This Mount Vernon Square osteria serves famed chef Fabio Trabocchi’s Italian cooking, based on traditional dishes from Italy’s Le Marche region (the chef’s home province). The spacious, light-filled setting is marked by large glass lanterns and printed drum lights, red-orange leather booths, dark wood floors and walls adorned with black and white family photos and textiles from Italy. A long, marble-topped bar pours Italian-centric wines, including wines on tap.
“The main courses are the highlights here...The branzino was a monstrous filet, oven-roasted and crispy on top, accompanied by vegetables so succulent they were surely in the oven a lot longer than the fish. The dish of the night was a lamb shoulder rack—I never knew shoulder could be a rack. This was stunningly savory, marinated and slow-roasted, which meant it came to the table medium-rare and crisp, herbaceous and succulent, a stellar example of what rosemary, bay leaf, garlic and a talented chef can do. I never pass up affogato, traditionally espresso poured over vanilla gelato. Here it’s a variation on a sundae, chocolate sauce and mocha liqueur poured over the top.” – Gentlemen's Quarterly
“Tender meatballs arrive in a copper pan with a glossy tuft of parsley and lemon zest; risotto comes packed with lobster, prawns and fine fish; and grilled lamb shoulder rack, crusty and succulent, is lightened up with wild fennel dipping sauce. Monkfish Milanese may be my favorite main course; its topping of bread crumbs, sunny with lemon zest, is a trick the chef's father used to get his children to eat fish.” – Washington Post
“Casa Luca is named for Trabocchi’s son, there are dishes on the menu that honor his wife (the gazpacho) and his departed father (a majestic smoked pork chop), and the check comes with an old black-and-white family photo… Even the most straightforward compositions—an heirloom-tomato salad, a dish of prosciutto and corn—are imbued with exuberance. Splitting dessert may be de rigueur, but every one of Tom Wellings’s finishes is worth the extra money and calories. Don’t Miss: ’Nduja-sausage spread; crescia flatbread; jamón Ibérico with figs; porchetta tonnato; ravioli with ricotta and greens; baby monkfish with artichokes; semifreddo with pistachios and orange; brioche-and-gelato sandwich; hazelnut coffeecake.” – Washingtonian
1099 New York Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 2000