Ghibellina is a great addition to the 14th corridor, with its cozy dining room and delicious, reasonably priced Italian fare.
The menu is classic Italian, with soups, salads, pasta and pizza. The salads are bright, fresh, and dressed just the right amount to highlight the flavors of the main ingredients. Try the Ghibellina salad, the spicy arugula is the perfect contrast to the cool and creamy avocado, crunchy pine nuts and mild emanthaller cheese. The Insalata di Farro is equally as successful at combining textures and flavors that complement each other. Sweet beets, crunchy hazelnuts, and salty ricotta salata are all central ingredients in this distinctively earthy farro salad.
The house made pastas are the real winner at Ghibellina. Hearty mushroom ragu coats perfectly made pappardelle noodles in the mushroom pasta; gnocchi is fluffy and tossed in a light tomato sauce, and tortelli is perfectly made. Pizza is also great, with a crisp crust and rich tomato sauce. Pizza is served with a pair of scissors for cutting, rather than a knife, which is a fun and whimsical touch. Some of the tastiest choices are the classic Margherita, the Bianca, a delightful white pizza with rapini, mozzarella, garlic, chilis, fennel seed, and pecorino, and the Olive E Carciofi, a pizza topped with a medley of sundried tomatoes, olives, artichokes, smoked mozzarella, basil, garlic, and pepporcinis.
Ghibellina is great for a long dinner with friends and also romantic enough for a date; remember to order some delicious Italian wine to complement your food. Prices are reasonable, with most pastas and pizzas under $20.
Ghibellina, 1610 14th Street Northwest Washington DC 20009, 202-803-2389