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.
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."
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.
If you're seafood fans, D'Acqua has great, authentic Italian seafood. Get the scallops wrapped in pancetta as an appetizer - yum!
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.
Altiramisu Italian Restaurant
2014 P Street, Washington, DC 20036
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.