Favored by big-spending regulars, the neutral-toned dining room at this Penn Quarter Italian restaurant has a festive din during peak hours but can feel drab at slower times. On such occasions, head to the twinkly bar and focus on the pastas—available by the half or full order—and salads, which are some of the most inspired preparations on the menu. (Entrées tend to be less memorable.) Two dishes no one should miss: the lively baby-octopus-and-calamari salad and the astonishing carrot-flavored pappardelle dressed with rabbit ragu.
Don’t miss: Arugula salad withburrata; rosemary-and-thyme fettuccine with wild-boar ragu; pork tenderloin in a mushroom crust with Tuscan-style bean salad; tiramisu; ice creams and sorbets.
Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner.