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About

Al Tiramisu is like taking a trip to Italy without leaving metropolitan Washington DC. It's the most authentic Italian restaurant in the nation's capital.

The most distinctive food is imported from Italy—a large selection of whole fish such as Branzini and orata, buffalo mozzarella, sardines, Parma ham, porcini mushrooms, octopus, white and black truffles. Pasta is made on site. "Ragu is made as we did back home in Italy; we grind fine first cut meat. We focus on quality, not quantity," emphasizes chef/owner Luigi Diotaiuti, "which we can do in a small space."

The restaurant is cozy, warm, and joyful—reflecting the effervescent and playful personality of Chef Luigi. Witness the Jester logo, Al Tiramisu's name (translation "cheer me up"), the welcoming "buona sera" greeting. "Al Tiramisu is my life—it's who I am," smiles Chef Luigi whose delightful Italian accent and charm sets the tone. "I want people to have great food AND a great time. When people leave happy, I know that what I'm doing in life touches people," adds Diotaiuti. He has a huge scrapbook of handwritten notes from happy customers.

Happy customers include celebrities and well-knowns. "George Clooney—who is fun and real and also brought mom and dad three times—has dined here about 20 times," says the chef/owner. Others include Harrison Ford, Placido Domingo, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zita Jones, Demi Moore, Bill Cosby, Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Steve Case, Wolf Blitzer, and Pelé. Magic Johnson and David Letterman also ordered carry out.

Opening Al Tiramisu in March 1996 was Chef Luigi's "American Dream." A proud dual citizen of both Italy and the United States, the restaurateur has successfully managed the restaurant since then through turbulent economic times and two years of disruptive street construction. He credits his loyal customers and makes a point of giving back to the community.

Al Tiramisu's kitchen is the scene of cooking classes covering all 20 regions of Italy. Chef Luigi provides a real "flavor" of each region—its history, culture, inhabitants, and food and wine specialties—before students enjoy three courses with wine pairings from the region. Chef Luigi has even hosted cooking classes for elementary school children in his kitchen.

Cooking Classes

Al Tiramisu's kitchen is the scene of cooking classes covering all 20 regions of Italy. Chef Luigi provides a real "flavor" of each region—its history, culture, inhabitants, and food and wine specialties—before students enjoy three courses with wine pairings from the region. Chef Luigi has even hosted cooking classes for elementary school children in his kitchen.

Chef Luigi brings his contagious enthusiasm, expressive style, passion for good fresh ingredients, and the pure joy of cooking authentic Italian food to his cooking classes with adults and children as well as to his TV/on-camera and live cooking demonstrations.

Celebrating dual anniversaries in 2011—the 15th anniversary of Al Tiramisu and the 150th anniversary of Italy—Chef Luigi outdid himself with Saturday cooking classes over the course of a year, featuring each of the 20 regions of Italy.

And these weren't just cooking classes. Chef Luigi immersed participants in the real "flavor" of each region—its history, culture, inhabitants, and food and wine specialties—while cooking and eating three courses with wine pairings representing each region.

As one cooking student said, "It's like taking a $75 trip to Italy without leaving Al Tiramisu."

Moving from the south to the north, Chef Luigi focused first on Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean and the southernmost region of Italy, then to Sardinia, Puglia in the heel of the boot of Italy, and then Campania, Tuscany, Piemont, and so on.

That's Chef Luigi for you - A fun-filled learning experience wrapped in a passionate gustatory delight!

 

Business Hours

  • Monday: 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday - Thursday: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: 5:00 - 9:00 PM

    (Valet Parking every night from 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM)

Editorial Reviews

Al Tiramisu
Tom Sietsema, The Washington Post | May 18, 2013

Then: The city's most joyful Italian (2005)
Again: Merrily it coasts along
One of the hardest details for a restaurant to nail is consistency, which is why when I'm asked where to go for Italian, Al Tiramisu in Dupont Circle is usually on the tip of my tongue. Chances are good owner Luigi Diotaiuti is going to greet you in his starched white chef's jacket. The probability of hearing a list of specials as long as the standing menu -- but without any mention of prices -- from a dashing guide is strong, too.

Map

Features

  • Attire: Dressy
  • Parking: Street Parking, Valet Service
  • Average Price ( Per Person ): $30 - $60
  • Family Restaurant: No
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Full Bar
  • Carry Out: No
  • Outside Seating: No
  • Wheelchair Accessible: No
  • Has TV: No
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Diners Club

Restaurant ID: 368

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