With rough stone walls, homey seasonal arrangements, and Warhol-esque prints, this centrally located DC powerhouse is equal parts retro glitz and country lodge. Before even crossing the threshold, diners are met with a barrage of gracious and enthusiastic servers. While they may gush forth with their favorite dishes, take your time to peruse the pithy menu, complete with a sense of mystery, impressive techniques, and playful twists.
Classic and modern elements come together in regional Italian dishes—most notably, from the chef's native Le Marche. A remix of cacio e pepe takes the form of risotto, with vibrant nasturtium (in place of pepper), sweet confit beets, and tomato coulis. Crabbing here may reveal a delightful plate of cabbage-wrapped crabmeat dressed with pappa al pomodoro, a judicious drizzle of intense red prawn oil, all accompanied by creamy polenta. Comfort continues to reigns supreme in the rigatoni alla carbonara tossed with savory guanciale; while palate cleansers like yuzu granité make for a smooth segue to Sicilian cassata—perhaps the most colorful course ever.
A showy wine list littered with big names is curated for those with expense accounts and companions to impress.