Don’t let its location next to the popular Spy Museum in Penn Quarters throw you off: there’s serious food to be had at NoPa Kitchen + Bar, and the locals rubbing elbows with the tourists prove it. Opened in 2013 by the talented restaurant group behind Rasika and The Oval Room, this sibling is named for its location north of Pennsylvania Avenue. Enter up a set of stairs to land at a welcoming bar, or head to the right and choose a seat in one of the two modern dining spaces, fitted out in exposed brick, shiny hardware and a few private nooks for larger parties. Dinner might begin with excellent curried chicken meatballs; and then progress to an irresistible torchietti pasta laced with lamb bolognese, tender green chickpeas and savory 'nduja breadcrumbs.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors