Bibiana, Washington D.C.'s Very Own Saint
- GianCarlo Oct 6, 2009 01:26 PM
Bibiana opened four weeks ago and has already made it's mark as the go to Italian in the fair city of Washington. Chef Nicholas Stefanelli weaned at Maestro's in The Ritz in Tysons Corner under Master Chef Fabio Trabocchi has finally found a place where he can spread his wings and fly! And he soars like an Eagle!
Bibiana, the restaurant not the Martyr Saint of Roman times falls under the Umbrella of the same owners of Rasika, The Oval Room, 701, The bambay Club and others-all well run and excellent in their own rights. Bibiana is the newest sister to join this noble family and like the saint may too become the favorite!
The decor suits me to a tea! Hip and Elegant, warm woods and open panels that tempt us to capture glances into the kitchen. Glistening Chandeliers that remind us the italy is about style and design. Beautiful finishes and cozy layouts make Stefanelli's dining room his home and he makes it yours.
Stefanelli brings to the table the rustic offerings that make us yearn for trips to Bologna, Tagliatelli Bolognese and not a sparse offering but a tasty portion that reminds us that Stefanelli knows Italian and loves Italian, is Italian and shares with you everything that is Italian from the toasted artichoke hearts to polpettini and elegant REAL Mozzarella! The food is fabulous, elegant and presented by a fine assembly waiters you will recognize from the moment you walk in the door. Service is excellent and not in your face, glasses are filled without asking, food appears the moment it is ready, hot and delicious! The Wine Someliere Francesco is from Amalfi and knows the beautiful selection of Italian and American wines they have carefully put together. I was not surprised at the selections he made for us, they were a perfect match for our elegant meal. My friends had the branzino-mediteranea n sea bass that was perfectly cooked and finished in the coal burning brick over to perfection. It was a joy to watch Francesco de-bone the fish as only Italians can. Sides of Brocolli Rape and Rocket salad brought tears to my eyes as I longed for the caresses of my sweet Nonna!
Then came dessert, a pastry chef brought to you straight from heaven! Bomboli covered in chocolate and espresso with caramel gelato-Mamma Mia!!! I can't wait to get back there tonight and claim a more permanent throne to hold court at Bibiana on a regular basis!
Get there and get there fast, you're soon not tofind a seat.
I went to Bibiana for my birthday this past weekend. I was looking for a restaurant that would remind me of some of the restaurants I went to in Florence. Although nothing can compare to being in Italy, this was a wonderful and close second. The service was wonderful. The staff was very professional and knowledgeable. I appreciated the servers fully honest opinion on which entrees were his favorite (and not even always selecting the most expensive one). They were also quite knowledgeable about the wines. We ordered a ton of food and all shared some bites. Everything was DELICIOUS! I don't usually say that. Below is a breakdown of what we ordered. I LOVE food and I love dining out. I have to say this is by far my new favorite restaurant in DC. The only thing I have to warn you is to be patient. We were there for about 3+hours. It is a true European dining experience!
Polpettini: delicious, tender, salty
Arancini (saffron rice fritters)- AMAZING. Tasted like fried mac n' cheese, even though it isn't
Fiore de Zucca (fried squash blossoms)- incredible squash flavor and perfectly crisp and juicy
Calzoncelli: (pasta stuffed with pancetta, brown butter, sage sauce): Tender pasta with salty, delicious pancetta. Light sauce- not heavy. Delicious
Spaghetti Al Nero Di Seppia (black spaghetti, blue crab, spicy oil sauce): This was a delicious surprise. I assumed it would be fishy but it wasn't in the least. Completely fresh taste with a kick.
Agnolotti: (sheeps milk ricotta filled pasta, lemon, marjoram, spinach): This was incredibly light. It was refreshing and wonderful.
Anatra: (duck breast, grilled peaches, celery root) Never had duck this good. Seriously. It was so crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It was like duck bacon.
I would highly recommend going to Bibiana. The portions are perfect, the food is amazing and service is great. Just remember, be patient, bring an empty stomach and a full wallet. Ordering all of this food gets pricey.
1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005
Awesome review, devouringindc. Thank you. I too love Florence, so if Bibiana reminded you of the kind of restaurant experience you had there, then I definitely want to dine at Bibiana. I also love arincini. It's a bit odd that they tasted like fried mac n'cheese although I like that too! The Anatra (duck breast w/ grilled peaches) also sounds scrumptious as does the agnolotti.
Did you have dessert? I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't given the number of dishes you had unless you were with a group of people.
Also, what's the wine list like and what did you have?