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.