1112 F St., NW
Washington, DC 20004
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10:30, Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 11.
Nearby Metro Stops: Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown
Price Range: Very expensive
Dress: Business Attire
Noise Level: Chatty
Salads, including one with shaved radicchio, poached pears, and a square of Gorgonzola or soft buffalo mozzarella with a mosaic of beets; carrot pappardelle sauced with rabbit ragu; ravioli concealing veal, prosciutto, and mortadella in a rich wine reduct
Lunch appetizers, $7 to $12; entrees, $14 to $23. Three-course prix fixe menu, $30. Dinner appetizers, $9 to $16; entrees, $24 to $38. Three-course pre-theater menu (available from 5:30 to 7 PM), $35. Tasting menus, $65 to $95.
Cuisine: Rich, luxurious northern Italian—house-made pastas, intensely flavored game—with lofty aspirations and prices. You’ll wish you had a fatter wallet along with a bigger belt.
Mood: Clubby, with affable Italian-accented waiters in cream-colored jackets assuring diners they’ve chosen the best dish. With many of the city’s top law firms nearby, someone’s surely treating a client to dinner and billing him for the pleasure.
Best for: Power lunches and dinners, dinner before a show at the Warner or National, a special dinner out.
Best dishes: Silken carrot pappardelle in a rabbit ragu; kabocha-squash tortelli floating in a truffled Parmesan sauce; roasted veal tenderloin with porcini mushrooms and farro; rack of venison with beet tartare and currant sauce; a fascinating Gorgonzola ice cream served three ways, including with a delicious slaw of celery, fennel, and pear.
Insider tips: Chef Massimo Fabbri’s menu offers so much variety that it can spark arguments among couples intending to share. Don’t ignore the tasting menus—each item can be ordered à la carte. Pastas can be ordered by the half portion, which is advisable for a second course—or if you want to try more than one. Early diners can take advantage of the $35 three-course pretheater menu. Groups of four to eight can make an evening of dinner by reserving the chef’s table in the kitchen, where Fabbri cooks a seven-to-nine-course meal for $105 a person—a relative bargain.