100 Best Restaurants 2008: Obelisk
No. 16: Obelisk
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants 2013 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Address: 2029 P St., NW, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-872-1180
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle, Downtown
Cuisines: Italian
Opening Hours: Tuesday through Saturday for dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: Dupont Circle
Price Range: Very expensive
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Required
Best Dishes A rich, brothy bowl of guinea-hen raviolini with poached egg; a pork chop marinated in grape must; sorbets and ice creams.

Cuisine: Slightly modern takes on regional Italian as delicious as if you were eating them in Emilia-Romagna. The handwritten menu, $65 for five courses, changes daily.

Mood: A sparely appointed townhouse with the feel of a low-key dinner party. This is not the place to discuss family or state secrets.

Best for: Diners as passionate about things Italian and artisanal—the burrata is shipped in daily from Puglia—as chef/owner Peter Pastan, who travels to Italy yearly in search of the new and wonderful, and anyone weary of impersonal restaurant experiences.

Best dishes: Antipasti such as squid stewed with chard; airy fried rice balls with mozzarella; burrata drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with cracked pepper and fleur de sel; plump house-made pork sausages with pickled onions. Rustic plates such as roasted quail with spinach; a luscious chocolate pudding with fresh whipped cream; Sicilian breakfast, a layered parfait of grape granita and yogurt cream with a miniature turban of brioche.

Insider tips: The antipasti and cheese courses are the highlights of this generous meal, and desserts are full of whimsy. By comparison, main courses can seem uninspired, so load up early and save room for the finish.

Service: •••

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews