In Current News

Rated #1 Best New Restaurant in DC~ Reader’s Poll.
“The food was perfection. I could have ordered another entire meal,” Read More

“I felt I needed to send a clear message: This is something different,” says Fargione of his reverse course. Osteria Elisir, he says, “is all about comfort.” Read More

It’s closer to publication time for Enzo Fargione’s new cookbook. Visual Eats: A Behind the Scenes Look at Modern Italian Cooking

Chef Enzo Fargione is hoping his Osteria Elisir, which replaced the more formal Elisir on March 15, will be a hit with downtown D.C. diners.  Read More

Penn Quarter’s tasting menu-centric Elisir will completely revamp its concept to become Osteria Elisir, with a new look, lower prices and a more straight forward cooking style. Read More

Casual Italian
Be thankful that Enzo Fargione mixed up that old adage and went out with the new and in with the old, because his Osteria has taken over the Elisir space with rustic Italian comfort food and a country interior to match: wine barrels & lanterns, hanging bird cages, and more…Read More

Celebrating the Season at Elisir
Tis the season … for holiday parties. And there is certainly no shortage of yummy treats and delicious drinks throughout DC this time of year. At Elisir (427 11th St. NW), Chef Enzo Fargione showcased the masterpieces, delivers “innovative flavors in liquid form.”

Mark’s Seasonal Cocktails attracted a delightful group of people, including Jennifer Nycz-Conner of the Washington Business Journal and Greg O’Neill of GregslistDC, as well as Jean Lawlor Cohen, editor of Where Magazine and Stephanie Green of Bloomberg. Read More

D.C.’s best dining newcomers of 2012
What’s good at Enzo Fargione’s Elisir sometimes edges on great. I’m dreaming now of a tiny glass globe containing a perfect bite of salmon crudo, bits of Sicilian green olive and a nest of shaved fennel: an exquisite fish salad capped with an airy white froth of licorice that ties the package together. Lamb loin presented as two petite towers banded in pancetta and staged with golden pearls of Yukon potatoes, plus sambuca­ infused fennel, was a similar triumph of choice ingredients and jousting flavors. Lunch is an altogether different experience than dinner. To attract a broader clientele, Fargione removes the linens from the tables, asks servers to shed their jackets and offers a deal to anyone perched at the bar: a choice of one of 13 entrees, plus soda or coffee and dessert for $19. Not every dish soars, but Fargione’s high notes verge on the operatic. (Reviewed Feb. 19.) Read More

Before Thanksgiving and will launch a new cocktail menu. Read More

Best Thing We Ate This Week in DC: Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner at Elisir
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner – turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes – is one of our favorite meals. So when we learned that Enzo Fargione would be serving an early holiday dinner at his elegant Penn Quarter showcase Elisir this week, we couldn’t wait to taste an accomplished Italian chef’s take on classic American cooking.

Roasted squash stars in a seasonal cocktail, Falling in Love, made with bourbon, Amaretto, vodka, chocolate bitters and a squash syrup. However, we opted for a glass of wine to go with our starter – a jewellike medley of roasted beets, citrus and thin, crisp artichoke chips and goat cheese. Fresh from the oven, housemade breads were too tempting to resist. Then the main course arrived – thick slices of white and dark meat with beautifully browned, glazed skin, elegant and delicious bread stuffing… Read More

Much to Celebrate at Elisir
Elisir marks its one-year anniversary next week and chef Enzo Fargione is making sure the season is one to celebrate!

We recently experienced chef Fargione’s tasting menu (which changes seasonally), available in five or seven courses with optional wine pairings. The fall menu presentation starts with a charming amuse bouche: an egg shell cup, filled with a rich gorgonzola panna cotta and port-poached pears. Breads here are accompanied by a trio of olive oils from Liguria, Tuscany, and Sicily, each matched with a house-infused sea salt (the flavors include basil, Chianti, and black olive.)… Read More

Thanksgiving Round-up: Stress-Free and To Go
Restaurants throughout the nation’s capital are giving diners plenty of reasons to give thanks this holiday season. Maybe this year you want your family over, but don’t want to do all of the cooking. Luckily, many restaurants around town are offering to-go options.

If you want to go completely stress-free, you can forget about the clean up and take your family out to one of your favorite restaurants listed below. The most important thing is to be with the ones you love on the holiday. Read More

Elisir’s Enzo Fargione Signs Book Deal
One way to judge a city’s food scene is from the perspective of the publishing industry and its interest in printing books by local cooks and chefs. By that standard, the District has practically become world class, with recent or forthcoming volumes from Mike Isabella , Barton Seaver , Bryan Voltaggio , Carla Hall , Todd and Ellen Kassoff Gray and Pati Jinich. Now you can add one more to the list: Enzo Fargione .

The chef and owner of Elisir in downtown Washington just signed a deal with the Arizona-based Keith Publications to publish a hardcover volume titled “Visual Eats: A Behind the Scenes Look at Modern Italian Cooking.” Fargione expects the book, with recipes for nearly 100 dishes, to hit shelves in the first half of next year. Read More

Our Review of Elisir
Elisir Ristorante, the newest creation of highly decorated and acclaimed Chef Enzo Fargione, offers Italian cuisine at its finest. The restaurant itself is gorgeous. The design feels modern with clean, elegant lines. The semi-open kitchen offers a glimpse of a true master in the labor of his craft. Chef Fargione has a warm and inviting persona and takes great pride in his creations. Don’t be surprised if he pops by the table to ask how you are enjoying your meal. Read More

Enzo Fargione Talks About the First Year at Elisir
It’s been just about one year since Enzo Fargione opened Elisir, one of a couple of tasting menu-centric restaurants that opened in the D.C. area back in 2011. The restaurant from the former Teatro Goldoni chef opened with a splash and a little controversy (some customers chafed at the 29 cent charge for filtered water, a policy the restaurant quickly dropped).

Over the past year, chef and proprietor Fargione has adjusted his tasting menu courses, added more a la carte options, earned a big Rammy nomination and started work on a cookbook. Eater caught up with the chef to discuss Elisir’s first year. Read More

It’s been almost a year since the opening of Elisir, chef Enzo Fargione’s venture into fine dining in Penn Quarter. And in that time, Fargione’s inventive dishes like Italian-style sushi rolls and branzino carpaccio served in cigar boxes have generated buzz, helping earn Elisir a nomination for New Restaurant of the Year at this year’s RAMMY awards. Read More

Chilled Honeydew Puree with Roasted Lobster (Video)
Chef Enzo Fargione from Elisir Ristorante creates the perfect summer time soup, Chilled Honeydew Puree with Roasted Lobster. Watch Video

Modern Italian cooking with Elisir restaurant
Elisir restaurant offers a unique taste to Italian fine dining and features modern recipes. Owner Enzo Fargione has won national awards and has been recognized by magazines and newspapers across the country for his authentic approach to italian cooking . He joined us to demonstrate how to make a very traditional Japanese dish with an Italian twist. Read More

DC Restaurant Week: Elisir Ristorante
The key to choosing a place to eat for restaurant week is to dine at a place you normally wouldn’t go except on a special occasion or choose a place you haven’t been to before. Elisir fit both rules. Read More

Enzo Fargione’s Picks For Fine Dining and Cheap Eats
It only makes sense that the chef at one of DC’s rare new fine dining establishments would appreciate the luxury of top-rated Inn at Little Washington on his days off, but Elisir’s Enzo Fargione also has a taste for cheap eats. Here his shares his love for both Patrick O’Connell’s award-winning cooking as well as the pupusas he loves to pick up from Arlington’s Pupuseria Dona Azucena.

“For most of us in the restaurant business free time is pure luxury. One the most popular questions I am asked by my customers are ‘Do you ever cook at home on your day off?’ My answer is always the same ‘No thanks.’ Read More

Elisir’s James Beard House Tasting Menu
Strolling down 12th Street in New York City’s West Village, you’d be hard-pressed to know that you were actually at the epicenter of culinary cool. Then you peer closely up at a small brass plaque embedded in the wall of a well appointed brick building near the western end of the block and see the phrase James Beard House. The former home to one of the country’s greatest culinary champions, it has been transformed into a pop-up dining space where the best chefs from around the world come to showcase their talents and pay homage to Beard’s legacy. Read More

Grill the Chef: Elisir’s Enzo Fargione
Enzo Fargione grew up in Torino, Italy and enrolled in The Professional Culinary Institute in Turin. He came to the United States and worked at various restaurants, including Galileo, before opening Elisir, a modern Italian restaurant. Now, we turn the tables and grill the chef.

“What’s in your fridge or freezer that would surprise people?” “Lobster heads.” Read More

Unpredictable Presentations
Plates are passé and bowls, boring. That’s why chefs and mixologists are turning to unorthodox vessels that are as memorable and stunning as the foods they contain. Here are a few standout serving pieces now appearing at tables near you.

Elisir chef-owner Enzo Fargione puts a personal spin on his dishware. Since he likes to unwind after a long day in the kitchen by smoking a stogie, Fargione decided to playfully reuse his cigar boxes as serving vessels for smoked branzino carpaccio ($17). Finely filleted fish sauced with a lemon-lime-orange dressing, roasted garlic chips, microgreens and a scattering of seasonal mushrooms are placed in the box, along with a few smoldering applewood chips. When the box is opened at the table minutes later, a puff of smoke emerges. Read More

Rustic and high-tech coexist in chefs’ open kitchens
Look closely into the open kitchens of Washington’s Elisir, Mintwood Place and Rogue 24, and Baltimore’s Wit and Wisdom. You’ll spot excellent visual representations, side by side, of two recent trends in American restaurant cookery: the emergence of modern technique and the rebirth of rustic, home-style cooking.

At first, traditional chefs bristled at notions of de- and reconstructing dishes. They scoffed at science-lab gadgetry, such as cream whippers dispensing lobster foams; “outboard motor” circulators; and smoking tanks dispensing liquid nitrogen. Read More

Exclamation Chef: Enzo Fargione
Growing up in Torino, Italy, Chef Enzo learned to love cooking via his mother’s example at a very early age and has never stopped. At fourteen, he enrolled in The Professional Culinary Institute in Turin, Italy and finished at the top of his class. In 1986, after having worked in numerous restaurants, fate would play a hand in his future: though only seventeen, the Chef packed his bags and became the first head Chef at the Little Italy Gourmet in San Diego California. A few months later, he joined Galileo restaurant as head chef in Washington, DC. and ran a four star kitchen.Between then and now, Enzo has earned success and respect in the culinary world while working and owning numerous and successful Washington DC restaurants such as Donna Adele, the Radicchio restaurant chain, the acclaimed fine dining Barolo on Capitol Hill, the Italian tapas restaurant concept Atrium in West Palm Beach, Florida and working as Executive Chef/Consultant at Teatro Goldoni restaurant. Read More

Elisir Featured in Where Magazine

“Elisir (say ell-iss-eer), the sleek showcase of Enzo Fargione (see cover), where lunch is bistro-moderate, but dinner is luxe—à la carte or a spectacular array of courses.”

“Researching this issue’s cover feature led to some extraordinary experiences like our ten courses with wines at Enzo Fargione’s Elisir. Envision chestnut soup with ricotta flan, venison with truffles, applepie with cinnamon fumes.”

The other part to note was the amazing service. I’ll be honest: Elisir was a last minute decision and it being a Friday, we were in jeans casual. Still, despite our homely appearance, from the get-go, our server was attentive and explanatory. The sommelier matched us up with a perfect Pinot Noir; while it was on the higher end of our price range it wasn’t exorbitant, and it was sort of a nice compliment that he thought enough of us to recommend something that expensive. We can’t change that we’re young (at least not any faster than anybody else), but all the same I’ve dealt with a lot of eye-rolling service at high-end white-cloth restaurants from servers who assumed we’d order cheaply; it’s nice to be at a restaurant that will treat you nicely regardless. Read More

Elisir: An Artist’s Palate
In this age of the minimalist restaurant, less is more—or so we’re often made to feel. Everything is compacted (the size of the plates) or stripped away (the maître d’, the tablecloths) in the name of accessibility, comfort, and value. It’s sometimes hard to remember what restaurants used to be.

Then you step into Elisir, a swank new Italian restaurant that occupies a dead-zone block in the western end of bustling Penn Quarter. Its chef and owner, Enzo Fargione, is Elkin’s kind of maximalist. Fargione piles on the details. Waiters sport coats and ties, napkins are fashioned into scallop shells, menus resemble framed diplomas, and there are two tasting menus of seven or ten courses. Read More

Washington, DC’s Best Business Lunches Under $25
DC’s newest Italian fine dining establishment is offering a $19 bar lunch menu that generously offers 11 entree options. The meal ends with dessert and comes with tea, soda or coffee. Considering the appetizers on the dinner menu range from $16-$22, a $19 lunch sounds like a pretty good deal, as long as you don’t mind eating at the bar. Read More

The Big Bubble
Consider the extra-virgin olive oil lollipoop; a mini miracle rolled in milk chocolate, festooned with focaccia crumbs, dusted with Sicilian salt and filigreed with a 23-karat edible gold leaf. It looks desserty; though it arrives as a amuse-bouche ahead of a seven- or 10-course “culinary journey.” Now ask yourself: What decade is this? Read More

Food in focus: Elisir
In Sunday’s dining column in The Washington Post Magazine, food critic Tom Sietsema celebrated something in­cred­ibly rare in the D.C. area: the emergence of a new fine dining restaurant. Sietsema says that Enzo Fargione’s Elisir “trumpets hope for high-end dining” and “not every dish soars, but his high notes verge on the operatic.” Read More

New Hope for High-End Dining
Elisir represents an agreeable change of pace from the many over-played and under-developed additions to the Washington area dining landscape. It is not a barbecue joint with faux soul. It is not a Mexican hacienda with Midwestern seasoning, or a restaurant that wants to be a club as much as a place to eat. Read More

Totally Sweet: 101 of America’s Most Crazy-Awesome New Desserts
D.C. dining eminence Don Rockwell, whose website is bookmarked by every food nerd in Washington, recommends this dish at the new Elisir in Federal Triangle. Candied hazelnut spumoni comes over amacchiato cream sauce with candied hazelnut tuile and amaretto-coffee-pistachio dust. A playful coffee-tequila shot with cinnamon-orange foam completes the plate. Read More

Fine Dining is in the Details At Enzo Fargione’s New Eatery
Penn Quarter’s ongoing evolution has sparked intense interest in the downtown restaurant scene. But unfortunately, a refined dining experience can be hard to find amid all the hype. Back in the day, a $200 dinner bill meant a dropped fork was replaced immediately and a sommelier would work hard to help pair offbeat menu selections with truly complementary wines. Sometimes at Penn Quarter’s flashier eateries, that level of effort seems quaint.

Thankfully, Elisir has arrived to remind us that details still matter. The unassuming yet uniformly excellent new fine dining establishment, led by former Galileo chef Enzo Fargione in a non-descript slice of real estate at 11th Street, NW, has a promising future in Washington. Read More

No detail too small
Elisir means “elixir” in Italian, but Chef Enzo Fargione should have named his new Penn Quarter restaurant Dettaglio — “detail.” From the artistic food presentations to the dining room’s video monitors offering a sneak peek into the kitchen and the ornate gold box containing the check at meal’s end, Fargione and his staff pay precise attention to every aspect of the customer’s experience.

The chef, formerly of K Street power restaurant Teatro Goldoni, makes intricate dishes, defying conventional wisdom on just how many layers of flavor and texture can fit into a few bites. Read More

Grill the Chef: Elisir’s Enzo Fargione
Enzo Fargione grew up in Torino, Italy and enrolled in The Professional Culinary Institute in Turin. He came to the United States and worked at various restaurants, including Galileo, before opening Elisir, a modern Italian restaurant. Now, we turn the tables and grill the chef.

What’s in your fridge or freezer that would surprise people? “Lobster heads.” Last meal you cooked for yourself? “Saffron pasta Tortelli filled with liquid Porcini mushrooms custard and Burrata cheese, salt-cured duck breast marinated in citrus and lacquered leeks coins. It was my girlfriend’s birthday and really wanted to do something special.” Read More

Hot Chefs Round 1: Stefanelli, Sobel, Fargione, Morris
Welcome to Eater’s annual Hottest Chef Competition in what is our first-ever year determining the hottest chef in Washington, DC. We’ll be doing a lot of voting over the next couple of weeks with the ultimate victor going on to compete nationally against the winners from our sister cities. But we’ll worry about that later. Read More

Elisir Cocktail Primary Event
Guests got a special preview of politically themed cocktails at the new Penn Quarter fine Italian dining destination, Elisir Restaurant, on January 4. Mixologist Stephen Oshana whipped up drinks inspired by each of the Republican presidential candidates in what was dubbed Elisir’s “cocktail primary.” In true primary fashion, guests voted for their favorite concoctions.

Some of the folks who sampled such drinks as the “Nein Nein Nein” (an ode to former GOP White House hopeful Herman Cain) and the “New Hampshire or Bust” beverage (which represented Jon Huntsman) included: Hollywood on the Potomac’s Janet Donovan, Fresh 94.7’s Tommy McFly, NBC4’s Angie Goff, The Examiner’s Nikki Schwab, publicist Wendy Gordon, K Street Kate blogger Kate Michael, and Washington Life magazine’s John Arundel. Read More

A New Shining Star in DC’s Italian Restaurant Scene
CiaoDC recently had the privilege of dining at Enzo Fargione’s Elisir. It is quite possibly this author’s new favorite in the DC region and this review will attempt to explain why.

We started out with the Tentare Feito (which the menu describes as Bourbon, Orange, Lemon, Basil, Campari Marshmellow), along with a specialty cocktail for the evening that the waiter talked me into. Mixologist Steve Oshana named it the “Funky Cold Medina,” after the Tone Loc hit. It involved Plymouth Gin, Poma, Prosecco and lemon juice. It was delicious, and I’m not usually a fan of gin. The drinks only got better from there as Elisir’s Sommelier selections for each course put our meal over the top. Read More

What to Drink at Enzo Fargione’s Elisir
While there may have been some controversy surrounding the water offerings at Elisir – chef Enzo Fargione’s new Italian fine dining spot in Penn Quarter – there’s no question the cocktails are top-notch. Deciding which one to get is the only problem.

Though it may take a special occasion to throw down for one of the restaurant’s famous tasting menus (which ring in at $75 for seven courses and $95 for 10), a drink in the polished bar is a relatively budget-friendly way to get a taste of the good life on any day. Read More

Italian chef Enzo Fargione has never played by the rules. At a time when even the most revered, classically trained chefs are waving the white flag at tablecloths and converting to the convenience of fast-casual dining.  Read More

Elisir Restaurant Stirs Things Up With GOP Cocktail Primary!
FEDERAL TRIANGLE — Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney received an unofficial (and completely unscientific) endorsement from the D.C. media establishment on Wednesday evening, during a playful “cocktail primary” party hosted by Elisir Restaurant. Read More

Elisir Ristorante Cocktail Primary
We all know that DC is a politico’s paradise. This is a city that values sharp thinking, and smooth-talking with a side of scandal. You can imagine my excitement when I heard about Elisir Ristorante’s Cocktail Primary on Wednesday.

This was my first event of the year, and what a way to start! For those of you who don’t know, Elisir Ristorante opened about a month ago and is the newest fine-dining Italian restaurant for Chef Enzo Fargione. In addition to their bistro lunch, the restaurant features both an a la carte dinner menu and nightly tasting menus. Read More

Libation Without Representation
They aren’t bar pours, they are potions. And since late last year, DC has been under their spell. Read More

Hollywood on the Potomac
Libation Without Representation
Media folks who didn’t get the opp to lush it up in Iowa got a second chance on Wednesday night. Elisir restaurant in Penn Quarter invited a bunch of them to enjoy a few politically incorrect cocktails and cast a vote for their favorite GOP presidential candidate in his own straw poll. Like any good straw poll, the winner got nothing…except to go on. Read More

Hollywood on the Potomac
And the Winner is…
Penn Quarter’s new elegant eatery Elisir isn’t just an Italian food wonder, but a great place to mix it up… in the wondery of mixology. Thirty guests were more than happy to participate in Wednesday night’s straw poll themed evening to see which cocktail (each paired with a candidate) would get top billing in campaign land. Read More

Quick Bites: Elisir
Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema tries out the fine Italian dining at Elisir. Read More

The Early Word on Enzo Fargione’s Newcomer: Elisir
There was much ado over chef Enzo Fargione’s return to fine dining in DC with the debut of Elisir three weeks ago.  Read More

Italian Stallion: Enzo Fargione is back with Elisir
With a poof of smoke, chef Enzo Fargione is back at the stove. Elisir, offers two tasting options, but we’ve assembled a three-course guide to à la carte dishes. So hit the highlights without a three-hour commitment. Read More

First Look: Ristorante Elisir by Enzo Fargione
Penn Quarter’s newest restaurant is serious about great food and – perhaps more importantly – great drinks. At the new, Groupo7-designed space, Fargione is using fresh and seasonal ingredients in progressive dishes that still honor traditional Italian cuisine. Read More

Elisir: A new theater for Enzo Fargione
It has been so long since a new restaurant opened with linens on its tables that the sight of cloth covering surface at Elisir is alone something to applaud. But the arrival of three house-made salts and a trio of Italian olive oils with a choice of multiple breads broadens my smile as well. Read More

Hollywood on the Potomac
Prepare for the ensuing ‘food porn…’
With a dining area that boasts an open kitchen complete with live feed video for those who may not have a true ‘window’ seat and a bar area that offers such specialties as an exclusively bottled ‘sparkling Negroni,’ as well as a wine list that is not only approachable, but has some really good bargains, this new fixture on 11th Street is coming on strong. Read More

First Look: Elisir Restaurant
I headed to Elisir for its first dinner post soft-opening, and was pleasantly surprised there were no signs that the restaurant in Penn Quarter had literally just opened its doors that same week. The staff was beyond attentive without being intrusive and knew the menu cold. The lighting was bright and refreshing, and the open kitchen area was amazing. Basically, Elisir lived up to Italian fine dining as billed, without being pretentious or stuffy. Read More

First Taste: Elisir
From the moment I heard about Elisir Restaurant, I couldn’t wait for the opening. I had my first taste of Chef Enzo Fargione’s talent at …..He has a personalized vision and interpretation of modern Italian cooking that makes eating fun. Elisir means elixir in Italian and Enzo wanted to create that light and refreshing feeling when dining in his restaurant. Read More

Thinking of Drinking: Warm Winter Cocktails
Tis the season to warm up while you sip. There are some fabulous spots around town that will help you do just that. W Washington D.C. Hotel, home to the P.O.V. Rooftop Terrace and Lounge. The signature winter cocktails, each $15 by the glass, feature seasonal holiday flavors to warm you up by Joe Ambrose and Marco. Read More

Gut Reaction: Elisir’s Branzino Carpaccio Is A Smoky Treat
Of the various al la carte offerings at chef Enzo Fargione’s new Elisir restaurant (roughly pronounced ale-ee-zeer), which opened on Wednesday, the smoked carpaccio di branzino immediately snagged my attention. The $18 fish dish comes served in a cigar box. The server pops the lid and—poof!—a visible cloud of Applewood smoke fills your nostrils. Read More