100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Obelisk

Bigoli pasta with duck ragout. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

With the closure of the excellent Eola, it remains up to Obelisk to hold down the high-end culinary fort for the stretch of P Street from Dupont Circle to Georgetown. A longtime favorite for anniversaries and power meals, Peter Pastan’s 27-year-old rowhouse Italian spot continues to impress with an array of antipasti that might include house-made burrata, an ethereal wonder that’s impossible to stop eating. Pastas, too, remain exceptional. At a recent dinner, gnocchi in creamy Gorgonzola sauce tasted light and restrained despite the rich ingredients. Entrées, however, were about as exciting as the sedate dining room. We were bored by a fat-laden grilled pork chop, which felt like out-of-place overkill after such delicate but substantial early courses.

Open: Tuesday through Saturday for dinner.

Don’t Miss: The five-course menu changes daily, but highlights have included eggplant ravioli; swordfish with salsa verde; apple tart; and chocolate cake.

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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.