100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Casa Luca

Casa Luca’s bone-in strip loin for two. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

This was supposed to be Fabio Trabocchi’s simplest, most accessible restaurant. Oh, some dishes are served family-style and meant to evoke the Italian countryside, and nearly every one is carried off with a minimum of fuss. But there’s a rigor and a passion that lift the place above a casual trattoria. The fish has always shone here—don’t miss one of the area’s best tuna tartares—but lately the strength of the pastas (including a beet-stuffed casonsei and a spinach pappardelle) have been making it difficult to decide what to order. The quality of the cooking alone would be enough to earn the place a spot on the list. But add in a savvy staff, a sinuous soundtrack of Sinatra and other oldies, and a crackerjack wine list, and you have what the place was never intended to be: a culinary statement.

Don’t miss: Tomato soup; flatbread with ’nduja; beef tartare; squid-ink cavatappi with shellfish; bucatini with prawns; seafood stew; lamb shoulder; cookie tin; zuppa inglese; bomboloni.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
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.