Recent Posts

October 8, 2009

My New Favorite DC Restaurant: Bibiana

For my birthday I wanted to go out with some friends to a restaurant that would remind me of Florence. I read about Bibiana opening downtown and decided to give it a shot. When we arrived, I noticed the modern, stylish decor with massive silver chandelier balls and the walls covered in black and white photography including Vespas and the leaning tower of Pisa . Our table wasn't ready so we sat in the lounge area in front for a glass of prosecco.
After we were seated at our table, I was rather impressed with the menu . In traditional Italian style there were multiple course offerings. We opted to share a few appetizers for the table. We ordered Arancini (saffron rice fritters), Fiori Di Zucca (fried squash blossoms) and Polpettine (veal meatballs). All three were delicious. The Arancini were crisp on the outside and smooth and creamy on the inside. They tasted like fried mac n' cheese and it was amazing. The meatballs were salty and tender and the squash blossoms were crispy yet juicy and bursting with flavor.
Two hours after arriving, we received our entrees. Yes, two hours. That would be my only complaint. They must be going for the authentic European dining experience. Luckily, it was worth the wait. For my entree, I ordered the Calzoncelli (pasta filled with pancetta in a brown butter and sage sauce). The pasta was tender and tasted fresh. The sauce was delicate and flavorful and it was perfectly complimented by the shaved parmesan on top. The portion sizes were not overwhelming (for a change). I managed to clean my plate, which I almost never can do when dining out.
Don't think for one second I didn't taste some of the other dishes on the table. My friends know me well enough that I need to try everything I see. My sister in-law had the Spaghetti Al Nero Di Seppia (black spaghetti with blue crab in a spicy olive oil sauce). It was intimidating to look at- the pitch black pasta with lumps of crab on top. I expected it to be really fishy in flavor, but it was anything but. It was incredibly fresh- not even a hint of fishiness. The spicy aftertaste was a perfect compliment to the light and refreshing seafood pasta.

I also tried the Agnolotti (pasta filled with sheeps milk ricotta, lemon marjoram and spinach.) I could not get over how light this was. I felt like I would be able to eat five pounds of it. The lemon and marjoram made the dish very refreshing. Another friend ordered the Anatra (roasted duck breast). This was hands-down the BEST duck I have ever had. It was tender, juicy and crispy on the outside. It was like duck bacon. Outstanding. Seriously- outstanding. My husband had the veal loin special with polenta, osso bucco and wild mushrooms. It was tender and cooked perfectly. The wild mushrooms were earthy, but not overpowering and the polenta was creamy and smooth.

Even though it was my birthday, I couldn't bring myself to order dessert. I was very full, but mostly because I didn't want to wait for it. After all, It was after 11 and the city was waiting for me. Bibiana was as close as you can probably get to a modern yet authentic Italian dining experience in DC. I can't say I've been to every Italian restaurant in DC, but I'm willing to try. The service was professional and knowledgeable. The servers gave completely honest opinions on the dishes and they were very helpful with wine pairings. Bibiana is stylish, delicious and now my new favorite restaurant in DC. I will be back... when I replenish my bank account and fast for a few weeks.

Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca
1100 New York Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20005


Post a Comment