Assaggi Mozzarella Bar

4838 Bethesda Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814


Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo

Cuisines: Italian

Opening Hours:
Open Monday through Thursday 4 PM to 10 PM, Friday 4 PM to 11 PM, Saturday 11:30 AM to 11 PM, and Sunday 11:30 AM to 10 PM.

Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda

Price Range: Expensive

Dress: Upscale Casual

Noise Level: Chatty

Reservations: Not Needed


Best Dishes:
Burrata cheese with pesto eggplant, tomato marmalade, and roasted red peppers; salumi; fritto misto; clams in broth with pasta; kale-and-escarole salad; polenta with chicken livers; gnocchi with veal-short-rib ragu and caciocavallo-cheese sauce; pasta w

Price Details:
Mozzarella and salumi $12 to $18, starters $8 to $15, entrées (including pasta) $15 to 29; two-course lunch special $15.

100 Best Restaurants 2010: Assaggi

No. 90: Assaggi

Cuisine: The mozzarella bar might intrigue curiosity seekers, but the real draw is chef/owner Domenico Cornacchia’s cooking. It pulls from many regions of his homeland but rings truest when he draws from the stick-to-your-ribs, tomato-based dishes of central Italy. And he’s a whiz with pasta.

Mood: The open dining room channels the buzz of a DC hot spot, right down to the glimpse of the chef intently finishing dishes in the open kitchen.

Best for: A family-style meal for groups who like to share—the staff is happy to bring plenty of plates.

Best dishes: Burrata cheese with condiments of pesto eggplant, tomato marmalade, and roasted red peppers; salumi; fritto misto; tiny clams in a broth with toasted Israeli-couscous-like pasta; a vinegary kale-and-escarole salad; gnocchi topped with veal-short-rib ragu and pungent caciocavallo-cheese sauce; pasta with blue crab and spicy tomato sauce; zeppole, sugared batons of fried dough with zabaglione dip; raspberry-and-white-chocolate cake.

Insider tips: Specials include a $14 two-course lunch and a 15-percent discount on dinner checks daily between 4 and 6.

Service: •••

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Moderate to expensive.


See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants