Ascend the stairs past the vast wine cellar, and enter into the enchantigly dim dining room that is Michael White's Costata, where servers and sommeliers wait patiently to customize your dining experience to suit your every craving and desire.
Known primarily as a steakhouse, popular with executives and those in overnight for business from D.C. or Tokyo, the Italian menu boasts outstanding pastas to comfort you even on the coldest of evenings. Those desiring a less formal evening but want to indulge in the pasta dishes can sit at the wood-paneled bar, where smiling bartenders will easily chat with you about your love for cavatelli or leave you to listen to the restaurant's popular 90s soundtrack while you immerse yourself in the week's The New Yorker.
Though listed as a side or an appetizer, a dish of pasta or a few shared plates can easily make a meal.
The ferrantini tossed with pork shoulder ragù, pomodoro, and robiolina is the perfect rustic Italian dish to quench any pasta craving. The thick, tomatoey ragù cooks for more than three hours, and is the perfect coating to the thick homemade pasta strands. Topped with a dollop of light robiolina, mixing the cheese into the dish makes the sauce creamy without being too rich, and still allowing the tender strands of meat in the ragu to emanate their savory flavor.
Spaghetti con vongole, manila and razor clams, twirled with shredded leeks and mollica, offers a new spin on a traditional linguine with clams. Thinly sliced clams are easily enjoyable in the same bite of buttery spaghetti, and the crispy breadcrumbs on top add a pleasant crunch to each bite.
Garganelli alla fiamma may be the richest pasta dish on the menu; the tubular homemade noodles are tossed with speck, radicchio, and trufﬂe cream. The dish offers dynamic flavors, with the subtle sweeetness of the speck, the bitterness of the raddichio, and the savory richness of the truffle cream, all bound together by garaganelli noodles.
For truly excellent homemade pasta, perhaps skip the steaks (or just add on to your meal), and fill up on pasta at Costata.