100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Hank’s Pasta Bar

Italian Revival: What was once Hank’s Oyster Bar in Old Town is now Hank’s Pasta Bar. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Washington has seen a surge in ambitious neighborhood restaurants, and one of its happiest byproducts has been the rise in laid-back Italian spots. Take Jamie Leeds’s Old Town pasta house, which marries a homey, gray-painted room with a raucous family-dinner vibe. It’s worth going all-in on the house-made pastas and sharing a fixed-price menu featuring three to five selections. We love the messily torn mafalde noodles done up with a creamy sauce and fennel sausage or the chewy strands of bucatini gilded in carbonara. To start, there are generous antipasti boards and interesting salads, such as a mix of shaved Brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds and anchovy-raisin vinaigrette. Moderate.

Also great: Burrata with pesto; arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette; wild-mushroom lasagna; vanilla panna cotta; Key-lime pie.

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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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.