This week, Italy came to Washington with an enticing chef collaboration between The Jefferson and The Belmond Hotel Splendido Mare in Portofino, Italy. Splendido’s  Chef de Cuisine Roberto Villa is spending the week at the city’s only Five Star restaurant, Plume, cooking up his signature dishes, featuring fresh seafood and the flavors of the Italian coast. The pairing was the inspiration of Jefferson owner Connie Millstein, who loves Italy and the Splendido hotel.

We had the pleasure of dining with Chef Villa on Monday, sampling cuisine that evoked the seaside, including lobster and prawn salad with warm rosemary olive oil, short pasta with anchovies “au gratin,” and sea bass with pine nuts and fresh olives, plus delicacies like tiramisu for dessert.

Villa shared stories of how is menu both here and at Splendido Mare is designed with the simplicity of Ligurian cuisine in mind, made using only freshly-caught or grown ingredients, olive oil, and simple herbs and seasoning. It inspired a new appreciation for true coastal Italian cuisine, light and fresh, paired with the background of the intimate jewelbox that is Plume, one of Washington’s most esteemed restaurants.

You may not be in Washington in time to experience this limited time pairing, but we’d highly suggest heading to Plume at your next available moment – this restaurant is not one to be missed.

2 - Plume Tall Plume Restaurant, Washington, DC