100 Very Best Restaurants: #61 – Bibiana

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


Meatballs are everywhere these days, but the ones at this intimate, modern-Italian dining room are standouts. New chef Loris Navone cribs from his Italian grandmother’s recipe, mixing ricotta into veal, pork, and beef. Mounded atop mascarpone-enriched polenta, the “appetizer” makes a small meal. Fritto misto is both airy and tender. (He poaches the seafood in buttermilk before frying.) Pastas such as rosemary tagliatelle with Bolognese and ricotta cavatelli with a lamb-and-kale ragout are wonderfully comforting. There are some surprises, too, including the black squid-ink bread hiding in the basket—it’s peak umami. Expensive.

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.