Something Fishy
American Way, May 01, 2003

Seafood is sophisticated these days. Here are the latest spots to get your upscale fish-house Haul...WASHINGTON, DC.: (202) 333-1767   Italian-born Chef Vittoria Testa's new La Perla near Georgetown puts a Venetian accent on sea based dishes...

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La Perla: A Labor of Love
On Tap, December 2002

My sister and I walked into the sparkling new La Perla restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue the other night for dinner. "Wow", she gasped, "Check out the glasswork! I'll bet you its Murano". As a self-described glass freak, she was right.

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La Perla: Venus and Vino
DC ONE, December 2002

Venus may be the goddess of sexual love, but at La Perla in Georgetown she is a mute witness to another kind of passion. On a bed of pasta anything can happen...

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Digest Photo Gallery
Mid Atlantic Restaurant Digest, December 2002

Restaurant Digest was there as Owner/Chef Vittorio Testa famed for his previous dining treasures Il Borgo in McLean, Virginia and Mona Lisa in the Washington Harbor opened his new Venetian restaurant, La Perla.

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Hand-painted tiles, a fountain, friezes and other plush appointments set the tone at this Italian fine-dining spot at the gateway to Georgetown; the formal setting is warmed by chef-owner Vittorio Testa's ebullience and the rich recipes that earned him a devoted following at his previous venue in McLean; a private dining room, with panoramic Potomac river views, is both inviting and impressive - like having your own palazzo for the night.


Veteran Washington restaurateur Vittorio Testa, whose restaurants included Il Borgo in McLean and Mona Lisa at DC's Washington Harbour, has opened La Perla, a Venetian-style Italian restaurant at 2600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest (202-333-1767). The specialties are fresh pastas, risotto, and seafood dishes, including Treasures of the Sea, a big platter of steamed mussels, clams, stone-crab claws, and a lobster tail. Another of chef Testa's creations is Spaghetti Malafemmena, with crabmeat, fresh clams, capers, and black olives cooked in a spicy marinara sauce.

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The neighborhood's newest restaurant opened in November. Chef Vittorio Testa, formerly of Filomena's in Georgetown, has designed this place himself, and it reminds us of eating at our eccentric Italian uncle's fancy suburban home. He has decorated this up-scale ristorante with Venetian glass, shirred curtains, curios from his personal collection, and a tile version of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus." This is definitely not a red checkered tablecloth restaurant, but it has a lot of familiar Italian dishes on the menu. Off to an impressive start.

The Massabny Dozen

After reviewing hundreds of restaurants in the Washington D.C. area, the list below represents those Rich feels offer the best in quality of food, portions and service. Prices are $25-$100 for two people. "The Massabny Dozen" reflects a wide variety of tastes.

Diving for Pearls
Washington's La Perla Serves Original, Traditional Italian Dishes
by Rachel Hunt and Stephen Qualiana

We remember a time in our childhood when fine dining almost certainly meant an Italian restaurant. That's when the only ethnic restaurants were Italian and Chinese, and California cuisine had not even been invented.

Now most Italian restaurants are the neighborhood pizzeria joint with a small dining room. So we jump at the chance whenever a "fine dining" Italian restaurant opens and comes to our attention, such as Ristorante La Perla of Washington. Click here to read more.