The menu is terrific -- a
The menu is terrific -- a bit weaker among the appetizers, but the pastas and mains more than make up for them. The selection of pastas is one of the best I've ever seen! Hard to choose. All great.
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
I had read a favorable review in the Post and was anxious to try it. Near as I can tell the menu for lunch and dinner is the same, but there is plenty of variety. The caponata was a great way to start, and my rigatoni was excellent. Good selection of wine by the glass as well. Noise level is important to me -- I hate having to strain to hear my dining companions -- but even with a full lunch crowd, we never had to raise our voices. A touch on the expensive side, but you get what you pay for.
6/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Unpretentious and delicious
I chose this place for a big birthday celebration for my husband -- for us and our 2 teenagers. I wanted great, interesting food that would please everyone and a warm environment, with no formal attire required. Elisir could not have been more perfect. All 4 of us wanted to try almost everything on the menu. The choices are classic but not common. We opted for a wide range of items, and loved everything. They know what they are doing in the kitchen, and prepare everything with a light touch that lets the food shine. Truly delicious! On top of that, our server was terrific -- the right combination of professional and warm. He took his time, and made everyone feel welcome. This could not have been a better fit for this celebration.
6/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Service with passion
Our waiter was wonderful...he gave us great history and advice and was extremely attentive...watch out if you come before the crowd ...they are over attentive but that is a good thing. We went in and got out in time for our show at Kennedy Center with no issues ...
6/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Penn Quarter Gem
An absolute gem of a restaurant. Elegant, exquisite cooking at reasonable prices and a menu that allows you to eat small plates or full plates. A terrific wine list. Service that rivals any--someone even refolds your napkin when you go off to the rest room--but all this without the snootiness and with a friendly staff, each and every one well-trained, knowledgeable and have been with Chef Enzo Fargione when the restaurant was all white table cloths and more perhaps for the expense account folks. I live in the Penn Quarter and this is now my favorite restaurant. If you go to the E Street Cinema, Osteria Elisir is a half block south. The joy at Osteria Elisir is exquisite food and an open kitchen where you may watch the food being prepared.
6/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
Love the new menu and lower
Love the new menu and lower prices but no less quality, creativeness, or freshness of ingredients. We has the sea salt and olive oil tasting and went through two baskets of bread! We both had the beet salad with goat cheese which was very tasty. I had the Monk fish Milanese which was super. Very light breading and the lemon and caper sauce was great. My wife had a pasta which was a little too spicy for her but the waiter warned us ahead of time, so it was no fault of the kitchen. Next time we will simply ask them to tone it down a bit with the chilies.
6/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
A gem of a restaurant
We have been to Osteria Elisir several times - each time we leave delighted with our meal, the attentive service and an evening well spent. This restaurant is a gem
6/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
I booked this restaurant for our anniversary. We are always looking for new and we love Italian. This place is definitely a keeper. The servers are very attentive and someone is always filling your water glass, which means a lot because I'm always thirsty. We ordered the chick pea spread for our bread and I ordered the fried stuffed zucchini blossoms(not always in season obviously). They were delicious! We actually had these when we were in Rome and I thought Osteria Elisir's were better! Our seats faced the kitchen which we loved because we could watch everyone in action. For our dinner: I had the Spinach Tagliatelle and my husband had the Saffron Tortelli, both very different and delicious. We will be returning to try more!
6/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
From start to finish our dining experience was extremely enjoyable. Our server, Shannon and took excellent care of us, was both informative and professional. The food was outstanding, especially the pasta dishes. We started with roasted beet salad and the grilled watermelon salad, both delicious. The grilled watermelon was especially tasty. Our entrees of saffron fettuccine, spinach tortelloni and spinach veal all got rave reviews. We finished off our meal with a selection of desserts that were tasty without being too heavy and filling. The whole experience was made perfect by the quiet atmosphere that allowed three old friends to chat and catch up without having to shout. Kudos to the entire staff. We'll be back.
6/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Delicious food in a pleasant
Delicious food in a pleasant setting. New menu is very nice, although still quite pricey. Very attentive service--but not hovering. Just right. Highly recommended.
6/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
This is the second time that I've dined at Osteria Elisir, and the food was just as awesome as the first time. My husband is from Italy, and is a great cook, so I don't give outstanding reviews for nothing. The waitress and Chef Michael were very kind. The raviolini covered with crunchy onions just melted in your mouth. My friend got the sausage with cannellini beans, and it was also excellent! The first time I ordered the black spaghettini with tuna, capers, etc., and loved it. Can't wait to return!
6/30/2013 4:00:00 PM
One of DC's Best
Elisir allows excells at everything it does -- superb gourmet food with impressive presentations, outstanding service. I always enjoy one of the tables that look into the kitchen. Its at the top of my list when entertaining clients or out-town visitors.
7/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
My first visit under the new, more casual format. Still great food, same space, just a more casual atmosphere and revamped menu to simplify things. This doesn't mean the food is simple. It isn't. But it retains the high quality and attention to detail found in the original white tablecloth version. This isn't cheap eats, but very well prepared and thought-out dishes at a fair price. Nice job on the cocktails as well.
7/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent all around
Spent our first anniversary at Osteria Elisir. Outstanding staff! Chef Enzo was running a very focused and on-point team. Food was very good. Some great Italian staples with some outside the box choices as well. italian sushi rolls for example.. give them a shot. Will definitely be back, thanks for a wonderful evening guys!
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
A perfect Italian meal
My wife and I had an extremely enjoyable meal. The food was fresh, delicious and innovative. We would definitely recommend the crostini, Italian sushi rolls and the lamb steak. The wonderful food was complemented by the view of the open kitchen, the helpful staff and the relaxed setting.
We will surely be back!
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Fantastic menu. Branzino in a cigar box was delicious. The kitchen makes everything, apparently, including limoncello and applecello (terrific drinks, by the way), View of the open kitchen is great - decor is subdued. I'll be back.
7/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
My second visit, my husband's first visit. Friday night and very quiet, tho we were there early (6:30). Our waiter was exceptionally knowledgeable about the menu and explained preparations well. Some unique dishes in the stuffed squid and octopus steak, which was excellent. We didn't order a bottle of wine but we had glasses of rosé brut and individual glasses of wine with entree. Our waiter and the bar gave excellent choices of a red and a white that perfectly complemented the octopus steak. My husband's new favorite restaurant! Thank you for a delectable evening.
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
lovely food, elegantly casual
Lovely food. Not your run-of-the-mill menu, but fresh and interesting. Very nice service. Loved begin able to see into the kitchen. Atmosphere is casual, yet elegant.
7/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Lunch was excellent. Salad
Lunch was excellent. Salad and pasta was terrific. Very attractive dining room. Highly recommend and will definitely be returning.
7/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Usually don't have much to
Usually don't have much to say about service but this was definitely above-average. Food was pricey but delicious. Veal was meh, but burrata and pasta were both excellent.
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
We went there not expecting
We went there not expecting much and were pleasantly surprised by the bartender - extrodinary mixologist with the best drinks we have ever had!!!! The dinner - Lobster over fresh homemade basil infused pasta! The staff was funny and helpful.. we stayed for hours and had a great time. We will go back many times now that we found this gem.
8/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Went to the restaurant with my mother for lunch. It was a beautiful day and we sat outside. We had a very friendly and attentive waiter who was very knowledgable about the menu. We ended up splitting an appetizer, salad, and pasta. MUST try the watermelon salad... to die for! One of my new favorite restaurants.
8/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Enjoyed the food, service
Enjoyed the food, service and atmosphere. All around great meal. The waiter's suggestions were perfect, too.
8/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
You can converse rather easily!
Osteria Elisir is rapidly becoming a favorite. Elisir had a bit of reputation for being unfriendly and ignoring people who came in to eat. That appears to have changed. I have been three times recently and always been treated very well.
The food is terrific. From the delicious bread to spectacular desserts, the meal is wonderful.
You can order special spreads for the bread. Be careful not to fill up on this, though. It will be a temptation.
Soft shell crabs were amazing.
The chocolate panna cotta was heaven. Even the coffee was good.
Matthew is an attentive and informative waiter.
Another wonderful evening.
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
DON'T MISS THIS WONDERFUL OSTERIA!!
Although our group was small, our enjoyment of our evening at Osteria Elisir was huge, from the superior quality of the cuisine to the warmth and responsiveness of the staff. The waiter helped us select a perfect red wine (Barolo). From the starter plate of olive oils and sea salts to delicious zucchini blossom and "italian sushi" appetizers to our amazing entrees--basil spaghettini with tomatoes, garlic and peppercorns, and marinated pork tenderloin with roasted potatoes in a port wine glaze--every course was perfection. We shared the scrumptious deep chocolate pannacotta with poached cherries for dessert, and cleaned every speck off the plate. The service was notable--warm, responsive, helpful but not overanxious. We'll be back, no doubt!
8/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent not to be missed!
This was my second trip to Osteria Elisir and both times the dining experience was excellent. The service is great, the decor is warm and inviting, the wine list is well rounded and the food is absolutely exquisite! Make no mistake this not your typical Americanized Italian fare. The food is meticulously crafted and the flavors are truly remarkable. The Branzino Carpaccio in the cigar box was especially good as was the veal chop. Whatever you do try the olive mashed potatoes, they are sinfully good. If you consider yourself a "Foodie" like me give this place a try you won't be disappointed. It may not be in the most “happening” part of D.C. but the food is well worth the visit.
8/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
I keep going back to Elisir because the food is always great. The starters are so good that it is difficult not to choose two or three to share, but be carefull because is important to taste the entrées. Good wine list.
8/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
lovely choice for dinner
Interesting menu, well prepared food, great service, nice dining room. Can't wait to return.
8/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent food week menu with
Excellent food week menu with interesting, delicious selections.
8/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Osteria Elisir was a wonderful experience, great drinks, delicious food, terrific service and that during restaurant week. We will be back and not only for restaurant week.
8/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Eat a meal, get a job.
Great food and service for Restaurant Week. We'll certainly return for the full menu. As we were leaving, I returned our table back to where it was before letting my wife out of the banquette. Chef Enzo Fargione saw this and offered me a job as busboy.
8/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
great food and atmospher..went there during restaurant week1
8/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great night out with friends
My husband had been raving about the food in Osteria Elisir, so we decided to go there with another couple. The food was amazing, from the sample of olive oils from different parts of Italy to the delicate flavor of the veal ravioli. The service was out of this world; our waiter, Gerald, was excellent, and made the whole dining experience really special for us and our friends.
8/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Truly enjoyed our lunch
Visited with friends during Restaurant Week. Service was prompt, friendly, and extremely accommodating of our tight schedule. We all enjoyed our lunch - found it to be freshly prepared, creative, and delicious. We'll be back!
8/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Still got that magic!
On our second time we were pleasantly rewarded with another exceptional meal. The freshness and overall quality of the food is top notch. Most-order items include the italian sushi rolls and the Saffron Tortelli. Additionally, the constant updating of their menu items ensures you will be trying the latest culinary inspirations of the chef.
The service was both extremely attentive but not in the least bit bothersome. We never had to ask for our drinks to be refilled or plates cleared.
If you are a foodie and an Italian food lover this place is an ABSOLUTE must!
8/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
CHEF ENZO FARGIONE NEVER FAILS
CHEF ENZO FARGIONE NEVER FAILS TO DELIVER A FANTASTIC MEAL. OSTERIA ELSIR IS FAST TURNING INTO OUR FAVORITE D.C. RESTURANT. WE WOULD RECOMMEND ELSIR TO ANYONE WHO ENJOYS GREAT FOOD WITH ATTENTIVE SERVICE. IT IS ALWAYS A JOY TO WITNESS CHEF ENZO DIRECT THE OPEN KITCHEN AND HIS KITCHEN STAFF.
9/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
I was meeting the Managing Partner of our firm for lunch. He'd suggested another Italian place he'd been but I suggested we try something new. There was barely anyone in the restaurant - and we got there at noon - but we were very well taken care of by our waitresses. The zucchini appetizer was amazing, and I could eat buckets of the green olive spread! We split the watermelon salad and the tilapia for our lunch. The salad was really good, but the tilapia was a bit disappointing - thin and overcooked. Overall, however, the place was great. While they didn't have them on at lunchtime, I loved the fact that the chef has TVS in the restaurant that overlook the kitchen so you can watch food being prepared!
9/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
High quality dishes and ambiance suitable for business conversations.
9/17/2013 5:00:00 PM
My wife and I visited for dinner and had a great meal. Later in the week, we took friends back for some drinks at the bar. It's a great place to talk and laugh among friends.
9/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Exceptional food and great
Exceptional food and great service. Hope to go back soon.
9/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
If you live in the Penn Quarter, Osteria Elizir with Chef Enzo Fargione at the helm, should become your favorite restaurant for the range of choices on the menu and for the extraordinary quality of preparation. Add to that impeccable service and the fact that, if you are a repeat customer, both the chef and the staff will remember you. You'll feel as if you're home. If you don't live in the neighborhood, this restaurant is worth the journey. And it's easy to get to: Just two and half blocks south of Metro Center. You'll find Italian cuisine made with a fine hand, culinary art and, if you're lucky, the chef's grandmother's meatballs that appeared on the menu last winter. The menu changes but the quality and friendly atmosphere stay.
10/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great all around
What s lovely meal. Both food and service were excellent.
10/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
A Lunch Quartet
I don't know how else to say it. Chef Enzo has created the perfect home for his cuisine once again. Went for lunch this time, and was transported to culinary heaven in the middle of the day! Order the olive oil and salt tray for your bread! I then went on to the duck ragu pasta (Garganelli) and Charred Beef Skirt steak with gorgonzola cauliflower mash. Wow! Enough to share these two with a dining guest.
Then the buffalo milk ricotta cheesecake for the table. The individual cups of cheesecake were rich and accompanied with lemon curd, hazelnut cream and gelato...a sweet flavor explosion! A tray of small homemade cookies accompanied our coffee. I always walk out of here with a smile!
10/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
We always stop here for dinner before or after movies at E Street Cinema. The food is fabulous, and the service is top-notch. I particularly love the spinach tortelloni, stuffed with spicy eggplant.
10/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent for a business lunch
This is a lovely setting, very convenient location downtown.My group of 4 business friends was celebrating a special occasion. It was the perfect place for that. Elegant enough but not fussy. Attentive service and very quiet because not too many of the tables were occupied. Food was very good. Portions are large, especially the soups. Try the spreads for the bread. We had a great hummus (not overly garlicky), and an eggplant, also outstanding. Soups were equally great. Pasta entrees very good. The only glitch was that one order for soup was apparently overlooked. it was fixed but it did mean that one person ended up eating her soup after the rest of us had finished our appetizers which we ate before they got cold while waiting.
10/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
Food and service was really
Food and service was really first rate. Tuna steak was excellent. Cheese cake was not too rich and just right for lunch. Scallops looked excellent as well.
10/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Surprising little charmer
Wish I had more room to rave…it was a quiet Friday evening, the staff was very attentive, our server was quite charming in helping us make choices (too many good selections!). The olive oil/sea salt addition to the bread was intriguing. The pork tenderloin was AMAZING, albeit on the smaller side. The lamb steak was wonderful—tender, flavorful, and HUGE. The cheesecake was different, fluffy, and served warm. Too lemony for my wife but still tasty, and a nice small size for sharing after a large meal.
The server had overheard me say something to my wife about our anniversary, so at the end of the meal she presented us with a "happy anniversary" card they'd made and signed by all the staff…a sweet gesture we really appreciated.
10/31/2013 5:00:00 PM
For was well-prepared in a beautiful presentation. Staff was very professional in all aspects. Great menu. Highly recommend.
11/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
First time visitor
We ate there on a Saturday night. The every course was delicious - from soup to dessert. The staff was attentive but not over-weaning and the wine list mostly italian classics. This restaurant will be on our 'favorities' list from now on.
11/22/2013 4:00:00 PM
Fabulous DC Gem!
Osteria Elisir is fantastic in every way. Everyone in our party of four was "over the moon" with their food! Salads are fresh, crisp and uniquely put together; chicken liver appetizer is divine; many delicious pasta options; delicious fish. Heavenly ice cream trio for dessert. We enjoyed a very "hip" martini as well as a glass of wine with our meal.
Highly recommended. It's our new Italian favorite in Washington!
11/22/2013 4:00:00 PM