100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 33 Osteria Morini

Critic’s Rating:

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Brodetto, seafood stew. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Washington has become well-trod territory for out-of-town chefs looking to expand their empires, and Michael White—who opened this offshoot of his SoHo osteria last year—was relatively late to the game.

Still, he made a pioneer move when he chose to build his Emilia Romagna-inspired restaurant in Southeast DC’s Navy Yard, a neighborhood that doesn’t yet have much in the way of foot traffic.

White’s terra-cotta-hued dining room deserves a crowd. Among the most compelling reasons: juicy, well-grilled meats; house-made pastas with ruddy, deeply flavored ragus; and some of the loveliest sweets we’ve had this year, courtesy of pastry chef Alex Levin. We like the convivial bar, where you can sample the daily happy-hour snacks or graze on a pasta or two.

Don’t miss:

  • Duck-liver mousse
  • Parmesan “gelato”
  • Beef crudo
  • Bucatini with crab and sea urchin
  • Lasagna verde
  • Mixed grill of lamb chop, pancetta, and skirt steak
  • Lemon meringue tart
  • Rice pudding with grape sorbet

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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.