100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Etto

One of the many terrific vegetable dishes at Etto: a simple but sublime salad of celery, walnuts, and pecorino enlivened with lemon and sour-orange juices. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

This snug and friendly dining room, with its gleaming Douglas-fir floors, looming chalkboard menu, and ruddy brick walls, is a grazer’s heaven. Nearly everything seems designed for taking a few bites here, a few bites there. Instead of the pliable but overcharred pizzas, we like to center our meals around platters of house-cured meats—salumi scented with fennel pollen, slices of lush Mangalitsa ham—and maybe a bulb of olive-oil-drizzled burrata, which is wonderful smeared onto the crusty country-style bread (not only is it freshly baked, but the place mills its own flour). Those things are always on the menu. It’s the boldly flavored salads and veggie dishes that sit on the bar that are ever-changing and often revelatory. So, too, the sorbets and ice creams, including one lush scoop flavored with pistachio and a whiff of prosciutto.

Open: Daily for dinner.

Don’t Miss: Rabbit-liver pâté on a cracker; halved eggs topped with fried anchovy bones; roasted leeks with prosciutto and Gorgonzola; lobster-and-chickpea salad; celery-and-pecorino salad; chocolate “salumi”; San Gennaro cocktail, with Lambrusco and grapefruit juice. 

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.