Buon Appetito and welcome to our favorite Italian restaurant. We have actually eaten here several times, and I have yet to review it - shame on me. Especially because each time we have eaten here we have felt like VIP's.
The decor is trendy and modern, and the bar menu is innovative and cool. A long-time favorite drink is the Bibiana (just the right proportion of Prosecco to fruit puree). The wine menu offers different pour amounts providing a wider variety than glass vs. bottle, so you are sure to get exactly what you want and nothing more.
Be sure to start with several of the Piatti Piccoli (small plates), these are often my favorite part of the meal! The Arancini (rice balls with saffron and Parmesan) are always fantastic - crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, with great flavor. The Bruschetta is another favorite - thick cut country bread, charred just right and topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh creamy Ricotta cheese.
Next comes the slightly larger Antipasti course. Choose from several salads and small dishes including tender braised veal meatballs on top of creamy polenta, crispy fried sweetbreads, and (my favorite) fresh house-made Burrata - a soft version of fresh Mozzarella cheese. Also available are house-made salumi plates.
Italian fare is never complete without pasta. Some of the knockouts here are Squid Ink Spaghetti with big chunks of crab meat, ravioli filled with braised veal in a pancetta and brown butter sauce, and ricotta agnolotti with a creamy lemon sauce. My husband's favorite is the risotto with black truffles.
I have yet to order a fish entree, but I am sure they are lovely. As for the meat, we have tasted various beef, veal, and lamb dishes that have all been successful. If there is anything braised on the menu, get it - it will knock your socks off. For vegetarians - fear not. We have dined with vegetarians on several occasions and they have had no problems asking for vegetarian versions of dishes, or enjoying the dishes that are already meat-free.
For desert, enjoy one of the house-made "digestives" (liqueurs) or Amari (bitters). The panna cotta is a creamy vanilla custard, typically served with fruit and a pistachio crumble. The decadent chocolate "bomba" is a chocolate cake topped with chocolate custard and covered with a dome of chocolate mousse. And who can resist a classic Italian Tiramisu?
Bibiana is off of the Metro Center metro stop in DC, but they also provide valet parking. The owner's other restaurants include The Oval Room (7/100), Rasika (8/100), and 701 (41/100).