Thought I'd share what I consider a neighborhood gem, the San Marco in Adams Morgan (18th St, corner of Kalorama). Focus is northern Italian. I've had a chance to eat here several times over the past few months and each meal has been really wonderful. This is a relatively small, neighborhoody place, and the owner (Roberto) can always be trusted to pick just the right bottle of wine to go with whatever you've picked from the menu.
Starter of cold, lemon and pepper drizzled asparagus, followed by very rich papardelle - almost as thick as a real winter stew, was my dinner this weekend. Finished off with espresso and canolli, of course.
Everything I've tried here, even the basics like lasagne, have been excellent. And, if you're into grappa, Roberto only has about 200 bottles to choose from!
Anyone else with similar experience here?
I love the whole idea of San Marco--a comfortable, welcoming, reasonably-priced, neighborhood restaurant. It is almost perfect....
My only reservation about the place is that the food is often very pedestrian...when it is good, it is solidly good--never brilliant or earthshaking; but when it is average, it can be very pedestrian and lackluster. If it were more consistent, it would be easier to forgive its flaws, but I find it too much of a gamble to go there on a regular basis.