100 Very Best Restaurants: #53 – Bresca


The dining room at Bresca. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Bresca


1906 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

Ryan Ratino’s culinary career didn’t start out the most auspiciously: His first gig was at the Playboy Mansion, where work consisted of cooking the same breakfast day after day for Hugh Hefner. Ratino has come a long way. The former Ripple chef has created a tiny, surrealist wonderland on 14th Street, where moss covers one wall and the excellent cocktails are served in glass fishes and bees. His food, which alludes to his Midwestern roots and love of French and Italian cuisine, is daring, complicated, and—when it works, as with his foie gras “PB&J” with warm madeleines—beautiful. Expensive. Also great: Buckwheat pancakes with parsley-root ice cream and roe; chestnut agnolotti; pastrami beets; 65-day-aged entrecôte; tropical ambrosia.

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 Petworth.

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.