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Italian Restaurant in Washington DC

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. 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

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

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Dino, then walk down the hill to walk off the food and go to Adams Morgan to bar hop.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jpschust

          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. 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

            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

              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. 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.