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Jul 29, 2010 09:39 AM

60th Birthday Dinner-Obelisk or Tosca?

Hello DC Hounds,

I will be in DC from 9/1-9/6 and am in need of opinions for a 60th Birthday Celebration Dinner on 9/3. The birthday lady has requested Italian and I have read many glowing reviews for both Tosca and Obelisk, so I need some advice on which one to pick. I already have a reservation at Tosca via and am planning on calling for Obelisk on 8/3 so I will have a back-up.

Specifics: We both like good food and exceptional service (I am way more of the 'foodie' and picky however). Regionality of the cuisine doesn't really matter to either of us either. I am aware that both places have tasting menus too and am pretty sure that we will end up going this route to give us a sample of the full range of the cuisine; therefore I don't want to spend more that around $85 per person. However, if the non-tasting menu, a-la carte items are better please give me some suggestions on what to order.

Plus, if there are any better Italian options at this price range please don't hesitate to let me know. We will be staying near Capital Hill and want to stay in the DC metro area as well.

Thanks in advance for advice

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  1. I like the food at Tosca very much, but the decor is so understated that personally I don't really think of it as a great place for a celebration dinner.

    Bibiana is a new Italian place that opened recently and might be another option (regrettably I haven't tried Bibiana or Tosca yet myself).

    Also, Roberto Donna is reportedly reopening Galileo in late August, and that might be another possibility.

    1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

    1. I would pick Obelisk. To my mind, it is the best italian restaurant in DC. By a lot.

      1. I've been to both, and iIve greatly enjoyed both. However, for a very special, quiet dinner I prefer Tosca. I think the decor is understated, but in a lovely, comfortable warm way. Obelisk's decor is a lot more casual, and the wood floors and the tables so close together often make it a little loud.. .which is fine, but for a more relaxing atmosphere I prefer Tosca.

        2 Replies
        1. re: scotcheroo

          Obelisk loud? Not that I've ever experienced. Our experience at Obelisk is of a very relaxed, upscale, sophisticated restaurant. The service is friendly but still very professional and knowledgable. Tosca, to me, is like dining in your corporate board room and being served by members of the Mafia. The servers at Tosca are older Italian men who couldn't crack a smile if you paid them. I find Obelisk a whole lot more relaxing than Tosca and while the food is fabulous at both restaurants, I find it more interesting at Obelisk.

          1. re: foodtrip

            I don't mean loud, as in, Chuck E Cheese on free pizza night... But loud, as in, you can repeat word-for-word the indepth conversation the table 9 inches from you is having about their problem with dust mites at home. Like I said I love both, I just personally find Tosca more relaxing.

        2. Obelisk does not have an a la carte option, it is strictly fixed price...not too sure of the amount now, but my last trip in a year ago was $75. Wine list at Obelisk is much better, albeit smaller. Service is always top notch in a casual way. Obviously my choice, but whomever you pick, please cancel the reservaion at the other.