Tuesday, December 3, 2013

al Sospiro Trattoria Romana - Olney, Maryland

al Sospiro Trattoria is a cozy little Italian restaurant in Olney that offers only dinner service.

Since it's located on a busy road (Georgia Ave) we thought it would be easy to find. But we almost passed the entrance because of the small awning sign.

Once inside, there is a small upstairs dining room where we were directed by a sign to go downstairs to the main dinning room.

Upstairs dinning room 

Downstairs main dining room 

The main dining room was minimally but tastefully decorated with Italian stones, tiles and ceramics.

Shortly after we arrived, we were served a basket of warm bread and oil.  Both were disappointing.  The oil was tasteless - had no hint of a spice or garlic. The bread spongy.

Next we ordered four appetizers to share.

 Mussels in White Wine and Garlic Sauce
The mussels were soft and cooked to
perfection and the garlicky sauce, thin 
but very flavorful. 

Eggplant Parmesan appetizer - Although this had an awesome presentation and extremely fresh mozzarella, it was too cheesy for my taste. I would have preferred more eggplant and less cheese. Plus, I missed the tomato sauce of a traditional eggplant parmesan. 


Organic field greens with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I still prefer a tossed salad to a lettuce wedge salad but the delicious dressing was worth ordering the dish again.  

Beef tenderloin meatballs in tomato sauce appetizer.  Being Italian we've tasted our share of meatballs.  I have to say this is one of the best. Although they were small in size, the soft and smooth texture of the meat was delicate with tiny hints of spices and garlic.  

The main dishes were impressive.  My father ordered large shrimps, calamari, mussels and clams over linguini in a light spicy marinara sauce. He liked that the sauce had a bit of a kick that didn't overpower the tomato taste.  The dish was chuck full of seafood and pasta - both were cooked just right.  

I ordered the grilled beef tenderloin with sautéed onions and roasted potatoes.  It was amazing! The sweet onions coupled with the tender, flavorful meat made this dish. 

Thomas ordered the chicken breasts in white wine and red bell peppers with a side of 
roasted potatoes. The meat was carefully seared on the outside but juicy and 
tender on the inside. Complimented by the sweet peppers and 
the savory potatoes, this is a winner. 

My mom ordered the peppercorn pan seared tuna with zucchini. She normally doesn't order tuna because she said it is easy to overcook and can be dry. This dish didn't disappoint.  The meat was moist and lightly seasoned so that the flavor of the fish shined.
grilled zucchini 

Definitely try al Sospiro for authentic Italian food. We were seated right away because we got there just when dinner started but it's a small place so you may have to wait for a table if it's crowded.

al Sospiro Trattoria Romana
18035 Georgia Avenue
Olney, MD 20832

- Charles

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