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.
Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.
The beige dining room is about as romantic as a boardroom, and indeed there are often lobbyists and lawyers consorting over chef Massimo Fabbri’s Northern Italian cooking. But the food has soul.
Fabbri favors earthy, robust flavors. Pork sausage with lentils is a wonderful starter. Cheese-filled tortelli demonstrate his fondness for mushrooms and black truffles. The “chocolate salami” dessert—slices of fudgy dark chocolate studded with nuts and fruit—is a whimsically tasty way to end a meal. Eating at the bar can keep costs down: Half portions of pasta are an affordable way to tour the menu.
Also good: Truffle-laced kabocha-squash soup; soft-shell crab with peas and ramps; salad of Parma ham, melon, and figs; carrot pappardelle with rabbit ragu; meat-stuffed ravioli with red-wine sauce; chestnut-and-potato gnocchi with sausage ragu; strawberry-rhubarb crostada with lemon semifreddo; tiramisu.
Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.