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50 BEST RESTAURANTS

50 BEST RESTAURANTS: Girasole

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Northern Virginia Magazine

“No, no. Not the bunny,” says a woman to her server, responding to an early fall special of braised rabbit loin stuffed with Italian chestnuts, with a side of rabbit ravioli, in deeply meaty rabbit pan sauce. I smiled, having already ordered the dish, on special.

At Girasole it’s not necessary to open the menu. The printed version doesn’t change, which means you must listen to the long list of specials. (Thankfully, on busy weekends there is a print out.)

A salad (on special) has the balanced proportions of a Zac Posen dress: crisply American with of-the-season figs from Chantilly, mixed greens, house-cured pancetta and tangy chevre. Earlier in the year, pinky-purple-tinged octopus, (on special) colored from a braise in red wine, was draped in Italian oil with beautiful summer microgreens performing as edible art.

Scoop: Desserts don’t change as seasonally, but really, chocolate is never out. A slice of gianduia, dense as ganache, marries chocolate and hazelnut in such a pure fashion that it will make you rethink your devotion to store-bought Nutella.

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