100 Best Restaurants 2010: Obelisk

No. 26: Obelisk

Cuisine: Simply conceived, carefully executed excursions into regional Italian cooking. The five-course menu, the only option ($70 Tuesday through Thursday, $75 Friday and Saturday), starts with the best part of the meal: a long parade of beautiful snacks for the table, such as burrata cheese with olive oil, miniature meatballs, and oozy risotto fritters.

Mood: Owner Peter Pastan is perhaps best known for his chaotic and crammed pizzeria, 2 Amys. Here, at the restaurant he opened 22 years ago, the vibe couldn’t be more different. Set in a Dupont Circle brownstone, the tiny dining room feels intimate and urbane.

Best for: A leisurely date or dinner with friends.

Best dishes: Recent standouts on the ever-changing roster have included a rich, brothy bowl of guinea-hen raviolini with poached egg; a pork chop marinated in grape must; and sorbets and ice creams.

Insider tips: Be careful not to stuff yourself on the antipasti—portions for the remaining courses tend to be large.

Service: •••

Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.

See all of 2010'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.