27 May 2007

Restaurant Review (Sort of): Laporta's

Laporta's Restaurant is at 1600 Duke Street in Alexandria. If you live in the area, you get coupons in the local flyer for Laporta's. We've been there twice. Both times with coupon in hand. Both times we've spent well over a hundred dollars, with coupons applied.

It's not a particularly large or fancy place though it's pleasant enough. The service borders on the gleeful. Both waitresses that served us had huge smiles plastered on their faces and were just two steps to that side of chipper. The food was inventive in a "I'll just be in the garage trying to invent something" sort of way. For example, my field green salad had a reasonable mix of greens plus raw corn, carrot spirals, and very sweet dates that were halved. This was served with a very heady sesame dressing. Interesting, in a "well, that was different" sort of way. My tutta mare (linguine with shrimp and clams) had lovely large shrimp and respectable clams but the pasta was drenched--as in wring it out and then wring it out again-- in thyme, oil, butter and garlic. Yes, yes, I knew what I was ordering but a little restraint is not a bad thing. Hubby's fried calamari appetizer was tasty but his encrusted cod was a pretty strange combination of flavors, again.

So why do we go to Laporta's. Not for the food. Not for the decor. Not for the service. Not even for the drinks, which were good and took up most of our tab, as we stayed for hours.

We come for the jazz. Laporta's hosts live jazz with no cover. How great is that?! You can eat in the small room to the left of the door and be front and center for the show but there's smoking as this is the bar area ,or you can eat in the somewhat more luxurious dining room to the right of the door and still hear the music, though to a lesser degree. Last night's jazz trio was nothing short of amazing.

So go. Bring a coupon. Get a drink or two. And listen and enjoy.

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