Finemondo brings authentic Italian country-kitchen cuisine to Washington, DC, in a warm, well-lit dining room that recalls the simple hearth of a Tuscan villa. Plunge into Finemondo's menu with hot and cold appetizers, such as the fried calamari ($9.50 for lunch, $10 for dinner), pan-roasted sea scallops ($11.50/$12.50), or mozzarella with melon and prosciutto ($8.50/$9.50). Traditional pasta dishes include gnocchi in a creamy tomato-porcini sauce ($17.50/$18.50), spaghetti and meatballs ($17.50/$18.50), and lasagna ($18.50/$19.50). Meat-eaters can whirl through the carnivortex with the braciola ($19.50/$24.50), beef rolled with prosciutto, pecorino cheese, and pinenuts; the bocconcini di vitello's ($19.50/$24.50) veal bites braised with white wine, cream, oven-dried tomatoes, and chili peppers; or a classic chicken parmigiana ($19.50/$24.50). For a captivating conclusion to these elegant exercises in Italian eats, Finemondo deals in decadent desserts, including the frutti di bosco ($8.50), which coats mixed berries with balsamic vinegar and is served with vanilla ice cream, and a crème brûlée ($7.50) with a Giuseppe Arcimboldo painting's worth of seasonal fruit.
After visiting Ella's Wood Fired Pizza, a reviewer from the Washington City Paper went over the moon for its signature crust. Baked in the eatery's namesake oven, Ella's Neapolitan-style thin crusts are "perfectly crisp with a hint of smoke," while touches of olive oil and sea salt lend "tremendous flavor." Of course, the fixings atop that flavorful foundation are equally swoon-worthy. Ella's cooks handcraft nearly 20 specialty pies, from the di mare's pairing of pesto and shrimp to the bosco's medley of roasted tomatoes and roasted-garlic puree. The culinary team also yields decisions to diners, who can customize pizzas with 40-plus ingredients—including fingerling potatoes and vegan soy cheese—along with the option for a gluten-free crust.
Alongside pizzas, the kitchen staff specializes in traditional and creative Italian dishes, from mushroom ravioli with roasted red pepper sauce to risotto balls filled with gooey mozzarella. Plentiful beer and wine options complement meals, which unfold in a cozy interior with rustic Italian touches such as stone columns and a corner reserved for napping gondoliers.
Pronounced “AH-beets,” Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza sets itself apart from more familiar pie prototypes with a crunchy yet chewy, stone oven-cooked crust, irregular shape, and massive size. Combining their roots in fine dining with a dedication to fresh and simple Italian cuisine, Pete’s chefs make the gluten-free pizza crust in-house each day and top pies with savory sauce and locally-sourced toppings that are farm-fresh, organic, or made in house. Their artisan approach means that each apizza emerges with its own imperfectly round shape, primarily served in 18-inch whole pies, single slices, or doughy maps of ancient Greek city-states.
Pete’s menu also encompasses wheat- and egg-based pastas including goat cheese and basil ravioli, homemade lasagna, and spaghetti Bolognese. The fortress of feasting also channels the vibes of a neighborhood bar with a variety of draft and bottled beers, eclectic décor, and oven doors that bark out patrons’ names when they walk through the door.
Lighthearted restaurateur Savino Recine is dedicated to two passions in life: performing magical feats in the kitchen as well as on the stage. Recine, owner of Primi Piatti, takes the spotlight in order to wow wide-eyed patrons with tricks involving fire, sleight of hand, and various illusions (tickets valued at $30 per person). While audience members’ minds will be enthralled by the magic, their stomachs will be satisfied by an authentic Italian meal. The menu features a bevy of delicacies, including carpaccio di manzo ($12.50)—an appetizer with beef carpaccio, avocado, and hearts of palm—served with olive oil and lemon dressing. A variety of pasta dishes come dressed to impress, such as the lasagna di farro con burrata ($21.50), made with burrata cheese and basil pesto, while entrees such as the filleto di tonno ($31.50), which features center-cut tuna served over fava beans in a reduction of Chianti and lobster broth, appeases omnivores. Enjoy tasty tricks and treats with a Houdini-tinged heap of delicious food at Primi Piatti.
Located a few steps from the C&O Canal in the heart of Georgetown, this upscale eatery specializes in authentic Southern Italian cuisine and Neapolitan-style pizza. The sleek, modern dining room is accented by vibrant blues, while the pizza kitchen and wood-fired oven imported from Naples are situated up front for all to see. Pies are made within strict accordance of Verace Pizza Napolitana regulations, which require the use of imported mozzarella di bufala, San Marzano tomatoes and ‰ÛÏ00‰Û� flour. While pizza is the main draw at Il Canale, the restaurant also features a full menu of Italian classics like gnocchi, spaghetti al pomodoro and chicken marsala. The ‰ÛÏterrazzo,‰Û� or rooftop patio, offers views of the canal and is a good choice on spring and summer evenings.
Wood-paneled walls and small floral accents in Pines of Florence's dining room evoke the familiar home of a childhood friend. The air is perfumed with the scent of warm, authentic Italian fare that emerges from the restaurant’s kitchen on plates large enough to share with friends or your own family. The attentive chefs mix, roll, and churn fresh fettuccini noodles, ravioli shells, and gnocchi that they ladle in freshly made red and white sauces. The chefs let tender pasta stand alone in its al dente glory or serve it alongside clams or carefully chosen cuts of chicken, eggplant, and veal. After dinner, patrons can lift a generous chocolate cannoli to their ears to hear the sound of Italy’s famed mascarpone-cheese ocean.