100 Best Restaurants 2012: Obelisk

Tried and True: 10 Restaurants that Have Consistently Offered Very Good Dining


Chef/owner Peter Pastan takes his cues from the Italian kitchen, sourcing the best artisanal ingredients for this low-key Dupont Circle rowhouse where just about everything is made on the premises.

It’s almost as if Pastan doesn’t want anything to detract from the food–no music, no sign outside, just a quietly arresting dining room with artsy placemats and framed photos. The romance comes from the food and wine–lots of regional Italian bottles are on the list–and laser-sharp service that’s informed without being haughty.

What to get: The handwritten menu and the array of antipasti change daily, but some gems do reappear. Thrills on a recent menu included meatballs studded with pine nuts; ultralight arancini; burrata cheese with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper; pork chop with escarole and cipollini onion; chocolate polenta cake with coffee crème anglaise; and fig-pistachio ice cream.

Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. Very 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.