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Best Italian in DC/NoVA

I have to entertain some very good friends who have helped me out over the years and would like to take them to something like Komi. However, since the wife doesn't eat fish, and they like Italian, I am requesting your suggestions on the best Italian place in DC/NoVA area to take these good folks out. If you know of an Italian place that is on the level of Komi or Minibar, I would very much appreciate your recommendations.


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  1. check out obelisk and teatro goldoni's chef's table.

      1. Filomenas beats every place - no question about it. www.filomena.com

        2 Replies
        1. re: me0910

          Food is decent but service very lacking. If this restaurant is chosen try to not get frustrated and expect a long stay.

          1. re: me0910

            Gummy pasta served with thick sauces. At least the portions are large.

          2. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Tosca. Both the food and decor are elegant and refined. However, I'd put the inventiveness of Komi and Minibar in a separate category of invention compared to Tosca.

            On the basis of creativity, go with the chef's table at Teatro Goldoni. For a dining experience that is the culinary equivalent of an Armani piece of clothing, go to Ristorante Tosca.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Indy 67

              I thought Tosca was great, nice quiet atmosphere and good service.

            2. Hate to add to the chorus, but....Obelisk. Reserve in advance as the place is very small.

              2 Replies
              1. re: brianV

                I prefer Tosca to Obelisk. Never been to Teatro Goldoni.

                1. re: brianV

                  How far in advance? I have never been to Obelisk and was thinking about making a reservation for me and my bf for our anniversary over Labor Day. Good choice?

                  Also I know the meal is pre-fix but how much is it? Anyone been recently with an accurate price?

                  They don't seem to have a website btw. Anyone know about one?


                2. Obelisk for sure. I found it much better than Tosca. I haven't been to Teatro Goldoni or Filomena so I can't speak to those.

                  I think you should allow a month at least to reserve at Obelisk. If memory serves me correctly, I think our bill for two was about $300, including tax, tip and a nice bottle of wine.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                    Wow $300? I imagine the wine was expensive. I thought the pre-fixe menu was $70 or so/per person. That would be $140 before tax, tip, and drinks. Is my pricing totally off in terms of just food alone?

                    Can you order ala carte?

                    1. re: Elyssa

                      It's $70 or $75 pp just for the food. No a la carte.

                      1. re: Elyssa

                        I was there last week--prix fixe was $75. The wine list is excellent but there isn't much below $60. Our bill also came to about $300 for two. There is no website. The menu changes daily, although there are dishes that repeat. You are served a several small antipasti (always including a generous serving of burrata, often a small tomato or other salad, fish, stuffed squash or arancini, etc); a pasta or soup, a main course, cheese course and dessert.
                        You should be able to get a table now for around Labor Day. They are closed Sunday and Monday.

                        1. re: brianV

                          Thanks for all the info Brian.

                          I called last night and they only book 1 month in advance, so hopefully I'll have luck next Tuesday.

                    2. Both Obelisk and Tosca are good. Obelisk is smaller, cozier, and more creative in terms of the menu. Tosca is more classic and in my experience, somewhat formal. I would not put Filomena in the same category as Obelisk, Tosca, Komi, or Minibar. It's not my cup of tea and not very inventive in my experience.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Gigi007

                        Dino's is my favorite place but it's more of a casual place.. I had mixed feelings about Tosca when I went there. I also like Assagi Mozzerella Bar up in Bathesda. Their pastas are excellent.

                        1. re: msjess

                          I've been to all of these. Respectfully, Filomena is on an entirely different level (much lower) than any other restaurant mentioned. The best dinner of all and, excepting Volt's Table 21 in Frederick, is the Chef's Table at Goldoni where you are served 18+ courses personally by Chef Enzo. It is, I believe, better than Komi or MiniBar. You will also sit at a table adjacent to the kitchen and separate from the dining room with Enzo personally serving you. This would be an extraordinary experience that your friends would be extremely appreciative of. Both Obelisk ($75 prix fixe for three courses and five or six tastes) and Tosca are entirely different experiences in their own way. Obelisk is more intimate, Tosca more upscale and a la carte. Your decision could be made by your budget ($125 prix fixe + wine, tax and tip at Goldoni) or the number in your group (four limit at Obelisk) which might leave Tosca. Still, a good choice.

                          Enzo's Chef's Table at Teatro Goldoni: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/581849

                      2. I'm near McPherson Sq. and am wanting to do an Italian night out. Obelisk I think would be a great choice (though I read somewhere it can be a bit overhyped though all the food tastes great and cooked with care) and maybe so would Tosca. I've not heard much about Siroc which is nearby. While something like the Teatro Goldini tasting menu would be fantastic, I don't believe I've got the time (someone said 4 hrs I believe) or the money nor am I sure my gf would eat a majority of the items.

                        What I am wondering is what was the length of time you spent dining in Obelisk or Tosca and how many items did you order?

                        Thoughts and thanks.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                          Obelisk and Tosca are like night and day. Obelisk is an intimate, informal setting in a townhouse where it’s almost like you are dining in someone’s private home. The waitstaff tend to be young, knowledgeable and friendly. Dinner is prix-fixe and usually lasts at least 2 hours. Tosca is like dining in a corporate conference room; in other words, zero ambiance. The waitstaff tend to be older Italian men. If you order the 3-course pre-theater menu you can be out of there in less than an hour. Ordering a la carte, your dining time will vary, depending on how many courses you choose. While the food at Tosca is certainly good, I’ve never had an exceptional experience there. Whereas at Obelisk, every time I leave there, I think, “Wow, that was one of the better meals of my life!” If you decide on Obelisk, ask for the table in the front window. It’s a bit more private than the tables along the banquettes.