Osteria Elisir Closes

Chef Enzo Fargione abruptly calls it quits after two-plus years.

Osteria Elisir is closed after more than two years serving downtown. Photograph by Kyle Gustafson.

Tuesday afternoon Enzo Fargione announced his downtown DC osteria has closed. The chef took to to share a brief message about Osteria Elisir’s closure:

“After more than 2 years we decided to call it quits! Elisir and Osteria Elisir have made many people happy and will continue to live in the hearts of those who had supported us and appreciated us. Thank you to all of you Washingtonians. Our restaurant is now officially closed for good.”

The Italian eatery hasn’t seen smooth sailing since its debut. Fargione altered the concept in March 2013, shifting gears from white tablecloths and tasting menus to a more casual—and some argue, better—dining experience. There’s no word yet on Fargione’s next move, though a passage from the chef’s cookbook, Visual Eats, is telling. In one of the final chapters, “The Realities of the Restaurant,” Fargione quotes from a friend’s memoir that the best two days for a restaurant owner are the day you open and the day you close.

“. . . Between those two days there is an explosive and passionate rich life only the ones who were born to live it can understand, respect and love,” writes Fargione. “I, for sure, am one of those, proudly.”

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.