italian sausage, and spaghetti “AOP.” Don’t judge.
The steak and eggs was served with crispy fingerlings and salsa verde, which was a nice departure from the steak and eggs you’d normally find on the menu. I was also literally in awe of how crispy the fingerling potatoes actually were. I wish I knew Michael Schlow’s secret, so I could recreate them at home.
The spaghetti “AOP” was mind-blowing. It was the simplest pasta on the menu – just olive oil and tomato sauce – but it was so rich and flavorful. The pasta itself was cooked to a perfect al dente, and the sauce was so rich and savory, rather than acidic like many other tomato sauces. While I was not able to partake in them because I also can’t eat dairy, Alta Strada also serves carbonara and a cavatelli with pancetta and broccoli rabe, both that can be made with gluten-free pasta. I highly recommend trying any pasta Alta Strada would ever have on the menu.
Last but definitely not least was my favorite dish of all – the grilled Italian sausage. This sausage was made in-house and served with white beans, pancetta, broccoli rabe, and a fried egg. The whole thing was so warm and comforting. I also never really thought about eating beans with fried eggs before, but this dish told me anything can be a brunch dish if you try hard enough.
In addition to the options I chose, Alta Strada also has three different frittatas and plenty of antipasti on the menu, so there will be plenty of gluten-free fare to fuel your weekend brunch.