100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 59 G by Mike Isabella

Meat-free options include a whole section of marinated veggies and a smoky cauliflower sandwich with romesco sauce. Photographs by Chris Campbell.

Unless you have a nonna who wants nothing more than to stuff you with cheesy, saucy delicacies, this is where you want to be on a Sunday night, when the candle-dripped Chianti bottles come out and old-school Italian reigns.

Mike Isabella returns to his Joisey roots with his $40 prix fixe menu, which on Sunday includes lick-the-bowl pastas and a massive bowl of “gravy”—a red sauce chock-full of sausage, pork shoulder, and meatballs.

It’d be great if every day here were as much fun as Sunday, but the lineup the rest of the week isn’t shabby. By day, Isabella’s crew churns out brawny subs (go for the Italian hero); other nights, it’s a more refined Italian menu—our experiences have been uneven, but the antipasto board is one of the glories of the dining scene.

Don’t miss:

From the sandwich shop:

  • Spring lamb on pita
  • E Street Special, with chili-braised brisket and fontina

From the tasting menu:

  • Cacio e pepe
  • Duck-and-chestnut pappardelle
  • Pork belly with cranberry beans
  • Doughnuts

Try Mike Isabella’s Chef Recipes

Mike Isabella’s Lamb Chili

 

 

 

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.