Food *** (3 stars)
Service ** (2 1/2 stars)
Atmosphere ** (2 1/2 stars)
Sometimes restaurants have to reinvent themselves to stay in the public eye. We haven't heard much from the Brass Elephant lately, but now with a couple of changes this Mount Vernon fixture has gotten a new lease on life.
The most obvious change is the Brass Elephant's new executive chef, Andrew Maggitti. He's created an entertaining menu of mostly Italian dishes (the Maryland crab cakes being the obvious exception). Change is good. For years, the restaurant has been serving food variously described as traditional American, New American and fusion. But its beginnings were northern Italian, and it's nice to see house-made pastas and risottos back on the menu.