50 Best Restaurants 2018: Assaggi Osteria + Assaggi Pizzeria

An Italian restaurant in McLean

Photo by Rey Lopez

After a takeover from new owners, a renovation and a second restaurant, Assaggi sports a new brand. A longtime staple for Italian food, the osteria pumps out fresh pasta, like one flavored and colored via squid ink and almost hidden from an onslaught of sea bites—shrimp, scallop and calamari—in a gloss of tomato sauce. Doubling down on bitterness, a deeply charred octopus pairs with broccoli rabe over a calming chickpea puree.

The pizzeria, in an adjoining space with outdoor seating, turns out light and puffy pies, plus a basket of crispy Brussels sprout petals and a luxe crostini schmeared with chicken livers and a gossamer of pancetta. A margherita proves restraint is a virtue, but another dotted with sausage and broccoli rabe balances mild crumbles with pleasantly abrasive greens for a more complex rendering.

Assaggi Osteria + Assaggi Pizzeria
Italian | $$$$ / $$
6641 Old Dominion Drive, McLean

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