Ever since a friend of mine mentioned this place...I have been wanting to check out Assaggi Mozzarella Bar in Bethesda....I mean......the name itself is a huge attraction....."mozzarella bar" implies there are different types of mozzarella....so that was enough of a draw.....the website describes it as a "variety of Italian and US made mozzarellas, homemade pastas, and fresh seafood"....I was super excited.
The meal was EXCELLENT.....totally lived up to expectations....and it was gorgeous out so we got to sit outside.
We started with the mozzarella tasting--Buffalo Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Burrata. The Buffalo Mozzarella was good, but pretty standard for that type of mozzarella. Burrata is one of my favorite cheeses, nice and creamy and mild. The star/surprise of the night though was the ricotta. It was delicious--strong ricotta flavor, refreshing, light, and creamy. I was surprised.....I think I liked it more than the burrata because it had such a great flavor. The mozzarella tasting came with 4 homemade condiments: green tomato marmalade, roasted eggplant, organic roasted peppers, basil marinated zucchini. While the other three were good, the green tomato marmalade was the best--sweet, yet tart with the tomato still firm (not mushy like a lot of pickled veggies get)--and paired well with the mild mozzarellas.
Next I had the baked arancini and beth had the carrot, roasted beet, and celery root salad. The baked arancini was interesting, but not as good as some real arancini I have had before. Beth's beet salad was good, but she was a little disappointed in it because the beets didnt taste as "roasted" sweet and smoky as other roasted beets we have had.
For entrees I got the bigoli pasta with duck and porcini ragu. Bigoli is like a spaghetti noodle only really big/thick. The ragu was amazing, the porcini was very flavorful. The homemade bigoli was my favorite thing of the night. The pasta was al dente, soft, but not mushy, chewy but not tough.....probably some of the best home made pasta Ive ever had. I took the leftovers home with me and it was even better the next day. I have been devising a way I can get more of this without having to "hike" to Bethesda all the time. (Sorry about the blurry pic. I was really hungry and my hand wouldnt stay still and I tried to take this pic like 5 times already and finally gave up!)
Beth got the Cavatelli with herb pesto. The herb pesto wasnt quite what I would normally expect from a pesto...it was basil-y but you could taste there were other herbs in there, slight hint of garlic, a little bit of saltiness from the Parmesan cheese, not very oily. It was very light and refreshing (light isnt a word you would normally use with pesto....).
For dessert we got the Almond tart....it was only OK. Nothing to write home about.
Rating: Excellent, loved it! Definately worth a 2nd trip!
Cost: Average....around $20-$25 for the entree.
Insider Tip: If you love home made pastas.....this is the place!
As always....stay consumed! :P