D.C. is a fascinating city and the food is finally catching up with it. Like my counterpart, Alex Garfield, I adore good food and drink. Today I’ve chosen three restaurants that will suit practically anyone’s fancy: Al Tiramisu in Dupont Circle, Hunter’s Inn in Potomac, and The Prime Rib on K Street.
Al Tiramisu is a tiny restaurant, not found on Open Table. It has 17 tables and is run by Chef Luigi and Nadjia. It is such a wonderful restaurant because of the combination of superb, fresh food that is never overly sauced or trying to be so nouvelle that the flavor of the food is destroyed. Fresh fish is available every day and is simply grilled. The veal ragu pasta is mouth watering. The depth of the taste is amazing and you know it probably took days to make. During truffle season, they serve a pasta alfredo with enough shaved truffle on top to make one drool just thinking about it. Almost always there is either a lobster or shrimp pasta dish made with a spicy tomato sauce that is also mouth watering. If in the house, they will make a veal chop anyway you wish – pounded, breaded, or grilled. I have yet to experience a dish there that is not perfect! The staff is also amazingly attentive. I can’t go more than three weeks without finding an excuse to have lunch or dinner there.
Hunter’s Inn is located in the center of Potomac Village. It is decorated as it sounds – dark wood, horse and hound lithographs, and lots of good will. Two brothers, Murray and Fred Berman, run the restaurant and both of their wives chip in. Dora decorates for every holiday and is frequently found at the front door. Sylvia experiments with recipes. The regulars at the bar frequently get to sample her dishes (the apple cobbler was great this week). They have a new chef, Stephen White who is adding lighter dishes to the standard menu. Some of my new favorites are the broccoli soup, and the chicken and mango salad. Saturday is half price burger day which is a local favorite. Brunch on Sunday includes great eggs benedict. The lunch crowd at the bar all know each other and one always is amused by the conversation.
The Prime Ribis one of the old school restaurants that are almost impossible to find anymore. Linen tablecloths and napkins and low lighting make it soft and soothing. A piano sits in the front dining room and the pianist is there even during lunches. He will play all requests. As the name implies, the specialty is prime rib. It’s to die for!
But they also have amazing clams casino, soft shell crabs, creamed spinach and fresh corn off the cob. The bar there is a regular haunt for downtown D.C. lobbyists to grab lunch or have a cocktail at the end of the day. It is definitely a great place to go if you are craving a traditional, elegant dinner. Ask for Phil as your waiter – he is one of the very best in the business.