Polished, with an upscale setting made for brokering deals, this Italian bill of fare is just what the politician ordered. Its central location near the Archives makes it a go-to for the power crowd, and the bar is perfect for blowing off steam after a day of debating. Thanks to elegant cuisine, the somewhat stiff environs and scripted service are soon forgiven; and despite its traditional demeanor, the menu allows for flexibility with the ability to craft your own four- or five-course meal in addition to a grand tasting menu. The cooking style may be anchored in the Italian coastline, but it quickly settles on the shores of the Mid-Atlantic, with a highly conceptual bent to boot. Meals may begin with Peconic Bay scallops brimming with flavor thanks to a sea urchin-panna cotta, sunchokes and black truffles; then linger over the rigatoni alla carbonara tossed with slices of guanciale. But, such delightful palate cleansers as a quenelle of yuzu granité make for a nice segue to what is perhaps the most colorful course of the night. Wrap up with a Sicilian cassata. The wine list is showy, littered with big names, and curated for those with sizable expense accounts and companions to impress.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors
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