50 Best Restaurants 2017: Hank’s Pasta Bar

An Italian restaurant in Alexandria

Photo by Rey Lopez

The Hank’s brand knows what it’s doing. It can easily slide from a cozy yet upmarket oyster house to a similarly casual outfit with banner rustic Italian cooking. A grilled flatbread keeps an array of cheeses afloat with the scent of truffles. Meatballs source from lamb, beef, veal and pork for a toothy, tender orb sauced with pesto. But it’s really about the pasta here: coarse bits of veal, pork and mushrooms inside ravioli smothered in a sherry cream sauce; bucatini in the non-sauce of the moment, cacio de pepe; ridged malfalde twisting around fennel sausage and spinach; and, if gnocchi counts, a mound of nuggets punched up with lemon and nestling with cherry tomatoes.

MISC: It’s also kid-friendly with a menu doubling as a coloring book featuring a bowl of spaghetti.

Hank’s Pasta Bar
Italian | $$$
600 Montgomery St., Alexandria

(50 Best Restaurants 2017November 2017)