100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 79 Ghibellina

Ghibellina. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

During the great restaurant boom of 2013—when 20-plus restaurants opened on 14th Street alone—this Italian joint tended to get overlooked.

No more.

The Neapolitan-style pizzas, snipped with scissors at the table, are some of the area’s best, with thin, pliable crusts that never turn soupy. We could just as easily spend the evening snacking on antipasti, which include a glossy bulb of burrata, feather-light fritto misto, and robust chicken-liver crostini.

Given the neighborhood, the place is often packed and always noisy with a Prosecco-happy crowd. Affable partner Ralph Lee makes sure it all runs smoothly—he’s at the host stand nearly every night.

Don’t miss:

  • Arugula salad with avocado and tomato confit
  • Gnocchi with sweet potato and maitake mushrooms
  • Chicken cooked under a brick
  • Lamb blade chops
  • White clam, sausage-chili-and-provolone, and fennel-and-salami pizzas

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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.