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100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Casa Luca
Campanelle pasta with prawns. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Comments () | Published January 27, 2014
100 Best Restaurants 2014

Casa Luca
Address: 1099 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-628-1099
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown
Cuisines: Italian
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11 to 10, Friday 11 to 11, and Saturday 5 to 11; closed Sunday.
Nearby Metro Stops: Gallery Place-Chinatown
Noise Level: Chatty
Best Dishes ’Nduja spread; crescia flatbread; corn with prosciutto; jamón Ibérico with figs; porchetta tonnato; tomato-and-burrata salad; ravioli San Leo; baby monkfish with artichokes and lemon; smoked pork chop; porchetta; semifreddo with pistachios and orange; brioche with gelato; hazelnut coffee cake.
Price Details: Starters $8 to $30, entrées $18 to $34.

The latest restaurant from Fabio Trabocchi is not the jam-the-flag-in-the-ground declaration that the late Tysons restaurant Maestro was, or even the bid to marry rusticity and elegance that Fiola, his Penn Quarter place, is. This is a minor statement, and a personal one. Casa Luca is named for Trabocchi’s son, there are dishes on the menu that honor his wife (the gazpacho) and his departed father (a majestic smoked pork chop), and the check comes with an old black-and-white family photo. The ideal of low-key casualness eludes it—expect to drop about $120 for two—but Trabocchi is a chef of rare generosity and spirit. Even the most straightforward compositions—an heirloom-tomato salad, a dish of prosciutto and corn—are imbued with exuberance. Splitting dessert may be de rigueur, but every one of Tom Wellings’s finishes is worth the extra money and calories.

Open: Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: ’Nduja-sausage spread; crescia flatbread; jamón Ibérico with figs; porchetta tonnato; ravioli with ricotta and greens; baby monkfish with artichokes; semifreddo with pistachios and orange; brioche-and-gelato sandwich; hazelnut coffeecake. 

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Posted at 10:32 PM/ET, 01/27/2014 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Restaurant Reviews