Restaurants in new developments can feel antiseptic, but chef Amy Brandwein’s CityCenterDC Italian is anything but. The restaurant/market concept means you can dine near the butchery’s hanging salumi or by the open kitchen’s wood-burning hearth. Seasonal Italian is taken literally with an oft-changing menu of creative dishes that run the gamut from bright and clean (burrata with diced tuna and cucumber) to hearty bowls of hand-rolled pasta with milk-braised veal-and-beef ragu. It’s tempting to stick with the noodles—and we have—though fire-kissed whole fish and roasted-vegetable contorni are worth the occasional carb break. Expensive.
Also great: Roasted oysters with ’nduja;grilled-chicken paillard; branzino with Calabrian chili and yogurt; lamb chops scottadito; mushroom pappardelle.