100 Very Best Restaurants: #17 – Caruso’s Grocery

Tuck into some carbs at Caruso's Grocery. Photograph by Stacey Windsor.

This snug Capitol Hill dining room and its newer Pike & Rose sibling feel like a throwback to the ’90s, when penne alla vodka and dirty martinis reigned supreme. Take that martini, here garnished with a toothpick of mozzarella and olive: It’s a mere 12 bucks! And Matt Adler’s Italian American menu is as filled with hits as a Taylor Swift release. We crowd our table with the best-in-class Caesar salad, the limoncello-splashed scampi, the golden-­crusted calamari and chicken parm, and a plate of buttery veal française. Close out the evening with a standard-setting tiramisu or orange-­scented crème brûlée, or another Clinton-era fave—an espresso martini. Moderate.