Scott Hampton

Obelisk, Washington, D.C.

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There’s a place for showmanship and fireworks, but it’s not at Obelisk. When you’re passing by, there’s barely any indication that a restaurant waits within this Dupont Circle townhouse. But that’s part of the romance of dining at this discreet 30-seat spot. Besides, chef Peter Pastan’s tiny, five-course, handwritten Italian prix-fixe menu of seasonal delights makes its own big impression. Housemade burrata and arancini to start, some veal tongue or chicken liver pudding for the adventurous, perhaps some beet, squash, or porcini ravioli to follow? Entrees like the suckling pig carved tableside, or steak for two may help you leave room for one of Pastan’s famously not-too-sweet desserts.

2029 P Street, 202/872-1180.

Best Italian Restaurants in the U.S.

Obelisk, Washington, D.C.

There’s a place for showmanship and fireworks, but it’s not at Obelisk. When you’re passing by, there’s barely any indication that a restaurant waits within this Dupont Circle townhouse. But that’s part of the romance of dining at this discreet 30-seat spot. Besides, chef Peter Pastan’s tiny, five-course, handwritten Italian prix-fixe menu of seasonal delights makes its own big impression. Housemade burrata and arancini to start, some veal tongue or chicken liver pudding for the adventurous, perhaps some beet, squash, or porcini ravioli to follow? Entrees like the suckling pig carved tableside, or steak for two may help you leave room for one of Pastan’s famously not-too-sweet desserts.

2029 P Street, 202/872-1180.

Scott Hampton

Best Italian Restaurants in the U.S.

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