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Eat Index tracks the hottest new openings around the country by spotlighting specific markets and the coolest new restaurants there.
2915 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
Meaning “rise to ascent” in Italian, Rialto is also a popular district in Venice and the new upscale restaurant in Georgetown aims to transport diners back to the Old World. Chef Ryan Fichter serves up fresh-made pasta, imported specialty ingredients, fresh seafood and other Italian staples. The upscale menu aims to encourage sharing, through either family-style serving or small plates (piattini). Recommended dishes to share: spicy olives ($7), Seppia Alla Griglia (grilled cuttlefish with ink sauce, $9), Risotto Alla Milanese (featuring saffron, house-made sausage, asparagus and semi-cured tomatoes, $11/$18), and for dessert, the Zeppole, warm sugared doughnuts with raspberry jam, is hard to pass up. The downstairs portion of the restaurant is an exclusive area with an enforced dress code, where diners can opt for the $65 five-course tasting menu. Fichter says his menu “blends Old World Italian cuisine with contemporary ideals,” and the design of the historic building matches.