A plate of roasted red and yellow peppers striped with anchovies and dashed with olive oil. A simple dish—one you think you could whip up at home. Except, of course, you can’t. Not with this pop of flavor, this depth. That’s the magic of Peter Pastan’s pizzeria, whose list of small plates makes it the best workaday Italian restaurant in Washington.
Pastan is fanatical when it comes to ingredients, which he gets from top suppliers (or makes himself, in the case of his red-wine vinegar), and devoted to the Italian ideal of simplicity. What that means is that nearly every dish is interesting or rewarding or addictive, sometimes all three.
- Deviled eggs
- Salt-cured sardines
- Smoked swordfish with fennel
- Anchovies with bread and butter
- Escarole with hard-boiled eggs and anchovies
- Margherita Extra, Abruzzese, and Norcia pizzas
- Vanilla ice cream