100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Osteria Morini

Photo by Scott Suchman

The Capitol Riverfront area has grown significantly since New York restaurateur Michael White opened a branch of his SoHo osteria there two years ago, though it’s far from fully developed. No matter—Morini possesses the spirit of a full-fledged neighborhood Italian joint. Groups crowd the bar for superb cheese and charcuterie, while the window-wrapped dining room is the place to tuck into executive chef Matt Adler’s robust cooking from the Emilia-Romagna region. Spring for the shareable antipasti—mortadella meatballs are a classic for a reason—though it pays to be selfish when it comes to fresh pastas such as butternut-squash-stuffed pillows with braised-lamb ragu. Homing in on the carbs often yields maximum enjoyment, especially when you include pastry chef Alex Levin’s fabulous desserts or weekend-brunch pastry basket, filled with warm Danish and speck-flecked brioche.

Don’t miss: Crostini with smoked-trout, chickpea, and Parmesan “gelato” spreads; grilled octopus; truffled ricotta ravioli; gramigna carbonara; seafood soup; pine-nut/pistachio tartlet; cinnamon rice pudding with butterscotch cream.

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

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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.