The Highlander

Dal Grano, Fresh Pasta In McLean

Charley Roth-Douquet, Reporter

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Some of Dal Granos fresh, house-made pastas (Charley Roth-Douquet).

Dal Grano, which means “from the wheat” in Italian is a Italian restaurant in McLean that specializes in homemade pasta, “I don’t have any dried pasta other than the gluten free one” the owner said modestly.

When you enter Dal Grano you’re sent a lot of mixed signals. You’ll probably notice the striking green, orange, and white color scheme of the restaurant but your attention will quickly be called to the posters all over the wall of hockey players.

One is a picture of Wayne Gretzky taken next to a poster of him in the restaurant.

It demonstrates a local air, despite the owner being a Czech immigrant. Jozef Valko is a native of the former Czechoslovakia who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1990s. Valko started his career in America as a pasta maker and eventually managing Tosca, the well known DC “see and be seen” restaurant until finally opening Dal Grano.

As you walk into the place you’ll see their display of their homemade pastas, with an array of colors and flavors, going from spinach pappardelle to red beet rigatoni.

Dal Grano is famous for its fresh, homemade pasta which is made right behind the counter. The only machine part is the pasta roller, from which the pasta is cut to size and subsequently formed into nest-like units of pasta and set to dry.

The first meal I had there is still one of my favorite. The classic Bucatini with Bolognese sauce may be among the best pasta I’ve ever had, certainly the best for 10 $, before tax and tip.

If you’re looking for a heartier meal you may enjoy the Veal Ravioli served with a butter sage sauce.

Other than the pasta, all of the bread is homemade too; along with pasta they also serve sandwiches, one the Caprese, served on homemade Ciabatta bread.

In conclusion Dal Grano’s relaxed and warm atmosphere is provides the perfect setting for a casual dinner, a casual atmosphere, and a delicious meal, which can be found easily under 15 $.

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