Familiar and unfussy, this pasta is served with slow-roasted tomato sauce, garlic, butter and sausage made with local pork, toasted fennel seed, pepper and fennel pollen. Vegetarian? It’s available without pork, too. $18. 1822 First St. NW. 202-525-3021.
The “G” Man at Mangialardo’s
On a recent trip to Mangialardo’s, a colleague witnessed a crew of firemen pile out of a firetruck into the Southeast deli. If that's not a seal of approval, we don’t know what is. Our favorite sandwich on the menu is the “G” Man, a foot-long feast packed with slices of ham, salami, pepperoni and mortadella; fontina and provolone cheeses; and vinegar, lettuce, tomato and mustard. $8.50. 1317 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 202-543-6212.
Not So Classic Style fried chicken biscuit at Stomping Ground
Each bite of this best-selling fried chicken biscuit packs za’atar, honey, hot sauce, red onion and benne-seed tahini. The star of the sandwich is the 24-hour-marinated, flour-dredged chicken breasts that get fried in lard. $9. 2309 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. 703-567-6616.
At more than 15 years old, this splurge-worthy dish from Fabio Trabocchi has only gotten better over time. Thin wonton wrappers hold rich pieces of lobster, topped with a delicate lobster stock, ginger, chives and huge hunks of — you guessed it — lobster. $54. Fiola Mare, 3100 K St. NW. Fiola, 678 Indiana Ave. NW.
Gougères at Garrison
The baked-to-order gougères at this Barracks Row restaurant are tender, light and airy, with a bit of crunch from the dustings of poppy seeds and flaky salt. Filled with cheese, they're enjoyable on their own or when used to sop up every last bit of sauce from your meal. $8 for 12. 524 Eighth St. SE. 202-506-2445.
Fried whiting sandwich at Horace and Dickie's Carryout
“Sandwich” may be a stretch, considering this dish is composed of fried fish fillets and two slices of white bread. Our favorite way to eat it: Stack a few of the fillets, doused in a tangy, peppery hot sauce, between the bread, and save the rest for lunch. The fish is fried whole with bones, so be careful when chomping down. $8.25. 809 12th St. NE. 6912 Fourth St. NW., Takoma Park area. 5601 Allentown Rd., Suitland. 202-397-6040.
Fried chicken and bread at Maketto
Don’t be fooled by the initial smack of sweetness from the five-spice caramel: This Taiwanese-inspired dish is packed with Sichuan peppercorns that make your mouth feel slightly numb. It’s served atop slices of house-made bread, which are best used to scoop up the sauce. $28. 1351 H St. NE. 202-838-9972.
The Green Monster at Timber Pizza
A cross between New York- and Neapolitan-style pizza, Timber’s crust is both chewy and crispy. The Green Monster uses pesto in place of marinara sauce and comes topped with feta, mozzarella and such seasonal veggies as zucchini and kale. $15. 809 Upshur St. NW. 202-853-9746.