Inside Il Piatto, Downtown’s Stylish New Ode to Italy

Mirabelle, the French destination for mega-DC restaurateur Hakan Elhan’s excellent food for expensive perks fixed near the White House since 2017, has never re-emerged from being closed due to epidemics. Now the glamorous downtown area is set to shine again as a more affordable and accessible Italian restaurant headed by El Cristino Elm.

Il Piatto, meaning “dish” in Italian, swings out the door for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch on Thursday, June 23 (900 16th Street NW).

Il Piatto’s Executive Chef Lina Nicolai is from Naples, Italy.
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Cooking is a family affair for newly appointed executive chef Lena Nikolai, which began in her hometown of Naples, Italy. In 2012, he opened El Cristino with his mother, but the famous family-owned fixture in Shaw closed due to epidemics. An occasional meeting with Paul Zaiontz, a regular at Al Crostino, gave him the opportunity in Il Piatto, where Zaiontz now serves as general manager.

“I’m an Italian chef and I see myself as one,” says Nikolai. “The food is all Italian, but I’ll draw a little bit from American Italian influences and modern expressions.”

The casual menu begins with an array of appetizers, including homemade meatballs, fried risotto balls filled with mozzarella (Arseni), and “Para in Chemica” – a powdered pear made with radishes, goat cheese and Served with balsamic dressing. Pasta mains (approximately ً 20) include a classic phytoxine ala bolognese, ricotta gonocchi with Gorgonzola cream sauce, and maltaglitti fungi, with flat noodles mixed with mushroom medallions.

She also carries rooms on the La Carte menu to show her Southern Italian roots. The regional classic includes pesce al cartoccio – a white fish fried with zucchini, onions, and white wine – and the pan includes sardine lamb chips. Other menus include eggplant permanganate, rosemary-thyme New York strip steak, and chicken melanes with arugula salad.

Chicken parmesan in Il Piatto.
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Eggplant permison in Il Piatto.
Ray Lopez for The Plate

The restaurant’s main location on the corner of 16th and i Street NW puts it on the border of Black Lives Meter Plaza, which Alhan says offers a chance to catch a new crowd of tourists. Il Piatto also hopes to take advantage of the 9 to 5 traffic that is slowly reaching his city office buildings.

“We wanted to bring a value-added price point and comfortable food that people would be familiar with,” says Malik Elhan, who announced the change to his pasta-centric shift in Mirabelle a year ago. What was

The owner of the dish is Hakan Alhan.
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The original mirror and gold mid-century shape of the 4,300-square-foot space from Norse Design Studio remained largely the same, except for one deliberate omission. There are no more white tablecloths on the site, indicating its more comfortable and welcoming identity as the Il Piatto.

“I want to give you a sense of familiarity and comfort when you walk into a restaurant, whether you’re a regular or a guest,” says Nikolai.

Elhan says Italian food is his personal favorite. Its portfolio already covers Upper Dente’s food in the Upper Northwest – a favorite of Dr. Anthony Fookie’s takeout on epidemics. He also runs the Turkish-inspired Ottoman Tourna and the French-themed Brasserie Liberty in Georgetown.

The original decoration, such as the red crawling upholstery and a custom brass and wooden chandelier hovering over the Carra marble floor installation, is untouched.
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A spacious outdoor patio with 16th Street NW accommodates 60 guests.
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Salmon with roasted potatoes, asparagus, and salmoriglio sauce.
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This weekend brunch begins with Italian eggs Benedict with prosciutto, Italian shakshoka, and tramadol French toast (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

A list of wines that swell largely Italian and domestic does not break the bank either. There are some high-end varieties in the glass cellar, but bottles usually start at $ 35 and glass wine runs from $ 11 to $ 21. Happiness begins early on Saturday in its 22-seat bar. From 2:30 pm to 6 pm, find snacks such as whipped goat cheese, fried cilamari, and پرم 7 wines, as well as پرم 8 cocktails, in addition to the chicken permisine crustini (سے 6 to $ 10).

Happiness time in the gold-accent bar starts at 2:30 on Saturdays.
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Italian classics include Negroni, Godfather (Amarito and Scotch whiskey), homemade lemonsello martini, and apiral spirits. Brunch comes with a unique “Customize” Spirits Kit offer for .9 34.95 with a bottle of Prosico and Aperol Cafe.

Classic Italian twists include Aperol spiked Milano Mule, a Sicilian Melt martini, and Margarita made with Grand Marnier. Homemade desserts include a lemonsello pancota, Italian cheesecake, and seasonal ice cream and syrup.

Lunch will be served Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and dinner at 4 p.m., from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. There is a private dining room.

“We want guests to feel comfortable having a quick lunch, entertaining clients, having a group dinner, having a good time at the bar, or bringing their friends to brunch on the weekends,” says Alhan.

A hunted pear with radicchio, goat cheese and balsamic dressing.
Ray Lopez for The Plate

– Terry Plumb contributed to this report.

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