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Feb 20, 2007 03:17 AM

1970's Italian Restaurant in Dupont Circle

Does anyone know the name of an Italian restaurant that used to be in Dupont Circle and that served scrumptious "drunken pork chop" and a great rabbit dish??

Thanks for any information!


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  1. Was the restaurant located slightly below street level?

    1. Do you mean Gusti's at 18th and M? The place had a lot of ironwork out front, but it's now a Chipotle.

      1. Anna Maria's? I remember going there in the '70s.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MikeR

          Anna Maria's is still there on Connecticut, but they don't have drunken pork chops or rabbit on their online menu. Neither does La Tomate.

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              The OP dates from 2007, so it may have been open when this thread was current. Why it has reemerged is a mystery to me.

        2. Maybe you mean Cantina d'Italia, Washington's first Northern Italian restaurant. It had a hand-written menu that none of us could read, that changed every few weeks. It did offer fabulous stewed rabbit and pork dishes that nobody in Francophile Washington knew a thing about. They sold more gnocchi than McD's sold fries since it was the hottest thing in town for the expense account crowd. The prices were right up there with Lion D'Or that was across the intersection at Conn and M. The restaurant was a half story down in a basement. They had the No. Italian market locked up until Tiberio opened a few years later and then the floodgates opened and red sauce was totally outré for several years.

          1. Gusti's was located at 19th & M (not 18th). I've lived in the area since 1950 and I remember it well. When I worked for a law firm back in the 1970s, it was one of the favorite's for a relatively inexpensive lunch, and
            one of the few Italian restaurants in the area. DC was so totally different back then - there's been a renaissance (epicurally speaking) since then, thank goodness.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dwit49

              Famous Luigi's has been on 19th Street since 1943. What was the food like in the '50s? How did it compare to Restaurant AV?


              1. re: monkeyrotica

                They were much alike.Even when Luigi's added a second location in Bethesda in?1965.We were a 90% AV and 10% Luigi's family
                Stand out differences
                dessert,Luigi's was house made except spumoni,AV not (family bakery)
                salad,AV had good options,Luigi's was cheap and only offered nasty orange "French" dressing.
                Luigi's got good pizza ovens first
                pizza,"Italian American" Luigi's overloaded sauce and doubled cheese,AV was a more reasonable style
                AV,many more "al forno" braises of meat,the specials on Saturday night and Sunday after church were extensive.Fish offerings,specials on Friday almost equal.Very church going "Italian American" restaurant
                Luigi's was not as "oven" except for pizza even at the large location added in Bethesda.