Restaurant Spotlight: Bresca

Washington, D.C., bistro offers French-influenced cuisine with a contemporary twist, joined by a diverse wine list

Restaurant Spotlight: Bresca
Bresca, which means "honeycomb" in Catalan, mingles Icelandic design elements, European culinary influences and mid-Atlantic produce, fish and meats. (Courtesy of Bresca)
Jun 29, 2022

Chef and restaurateur Ryan Ratino brings Paris to Washington, D.C., at Bresca, his “neo-bistro” restaurant in the U Street Corridor neighborhood. Before opening Bresca, Ratino had built a substantial resume working at destinations like New York’s Dovetail, WD-50 and Caviar Russe, as well as Minibar by José Andrés in D.C.

Bresca’s guests can revel in prix-fixe and tasting menus of European-style dishes like tuna crudo, swordfish roulade, brioche-stuffed chicken and pork loin with baby artichokes, for which Ratino sources many of the ingredients from top producers in the Mid-Atlantic area. To-go options are available Wednesday through Sunday.

Diners can pair their meal with more than 100 selections overseen by wine director Will Patton and head sommelier Kendrick Lindsey, who tap regions such as Champagne, Burgundy, the Loire Valley, Sonoma, Napa and Spain, plus neighboring Virginia. Along with leading producers like Matthiasson and Krug, there’s plenty for curious wine lovers who want to explore styles off the beaten path, including whites from Northern Italy’s Radikon and reds from the Jura’s Rolet, plus cuvées from Morocco and Lebanon. Curated wine pairings and “reserve wine” pairings are available too, featuring rarer bottlings like Giocomo Borgogno Barolo 2016; special pairings can also be added to supplement Bresca’s caviar service and foie gras terrine. The wine program earned Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for the first time in 2022.

Bresca’s interior design is influenced by Ratino’s trips to Iceland, evident in the restaurant’s moss-lined wall. The space is decorated in bright blues, with yellow accents and hexagonal elements throughout, a reference to honeycomb (“bresca” in Catalan).

Bresca is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, with brunch available on Sundays, and offers outdoor seating.

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