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.
The dining room is as featureless as a law firm’s conference room. And surrounded by so much talk of deals, a leisurely lunch can feel like business. But chef Massimo Fabbri has the kitchen humming with purpose and invention. Take a recent plate of carrot pappardelle with a ragu of minced rabbit and thyme—the sort of concoction chefs are wont to highlight with a self-consciously clever menu description. While such dishes can be more interesting to talk about than to eat, this one eats better than it reads. A half portion (at half price!) at the bar, washed down with a good glass of Italian red from an excellent list, is one of the best lunches in town.
This review appeared in the September, 2008 issue of The Washingtonian.