100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Obelisk


Obelisk pairs bigoli—thick whole-wheat pasta—with duck-gizzard ragu, its traditional accompaniment. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Obelisk



Peter Pastan’s flagship turns 26 this year—an achievement for
any business, but especially in an industry where fads come and go as
often as the seasons. Even more remarkable is that the Dupont Circle
rowhouse restaurant doesn’t feel dated. The five-course Italian tasting
menus unfurl with minimum pomp, and the best dishes—such as tangy-rich
burratadressed with olive oil and salt or an expertly fried
soft-shell crab—are virtuoso performances. To pin your experience on the
entrée is to miss the spirit of the meal. It’s the parade of antipasti,
pastas, and desserts that make it so rewarding.
The menu changes daily, but recent highlights have included
a twist on
vitello tonnato; rapini with pistachios; pork
rillettes; agnolotti with suckling pig; squab with artichokes and
black olives; swordfish with salsa verde; plum tart with pistachio ice
cream. Open: Tuesday through Saturday for dinner.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

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.