Location: Washington, DC
Owner and Chef
Ristorante i Ricchi specializes in authentic Tuscan and regional Italian cuisine. Owner and chef Christianne Ricchi started the business when she returned from Italy after running a restaurant outside Florence for 17 years. “Even though I had been raised in an Italian-American family in New York and thought I knew Italian food, what I tasted while in Italy was unlike anything I had ever experienced,” says Ricchi. She was taught to cook by the local women who worked in the kitchen of the restaurant, learning about the seasonality of ingredients and the importance of using locally sourced materials.
Fun Fact: When local restaurants saw sales plummet after 9/11, Ricchi called together local hospitality leaders to organize, creating the first DC Restaurant Week.
Ristorante i Ricchi prides itself on its longevity in the DC market. At the same time, Ricchi has worked to ensure the restaurant stays relevant. “Most recently, I have initiated a project to rebrand and relaunch the restaurant,” she says. “It is my intention to create a place that will become a focal point and gathering place for the community.”
Five years ago, Ricchi started the i Ricchi Women’s Club, which today has more than 4,000 members, to encourage women to interact, network and support each other by offering special events and discounted dining.