2029 P St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle, Downtown
Tuesday through Saturday for dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: Dupont Circle
Price Range: Very expensive
Noise Level: Intimate
A rich, brothy bowl of guinea-hen raviolini with poached egg; a pork chop marinated in grape must; sorbets and ice creams.
Peter Pastan’s flagship turns 26 this year—an achievement for any business, but especially in an industry where fads come and go as often as the seasons. Even more remarkable is that the Dupont Circle rowhouse restaurant doesn’t feel dated. The five-course Italian tasting menus unfurl with minimum pomp, and the best dishes—such as tangy-rich burratadressed with olive oil and salt or an expertly fried soft-shell crab—are virtuoso performances. To pin your experience on the entrée is to miss the spirit of the meal. It’s the parade of antipasti, pastas, and desserts that make it so rewarding. Don’t miss: The menu changes daily, but recent highlights have included a twist on vitello tonnato; rapini with pistachios; pork rillettes; agnolotti with suckling pig; squab with artichokes and black olives; swordfish with salsa verde; plum tart with pistachio ice cream. Open: Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.