Subscribe Now »

Special Holiday Deal

Give the Gift of the

Give one person a magazine subscription for $29.95, and get each additional subscription for just $19.95.


Get Dining Out delivered to your inbox every Wednesday Morning.

Zaytinya, Bezu, Pizzeria Orso: The Needle
Every month, we take the pulse of three area restaurants. By Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published June 1, 2011


Chef Michael Costa may not have the name recognition of his predecessor, Top Chef All-Stars contestant Mike Isabella, but he’s been keeping José Andrés’s mezze destination running smoothly. The biggest hit on a recent visit was a special of a rich lamb stew in phyllo. A special of roasted fresh chickpeas—served in the pod like edamame—was pleasantly unusual but tough to eat, though the lemony oil kept us returning to the bowl throughout the meal.


Despite its many mega-mansions and Range Rovers, Potomac doesn’t have much in the way of restaurants. At this five-year-old French-American place, the food, although expensive, shows promise. We used every crust of bread to soak up the broth of a calamari fricassee, and a hefty veal chop was well cooked. But service ranged from odd—“Are you a cop?” a bartender said when one young woman ordered wine—to harried, prompting one in our party to ask, “Did this place open last night?”

Pizzeria Orso

Since opening last year, this sibling to the fancier 2941 has excelled with pizzas but disappointed with small plates. Gone is the talented pizzaiolo Edan MacQuaid, but new chef Chris Nye’s Neapolitan pies—including a special with ramps and lots of garlic—are just as good as and maybe even better than MacQuaid’s. Nye’s antipasto menu reads beautifully, but some items, such as risotto balls and fried calamari, are still haunted by his predecessor’s salt-shy hand.

This article appears in the June 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Follow Washingtonian on Twitter

Follow the Best Bites Bloggers on Twitter

More>> Best Bites Blog | Food & Dining | Restaurant Finder


From the Magazine From the Magazine From the Magazine
Subscribe to Washingtonian

Discuss this story

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. The Washingtonian reserves the right to remove or edit content once posted.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Posted at 11:48 AM/ET, 06/01/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Blogs