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Italian Restaurant in Washington DC

struggle19 May 31, 2007 08:04 AM

Some friends and I are looking for a solid Italian restaurant in DC that can handle 12 people and would be a fun dinner location before going out bar hopping. I've read Washington Post reviews, but it's always tough to trust the conflicting reviews. If you can, please respond with an positive experiences and strong recommendations. My friend is a big fan of Italian food so we're looking for a location with terrific food, but also a place with an atmosphere that we can drink and enjoy one another's company.

Some places we're already looking into are Etrusco, al Tiramisu, Primi Piatti, Luigino.

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  1. Dennis S RE: struggle19 May 31, 2007 08:08 AM

    It's traditional red cloth type of place, but an institution that's closing due to "progress" - AV Ristorante.

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/406161 recent thread.

    Save your list for August or after.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dennis S
      monkeyrotica RE: Dennis S May 31, 2007 08:25 AM

      Second AV, as well as Luigi's. The former is a short walk to Penn Quarter, the latter just south of Dupont.

    2. jpschust RE: struggle19 May 31, 2007 08:35 AM

      Dino, then walk down the hill to walk off the food and go to Adams Morgan to bar hop.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jpschust
        Gee RE: jpschust May 31, 2007 08:40 AM

        I second Dino, emphatically. Moreover, if you or any of you are wine lovers, run, do not walk, to Dino, because the food is very good, but the wine selection, service and value are simply amazing -- for Italian wines, the best in the region and probably the best I've ever experienced. There is also a nice separate dining room upstairs; can't remember if it would fit 12, but it might be worth asking.

      2. d
        DC Gal RE: struggle19 May 31, 2007 08:43 AM

        I'd head to Filomena in Georgetown and then bar-hop down there. you enter Filomena on the street level where the little old ladies are in the window making the ravioli by hand and then head down stairs. Downstairs is a huge beautiful restaurant that serves excellent food. Call soon for a reservation - they do book up.

        2 Replies
        1. re: DC Gal
          Elyssa RE: DC Gal May 31, 2007 09:31 AM

          Also don't forget to have dessert at Filomena. With 12 people I would suggest getting 5-6 different pieces of their wonderful variety of cakes and sharing. Mmmmm now I'm getting hunry!!

          Btw...last time I was there I saw Fran Drescher from "The Nanny." My bf always has DC celebrity sightings there.

          1. re: DC Gal
            inbox_blues RE: DC Gal Jun 3, 2007 06:18 PM

            I concur! Filomena's impressive and quaint --- and especcially nice during Christmas when they decorate the hell out of it! The food is definitely 'homemade' and delicious. Then it's a block up from Georgetown bars. Sette Osteria in Dupont is also good, with delicious Quattro Formaggio pizza, and a block away from many bars.

          2. w
            whiner RE: struggle19 May 31, 2007 09:31 AM

            Dino! The food is terrific and well priced, so is the wine list. Plus, you are just one Metro stop (or a nice long walk) from Adam's Morgan for your bar hopping.

            1. s
              struggle19 RE: struggle19 May 31, 2007 10:32 AM

              Appreciate all the feedback. It looks like Dino and Filomena's are the ones to look into for now. I am already familiar with Dino as it's in CP where I live, but no nothing about Filomena's. Any other suggestions or feedback are welcome.

              1 Reply
              1. re: struggle19
                m25111 RE: struggle19 May 31, 2007 02:49 PM

                My vote is for Filomena's...good food and good location

              2. j
                jackcyn RE: struggle19 May 31, 2007 10:34 AM

                I'm going to get slammed for this one... but Buca di Beppo!! I love it. It's so cheesy but funny.

                5 Replies
                1. re: jackcyn
                  DanielK RE: jackcyn May 31, 2007 10:45 AM

                  >> I'm going to get slammed for this one... but Buca di Beppo!! I love it. It's so cheesy but funny.

                  Yup. You're gonna get slammed. :-) With the numerous local places around, why go with a soulless chain restaurant?

                  Filomena's is better for celeb sightings than food, IMO, though it's not terrible.

                  I like Dino a lot - I think that's a great choice.

                  1. re: DanielK
                    flavrmeistr RE: DanielK Jun 1, 2007 11:05 AM

                    If it was, say, New Haven they might deserve to get slammed for mentioning Beppo's. The truth is, there aren't that many family Italian places around here that rise above the level of a Beppo's or a Macaroni Grill. I'm not talking about Laboratorio or Citronelle, I'm talking about family-run red sauce joints serving good food that are everywhere from Philly to Boston. Not many of those in DC, nor have there ever been. Sad, but a fact of life.

                    1. re: flavrmeistr
                      monkeyrotica RE: flavrmeistr Jun 1, 2007 12:49 PM

                      And the list gets shorter every day, in downtown at least. Famous Luigi's seems to be the last of a dying breed. They've been there since 1943.


                      1. re: monkeyrotica
                        flavrmeistr RE: monkeyrotica Jun 4, 2007 06:20 AM

                        Luigi's is decent. They do a nice catered luncheon. We have their food brought in about twice a month and they never disappoint.

                      2. re: flavrmeistr
                        inbox_blues RE: flavrmeistr Jun 4, 2007 07:00 AM

                        So true! And don't forget Maggiano's for a nearby family-style Italian dinner experience, like Beppo. I recently brought my visiting parents there (they don't eat out much and are rather picky) and they loved, LOVED it! And I must admit, I ate my weight in four cheese ravioli!

                  2. g
                    govo RE: struggle19 May 31, 2007 11:32 AM

                    I think that Sette Osteria in Dupont is quite good. Great pastas, and good pizza. It's got a "scene" that I'm not much into, but it's definitely a place with some vitality, and my meals have been great each of the 3-4 times I've been.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: govo
                      allisonm RE: govo May 31, 2007 11:43 AM

                      Papa Razzi in Georgetown is awesome. The food is always good and the atmosphere is young, busy, and the building is even cool. I would say its better food than Filomena and a lot more fun type of atmosphere.

                      1. re: allisonm
                        Elyssa RE: allisonm May 31, 2007 11:49 AM

                        Really?? The 2 times I've been there I've been disappointed. Haven't been back in over 3 years. Never been disappointed at Filomena though!

                    2. debit RE: struggle19 May 31, 2007 12:01 PM

                      Another recommendation for Dino...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: debit
                        SeattliteChower RE: debit Jun 4, 2007 07:00 AM

                        I agree that there are no really good Italian restaurants in DC, but would vote for Filomena as the best available. Anyone seeking a good place outside DC should try A la Lucia in Old Town.

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