From January 2005 100 Very Best RestaurantsFranco Nuschese's Cafe Milano has long been a gathering place for Washington's glamorous set. Over the last few years Nuschese has transformed his restaurant from a single dining room to a complex of rooms--from a rustic upstairs wine room to the elegant Domingo room--that host social gatherings of all stripes.
Chef Domenico Cornacchia feeds his celebrity clientele well. Strengths of the restaurant are its flexible menu and a staff that serves a casual diner who orders pizza, a salad, or a plate of pasta with the same respect as one who orders a full meal. You might begin a meal here with a plate of beautifully fried shrimp, calamari, eggplant, and zucchini or perhaps a delicate flan of white asparagus with a poached egg and robiola cheese.
The kitchen will gladly serve a half order of pasta, so you might follow the antipasto with a plate of Cornacchia's wonderful strozzapreti with salt cod, olives, capers, and tomato. Good main-course choices include a veal chop, pounded and grilled and remarkably moist and flavorful, or roasted veal, paired with a rich mushroom risotto.