The original Acqua Al 2 came to life in Florence in 1978. Over the past 33 years, the restaurant has become an intimately loved dining establishment by world travelers, local Florentines, and international celebrities. On September 6, 2000, Martin Gonzalez opened the doors to the first international Acqua Al 2 in San Diego , California. In 2010, childhood friends Ralph Lee and Ari Gejdenson brought the internationally-loved Florentine concept to Washington, DC. Acqua Al 2, in Washington, DC uses exactly the same menu as the original restaurant, and brings to the city the same true Italian dining experience as one would encounter on the Piazza della Signoria.
The restaurant offers a unique selection of Assaggio (literally meaning “taste”) chef’s choice samplers. Guests can try a sampling of three house salads with the Assaggio di Insalata, while the Assaggio di Dolci offers guests a taste of four sweet house made desserts. But their most popular are the Assaggio di Primi, a chef’s selection of five unique, fresh pastas and the Assaggio di Secondi, which features tasting portions of three of their most popular steaks, ranging from the popular filets to the unique Controfiletto al Pepe Verde, a hand-carved New York steak sautéed and topped with a green peppercorn, brandy, Dijon mustard and cream sauce.
Whether guests dine a la carte, or choose to customize their own menu for private events, Acqua al 2 prides itself on the execution of a complete dining experience. Executive Chef Ari Gejdenson is not just a culinary star in the kitchen. Gejdenson is also a star on the soccer field, and actually ended up in Florence after being recruited to play soccer internationally. His passion for food took off from there and he found himself exploring the many facets of Italian cuisine while serving as chef at the original Acqua Al 2 for several years before bringing the much-loved Italian concept to DC.