100 Best Restaurants 2012: Obelisk
Tried and True: 10 Restaurants that Have Consistently Offered Very Good Dining
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Rina Rapuano
Obelisk pairs bigoli—thick whole-wheat pasta—with duck-gizzard ragu, its traditional accompaniment. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Comments () | Published January 13, 2012
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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.


Chef/owner Peter Pastan takes his cues from the Italian kitchen, sourcing the best artisanal ingredients for this low-key Dupont Circle rowhouse where just about everything is made on the premises.

It's almost as if Pastan doesn't want anything to detract from the food--no music, no sign outside, just a quietly arresting dining room with artsy placemats and framed photos. The romance comes from the food and wine--lots of regional Italian bottles are on the list--and laser-sharp service that's informed without being haughty.

What to get: The handwritten menu and the array of antipasti change daily, but some gems do reappear. Thrills on a recent menu included meatballs studded with pine nuts; ultralight arancini; burrata cheese with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper; pork chop with escarole and cipollini onion; chocolate polenta cake with coffee crème anglaise; and fig-pistachio ice cream.

Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/13/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews