Runaway Spoon

Saving The Past: A Sign That Melds Historic With The Modern @ il Canale

October 5, 2014

Long-time Georgetown residents will appreciate that il Canale owner Joe Farruggio is paying homage to the old Cannon’s Fish Market on 31st Street by keeping the historic sign with a few updated changes.

The newest awning and original fish sign now bear the title “il Canale @ Cannon’s Fish Market.”

One gentleman who has worked for years in Georgetown, looking up at the signage smiled in appreciation.  “It gives me goose bumps, and good ones at that,” said the man who is employed at another hospitality business on the street near the C&O Canal.  “Cannon’s is an institution.  I’m happy that a piece of history was saved.”

Il Canale, georgetown, plans to open the expansion later this month. The entire operation will be a restaurant.  If anybody wants to dine on fish, it’ll be on the menu in some delicious Italian dish. 

Cannon’s ceased operation as a retail seafood market last year when the owner of the building decided to shutter the business, which had been operating since 1937.

The il Canale and “il Canale @ Cannon’s Fish Market” buildings are adjacent and are now connected by a wide interior archway.

Under the direction of Farruggio and Italian-American Melo Cicala, a Georgetown resident, the old Cannon’s is being transformed as an integral and important space for il Canale to serve its pizza-loving patrons. Cicala is active in the Italian culture in D.C. and is involved with the Italian media in the USA and Italy.

Interior designer Barbara Hawthorn, who did the original il Canale interior highlighted by lighting fixtures that resemble truffles, extended the established overall theme to the expansion with a modern, colorful atmosphere, all the while taking in efficiency of seating and space.

“The added space will make it possible to accommodate even larger events and parties,” Farruggio said. “We are proud to be in the hospitality business in Georgetown and to be able to serve the community.

“Everybody connected to this project, from the contractors to the builders to the interior designer and artists, did outstanding jobs,” said Farruggio. “It all took many months to complete but the results will be well worth it.”

Most of the historic brickwork walls were kept but otherwise the old Cannon’s has an entirely new, clean atmosphere. The wood-burning pizza oven remains on the il Canale side.

Il Canale is one of only a handful of DC area pizzerias holding the approval of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the Italian group dedicated to protecting the good name of Neapolitan pizza.  VPN requires that certain ovens, dough mixers, Italian “00” flour and other ingredients be used in cooking the pies.

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Free Event With BBQ & Music to Benefit Wounded Warriors

August 27, 2014

Everybody is invited to a National Tribute To Wounded Warriors on Saturday September 13  from 4 pm to 9 pm at the estate of Brian and Pam Karem, 9492 Rocky Ridge Road, Rocky Ridge, Maryland (located near the foothills of Camp David) 21778.

Says the invitation: There will  be “some of the best barbeque east of the Mississippi,” a live performance by Kennedy Centers’ philharmonic musicians, and live music from the class rock ‘n’ roll band Rhythm Bandits.

The main sponsor is Brian Karem, editor-in-chief of the Montgomery County Sentinel newspaper, author, and former TV producer and reporter with America’s Most Wanted. Oboist H. David Meyers, who has performed at the Kennedy Center and on leading stages in New York, and author Wendy Leonard, also are hosts.

 Word is that some LA folks will be there, too.

There will be a 20-minute screening presented in person by the multi-Emmy award winning filmmaker Leo Eaton, who directed, wrote and produced one of PBS’s most anticipated series to be broadcast this coming winter. The series follows wounded warriors from around the United States.

The purpose is to create a national wounded warriors day to provide awareness and support and to establish a national telethon to raise funds for wounded warrior programs everywhere.

To R.S.V.P. and for more information call 301.296.4408; or H. David Meyers at 1.240.370.2010 email:

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Hey, Isn't That the Italian Rock Star?

August 18, 2014

Luciano Ligabue, one of the most successful Italian rock stars ever, dined with his family at il Canale Saturday night.

 Ligabue’s presence at the Georgetown restaurant made quite an instant impression on the young Italian and international staff, as well as global-minded customers, since in his native Italy he is considered to be in the musical realm of Madonna. 

His hits include Balliamo sul Mondo (Let’s Dance on the World) and Ho perso le parole (I’ve Lost Words).  His most famous song of all, Certe Notti (Certain Nights), was voted Italian song of the 1990s in a poll by a popular music magazine. He also directs films and writes literature.

il Canale group wth Ligabue (2nd from right) (Photo by: il Canale) il Canale group wth Ligabue (2nd from right)

At il Canale, Ligabue dined on paccheri (Artisan large tube pasta with meat sauce and a touch of ricotta cheese) and Neapolitan-style pizza.

Naturally, Ligabue agreed to a group photograph with the staff, all of whom speak Italian. Greeting Ligabue in picture are from left assistant chef Roshan Ashiq, manager Giorgio Greco, Stefano Ferrari (in back), Ligabue and hostess Rosalia Acampora.

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