1/28/2013 01:57:00 PM

Best Thing We Ate: Antipasti at Obelisk

Photo: Sklathill
Some of the most Italian dining moments take place at Obelisk, Peter Pastan’s serene Dupont Circle townhouse. Pastan, who worked in Italy and travels there frequently, always has some regional surprises on his ever-changing, prix fixe menus. Guests can find themselves with an extra plate of boiled beef tendon salad or get to sample the results of Pastan’s current attempts to duplicate pickled peppers in wine pressings that he enjoyed last fall in the Piedmont.
Each delicious dinner begins with a shower of antipasti, which almost always includes swoon worthy, fresh rich burrata. There’s usually a crostini, made with the superlative housemade country breads. When we visited last week, it was topped with an airy codfish puree. A few slices of smoked duck breast added a meaty note, followed by a refreshing, crisp salad. Finally, panelle, a Sicilian chickpea fritter, exemplified what great fried food is all about - rich, crunchy and oozing flavor.

What follows: a housemade pasta or soup, a choice of entree (we love the squab), cheese and dessert, along with terrific wines that Pastan chooses from his travels on the West Coast and in Italy. It’s so good that we don’t wait for an occasion, but sometimes simply decide to give ourselves a treat (2029 P St. NW; 202-872-1180).

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