Thursday, April 30, 2020 Winemaker Dinner Series
While the rest of his family was gathered around the TV cheering on the New England Patriots, Chef Kevin Lalli was always watching, but from the kitchen. Growing up in Newport, Rhode Island, his fondest childhood memories took place cooking with his mother, a hobby and passion which would bloom into a celebrated culinary career weaving through east coast kitchens and ultimately presenting at the esteemed James Beard House in NYC.
“My food is my greatest form of self-expression. Different foods, cooking methods, plates . . . it has always been my favorite way of communicating,” says Chef Lalli.
His early love of being in the kitchen was unwavering and led him to Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he studied the culinary arts.
Chef Lalli accepted positions at the Spouting Rock Beach Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island and Michael R. McCarty’s in Palm Beach, Florida before being presented with the fortuitous opportunity to work and train with Chef Julia Doyne at The Forge in Miami.
Having cultivated a strong reputation for exceptional leadership and thoughtful culinary skill, Chef Lalli was offered the position of Executive Chef at Barcelona Wine Bar, where he developed recipes and trained culinary teams in six states and the District of Columbia.
Chef Lalli has relished being in Washington, DC as Executive Chef of Opaline Bar & Brasserie. “I take inspiration from visiting new restaurants and connecting with chefs. Washington, DC’s restaurant scene is thriving, bringing so much creativity and diversity,” says Chef Lalli. On rare occasions when Chef Lalli is not in the kitchen at Opaline, he can be found digging through cookbooks and exploring cuisine.
Urban Parisian design with an homage to archetypal French restaurant decor is the landscape of Opaline’s sleek and polished dining room and bar. Opaline presents an all-day menu of Parisian-inspired iconic brasserie fare. The early-morning aromas of fresh ground coffee and brioche French toast transports diners to mornings in Paris. Throughout day and night, Opaline’s gold-rimmed, antique china becomes a lovely backdrop for an all-day menu of French brasserie cuisine.
Presented in a palette of slate gray and crisp blues, Opaline Bar & Brasserie features 64 seats in the intimate dining room and 48 seats on the bar, arranged between comfortable custom leather chairs and deep-set leather banquette seating. Notable architectural features include handmade geometric tile flooring, towering windows overlooking 15th Street and dramatic chandeliers of intertwining polished brass, a nod to art deco era brass shelving seen in brasseries throughout France.
And no proper French Brasserie is complete without a scenic, people-watching patio. Opaline’s dog friendly patio, an al fresco escape on 15th Street, features string lighting, fire pits and lots of greenery.