100 Best Restaurants 2009: Tosca

No. 23: Tosca

Cuisine: Ethereal hand-rolled pastas, often imaginatively sauced, and robust but elegant interpretations of Northern Italian cooking. The rotation of dishes rarely changes—but it also rarely misses the mark.

Mood: The dining room is dated and austere, as dull as the cooking is engaging, and the servers look as though they’ve been stuffed into their jackets. It’s a fitting setting for a place where lawyers flock and the talk is of billable hours and stalled negotiations.

Best for: A client lunch.

Best dishes: Roasted scallops with chestnut purée and black-truffle sauce, the epitome of earthy elegance; ravioli filled with chestnut and ricotta; ravioli stuffed with veal, prosciutto, and pistachio mortadella in a red-wine reduction; carrot pappardelle with rabbit ragu.

Insider tips: At the bar you can fashion a fine, affordable meal of half-price, half-size portions of pasta, and the wine list is long on earthy Italian reds.

Service: **½ (two and a half stars).

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner.

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurants.  

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.