100 Best Restaurants 2012: Bibiana

Restaurants On the Rise


There are other places to go to seal a deal, but we haven’t met one that better blends sophistication with culinary finesse.

The leather-brown walls and chandeliers may seem garish in the light of day, but when the place is jumping and the bar is two-deep, it’s an enticing swirl of activity–great for people-watching and celeb-spotting. The well-drilled staff knows how to pace the show. Nicholas Stefanelli poaches from both northern and southern Italian cultures to construct a boldly flavored cuisine that embraces tradition as well as modernity.

What to get: Sicilian-style grilled sardines; smoked veal sweetbreads; black spaghetti with crab; sea bass with Sicilian salmoniglio; smoked gnocchi; ravioli with tuna confit, white beans, and shrimp; chocolate-and-hazelnut crema; tiramisu; cannoli.

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

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 Petworth.