Elisir – Great Bar Lunch

We were looking for a place for a “girls lunch,” but this is a DC professional girls lunch, not suburban mommy lunch, thank you very much. So where to go for a businessman’s lunch, for a group of, ahem, gals?


  • Downtown, somewhat equidistant for the two office-bound, yet Metro accessible and/or parking-friendly for the solo-CEO
  • Good food – it’s a foodie group that way, and we can be picky
  • Fast service (rules out Power Hour at Ris, doesn’t it?)

Rasika? No business lunch menu per se, but always a winner … and my “secret” place for lunch when I’m serving jury duty, although everyone in the know goes there when they’re on jury duty – this according to the bartender last time I was there. And we just did Rasika last time.

Where else? Business lunch at The Palm? Not a steak crew really … Mel recommended the bar at Elisir. Where?

I’d never heard of Elisir, but I’m always in the mood to try something new, particularly if the food is good and the company is even better – or is it the other way around?

Turns out Elisir opened at the end of November on a quietish block of 11th Street, just around the corner from Central. I didn’t recognize Enzo Fargione’s name (the chef and inspiration behind Elisir) right off the bat, but I certainly liked Teatro Goldoni, his previous haunt, and although I hadn’t been in years, I remembered it fondly.

Elisir was cozy looking inside, elegant and upscale, but warm. We settled into a small, high table in the bar area and focused on checking out the lengthy bar lunch menu.

Really good choices. I couldn’t decide between the cannellone and the salmon, but the stone ground mustard sauce was the deciding factor. The fettuccine bolognese also sounded terrific.  Being girls, we agreed to share a taste with one another.

A word about presentation. Impressive. Artistic. Striking. Jules’s caesar salad was the best – beautiful stalks of romaine bound by a napkin ring shaped crouton, with crispy octopus on the side. (Really should have taken a photo of it).

Mel’s spinach canellone: rich, textured, amazing pasta. My salmon: flavorful, perfectly cooked, wonderful sauce. Dessert was small but satisfying, a warm hazelnut cake.

A great lunch find. I wish I worked closer. And I’m definitely trying dinner.

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