Eating in DC: Ghibellina

Sometimes we just want a taste of Italy close to home. So we often choose Italian restaurants here in our hometown of Washington, DC (which is, btw, having a bit of a food renaissance, in our humble opinion...)


This past week brought a birthday trip to Ghibellina.

The Atmosphere

We love sitting at the bar where the bartenders have consistently been awesome. Their happy hour is legit, too. On a hot summer day their peach sangria and cocktails hit the spot, or on our recent chilly November visit, we found their selection of red wines impressive. Their pizzas are thin crust, generally being the right size for one person, and are served with their own pizza shears which gives the experience a unique twist.

Barbera at Ghibellina

The Drinks

Since it was a birthday celebration, we opted for a bottle of 2015 Barbera. (We originally ordered the 2014 on their menu, but apparently there had been a misprint.) It was smooth, full-bodied, and wonderful, and we would definitely order it again.

The Food

What we love about Ghibellina is their classic Margherita di Bufala pizza. It's so simple, and reminds us of our favorite pizza in Florence. That was an obvious order for us that took zero decision-making brainpower. But after accidentally missing lunch, the birthday girl hangrily demanded an appetizer. We went with their risotto cakes to start, which ended up being delightful. Paul deemed them "super good", so all was well with the world.

Risotto at Ghibellina
Margherita at Ghibellina

After polishing off the risotto cakes and the margherita pizza, we were still a bit hungry, so we decided to try their Salsicce e Cipolla pizza as well. Sadly the second pizza disappointed us a was incredibly salty, and we felt the crust couldn't hold up against the bold toppings. Shoot. Next time, we'll keep it simple and will stick with our margherita.


4 out of 5

Despite the slight menu vintage slip-up, and the disappointing second pizza, we will be back for more from Ghibellina.