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D.C. Italian

I'll be in DC for several days in November and am starting to come up with a restaurant list. Komi is going to be my 50th Birthday dinner place, but one thing I know for sure is that my DH will want to eat Italian while we're there. And he really loves the most authentic Italian possible, right down to Italian-speaking waiters. So where should we go? We'll be staying in Dupont Circle, without a car, so hopefully it will be either walkable, Metro friendly or a reasonable cab fare away.

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  1. My sister spoke Italian with the front person at Al Crostino on U street, but I don't know how "authentic" it is. DC's not known for Italian. That said, Dino at Cleveland Park, two metro stops fro Dupont Circle, offers tasty fare using high quality ingredients. I've heard waiters speaking Italian at Sette Osteria in Dupont, and I like it, but it's not "great."

    3 Replies
    1. re: dcandohio

      DC has great Italian, and Dino is NOT it. Try Obelisk, Tosca, Spezie, Al Tiramisu, Teatro Goldoni, and Etrusco. All of which are much more satisfying than Dino in terms of food, decor and service.

      1. re: dcandohio

        At Crostino or it's sister restaurant Al Tiramisu is pretty authentic since the owners and some waiters are Italian. The food is quite good but I haven't been in awhile. You should be aware though that the specials are usually double the price of the other entrees so you should make sure to ask the price before ordering anything if cost is an issue.

        Also if you are looking for something romantic, Al Tiramisu fits the bill.

        1. re: Elyssa

          Al Tiramisu would be my pick as my favorite DC Italian. I had a grilled fish there that was very good, I am married to a 2nd generation Italian and it is her pick as well.

      2. If you're seafood fans, D'Acqua has great, authentic Italian seafood. Get the scallops wrapped in pancetta as an appetizer - yum!

        1. Filomena in Georgetown is pretty authentic and although the metro does go to Gtown, the cab fare should be relatively reasonable.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JAC13

            I think what JAC13 was trying to say is the metro does NOT go to Georgetown. But you can take a cab, the blue bus (for about $1.50) which picks up in Dupont or the Circulator Bus which picks up in various locations.

            1. re: Elyssa

              Yep, thanks for catching that Elyssa!!

          2. Go to Al Tiramisu for authentic Italian it is right off Dupont Circle on P Street. It is the parent of Al Crostino and is a little more traditional environs. Delicious pasta, fresh seafood, and Italian owner/staff. Be sure to ask the price of the MANY specials as the prices tend to be much higher than the menu.

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            Altiramisu Italian Restaurant
            2014 P Street, Washington, DC 20036

            1 Reply
            1. re: dzherbst

              ^^I agree. Al Tiramisu is wonderful. The decor is so-so, but the food makes up for it.

            2. Tosca in downtown DC (1112 F St. NW), just a block or so from the Metro Center Metro station may be the best authentic, upscale Italian in DC. Spezie, at 1736 L Street NW, just a few blocks from the Dupont Circle area, has a somewhat similar menu, but slightly cheaper (the same person designed their menus) and less elegant.

              1 Reply