I thought that Schneider’s of Capitol Hill and The White Tiger were the only destinations worth a visit at the intersection of 3rd, Massachusetts Ave and D Streets NE.
How wrong I was. How wrong we all were.
But if you’re not a local, you could be excused for missing Bistro Italiano at 320 D Street NE. Tucked in between rowhouses on the residential street, there is nothing flashy to lure in the unassuming passerby.
But if you do happen to walk in, you’ll be struck by the unpretentious vibe of the place. Yes, it’s Italian, but not annoyingly so. The service is warm but not cloying; the tables are small and set closely together, allowing you to blend your politely toned conversations with the table next door, creating that nice Italian bistro hum.
Amazing food is, of course, what people want at an Italian restaurant. And it is very Italian. My classic spaghetti and meatballs was delicious and satisfying. The pasta was fresh and warm out of the boiling water, covered with meaty sauce and two enormous meatballs. More comforting than breathtaking, I was very happy with my meal.
Also, it’s still American enough that you can get a Yuengling or a Sam Adams and not be judged for being an ugly American in the capital city.
Get there early. It was full up by 7:00 on a weeknight. Tag along with a local–they’ll know what to do.