Sette Osteria

June 2005

This elegant osteria near Dupont Circle combines the style-consciousness of modern Italy with the solid comfort of traditional Neapolitan cooking. Owner Franco Nuschese seems to have a talent for attracting beautiful people–the more affluent set is at Cafe Milano in Georgetown, and the younger, hipper crowd is at Sette. A look around the tables might lead you to believe you've stepped into Emporio Armani.

The center of this menu is pizza. The classics, Margherita and Quattro Formaggi, are very good, but some more modern improvisations are worthwhile, too, particularly the one that combines broccoli rabe, pork sausage, and chilies from Calabria.

Splitting a pizza is one way to start a meal here. Or you can order from the appealing list of antipasti: sautéed mussels and clams, fried calamari, or a selection of Italian cured meats served with bread and olives. Pastas, from recipes by chef Domenico Cornacchia of Cafe Milano, are well done. Good main-course picks include roasted veal, a grilled rib-eye steak, and the daily fish selection. The wine list has a number of wines by the glass and some well-priced bottles from lesser-known regions of Italy.