Bibiana Reopens in Penn Quarter with a New Chef and Fresh Look

Rasika restaurateur Ashok Bajaj revamps his downtown Italian restaurant

Bibiana reopens in Penn Quarter with a new look and chef. Photography by Greg Powers, courtesy of Bibiana.

Bibiana is back after a temporary shutter over the holidays. Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj briefly closed his eight year-old Italian restaurant in Penn Quarter for a new start—both in the look and kitchen. Executive chef Loris Navone is now at the helm, while London-based designer Harry Gregory gave the modish space a “fun, Milan feel.”

“Needless to say there’s a lot of competition in town, so I need to keep my places fresh,” says Bajaj, who’s behind Rasika, Bindaas, and the Oval Room (among others).

Bibiana’s remodeled dining room.

Navone comes to DC from Miami’s Casa Tua restaurant, an atmospheric Italian spot in South Beach. His new menu includes a variety of antipasti (like house-cured swordfish crudo with salsa verde) and an emphasis on fresh pastas such as chitarra spaghetti with roasted artichokes and lobster, or a wintery agnolotti with foie gras, duck paté, pomegranate, and braised leeks. Look for new meat and fish entrees in the coming weeks.

Deal-seekers looking to get a taste should head to the bar/lounge area. A new $12 all-day food menu includes rustic bowls like polenta with meatballs or pork ragu (or you can make it a $20 meal with a glass of wine and espresso). 

Bibiana. 1100 New York Ave., NW.

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.