From Washington Post Style, Names & Faces, Wednesday, July 27, 2005
I Can’t Fight this Feeding
Hey, this song sounds familiar. . . Four members of ‘80s rock band REO Speedwagon dined at an Italian restaurant in Arlington while listening to their town music Monday night. Extra Virgin owner Shary Thur said the band was taking a break from its current tour to celebrate the 59th birthday of keyboard player Neal Doughty before heading off to a Nationals game. Thur, who met the musicians a years ago, downloaded their old songs onto her ¡Pod and played them over the restaurant’s sound system when they walked in. “They were like, ‘Oh! We haven’t heard this in a while,” she said. Alas, no one sang along with the music. The band dined on a menu sampling of ravioli, lamb chops, rockfish and salmon. And they didn’t stop there: Thur says they plowed though the entire dessert menu.
We hope no one went into sugar shock.
From Washingtonian, Best Bites, July 2005
What’s New, What’s HOT, What Good By Thomas Head & Cynthia Hacinly
An Ode to Extra Virgin
Extra Virgin, a modern Italian restaurant with an olive-oil theme, is set to open in mid-June in the Village at Shirlington. The chef is Daniele Catalani, a native of Tuscany, who spent the last five years working under Roberto Donna at DC’s Galileo. He has crafted a menu of preparation such as whole sea bass baked in a salt crust; a skewer of roasted pork belly, quail, and cipollini onions; and pasta stuffed with beef checks and served in a Parmesan basket.
Every day there will be house-made sausages in flavors including duck with fig confit and braised lamb with red wine. A late-night menu will offer wood-oven pizzas and range of stuffed focaccia until 1:30 AM.
Diners can choose from a selection of flavored olive oils to go with their bread. Catalani is working on a house oil that will be bottled and sold. And the place has a “drizzle” theme across the terra cotta-hued banquettes and the floor. Extra Virgin (4053 S. 28th St., Arlington, VA, 703-998-8474) serves lunch, dinner, and a late-night menu daily.
Food Arts, At the Restaurant and Hotel, July/August 2005
Deep Dish, Washington DC Area
Commercial retail broker Shary Thur is trying her hand as a restaurateur with the June debut of Extra Virgin in Arlington. Thur recruited serious talent to shape her 250 seat modern Italian venue. Heading up the kitchen is Daniele Catalini. Of late the exec chef a Galileo, while Ristorante Tosca’s chef/owner Cesare Lanfranconi and managing partner Paolo Sacco both consulted. The running theme throughout the restaurant is flowing extra-virgin olive oil, conjured in an earthy color palette and echoed by banquettes, drapes, and an olive oil “drizzle” on the floor.
Express, Dining/Weekend Pass, Eating Around, Debuts, Thursday, June 23, 2005
Olive Oil makes New Friends
As suggested by the name, the food and the décor, EXTRA VIRGIN is a restaurant that favors olive oil. Galileo veteran Daniele Catalani helms the new Shirlington restaurant, and his modern Italian menu features specialties from his home region of Tuscany. The lineup includes homemade sausages (including a vegetarian version made of beans, chickpeas, lentils and black truffles) and ricotta dumplings with broccoli rabe and Maine lobster. The house martini (made with olive juice, not oil), is a meal in itself – it comes with six blue-cheese stuffed olives.
4053 S. 28th St., Arlington; 703-998-8487.
Located on the corner of Shirlington Village’s “Restaurant Row”, Extra Virgin restaurant offers exquisite traditional Tuscan Cuisine with a modern flair. Extra Virgin boast a truly imaginative menu which is served in a unique environment of modern elegance. As the name suggests, an olive oil theme is prevalent throughout the establishment, and their special blend of Kalamata infused olive oil. Explore Extra Virgin if you haven’t already done so, or if it’s been a while, please come by and try their new menu and great service, as it will certainly make your dining experience a pleasure. Their 3 course pre-fixed meals are loaded with mouthwatering combinations of their premiere dishes.
Start off with the Lentil and Escarole Soup, with homemade sausage, and then delve into the scrumptious Ossobuco or amazing Lasagna everyone craves, once tried. Plus, save room for the decadent desserts, such as their signature Tiramisu. Don’t miss this opportunity to sample their world class cuisine at an amazing price!
Prices are $20.07 per person for lunch and $30.07 per person for dinner. Reservations are recommended but feel free to walk in anytime. Prices do not include beverage, tax or gratuity. Restaurant Week runs January 8 – 14, but they will be extending it to the 21st of January. Call 703-998-8474 for reservations today.
On Tap, July 2005, Vol. 7, Issue 9
New, notable, no longer, Extra Virgin
What better way to plot your future restaurant than by working as a realtor for restaurateurs? That’s just what Shary Thur did, and what led to Shirlington’s new Extra Virgin, a place where olives and their offspring are taken very seriously.
The upscale restaurant carries their olive oil theme throughout the modern Italian restaurant. Step inside off Shirlington’s main drag, and you’ll encounter a lush interior with luxe furnishings that soothe: high-backed banquettes, dark wood, rich earth-toned accents and fabrics, and large format original artwork. The space is the previous home of Toro Tapas, which closed earlier this year.
Executive chef Daniele Catalani, formerly at Galileo, prepares the culinary treats here, which include fresh pastas, stuffed focaccia sandwiches, pizzas, and contemporary takes on traditional Italian main courses like roasted veal and whole baked fish. Lunch, dinner and late night menus are available (no brunch plans here) anywhere in the restaurant: at the 60-seat lounger/bar area, in the 180-seat dining room, or on the 30-seat patio.
Bar manager Jerry Gatine comes to Extra Virgin from Café Milano and Oceanaire, and devised and exciting beverage menu that boasts wines from some 120 wineries, champagnes, and a playful array of unique martinis. Innocence, for example, is a blend of Grey Goose and rosewater topped with a rose petal: the Extra Virgin Dirty Martini, conversely, is a classic vodka and olive juice martini with six bleu cheese-stuffed olives. Mix with live jazz-on weekends-for full enjoyment. (4053 S. 28th Street, Arlington, VA, 703-998-8474, extravirginva.com)
The Examiner, Dining Out, Washington, Friday, July 29, 2005
Virgin territory – Net critics way off base with Extra Virgin by Marty Heger (special to the Examiner)
As they walked out of Extra Virgin, two women turned around to report that their lunch had been “good, really good.” The lunch in question happened to be the sautéed lemon sole with almonds and mushrooms ($12) followed by a shared tiramisu, but after Extra Virgin had a rocky start with a few Web commentators, the spontaneous accolades must have been welcome. They were also well-deserved.
True, then Internet complaints were mostly about service – “inat-tentive, wrong dishes arriving at the table, waits, etc,”- but any negative comments might have deterred prospective patrons from trying this attractive newcomer to Shirlington’s busy restaurant scene. Extra Virgin’s menu is imaginatively, modern Italian, somewhat different at lunch and dinner in both choices and prices, and changes frequently.
The lunch menu features the lunch-only pizzas, with recent choices that included prosciutto, arugula, mozzarella and shaved parmesan ($12), tomato, pancetta, mushrooms and sausage ($15), and a vegetarian pizza topped with tomato, eggplant, zucchini, red onion and mushrooms ($12). The eventual selection was the quattro formaggi ($13), with mozzarella, gorgonzola grana padano and mentasio cheeses on a thin, crisp crust. The resulting pizza had an Alfredo-like topping decadent and good.
Among the pastas, garganelli pasta with bits of Swiss chard and pieces of walnut tossed in a gorgonzola sauce ($11) was also slightly decadent and almost – but not quite – too rich to finish. It, too was very good. Other temptations were linguini tossed with a tomato, grouper and swordfish ragu ($12) and fettuccine with veal and porcini mushroom ragu ($11).
If you go:
Extra Virgin, 4053 S. 28th St., Arlington, Va. Phone: 703-998-8474. Hours: 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and 5 to 10:30 p.m. daily. Major credit cards accepted.