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Ashok Bajaj put his Bibiana cooks and servers through six different practice runs this week, in preparation for what was supposed to be a Monday, Sept. 7, opening. So why did the downtown osteria and enoteca open today instead?

“Practice, practice, practice,” Bajaj tells Y&H this afternoon. “Like everything else, we needed a little bit of work.”

Because Congress returns to work next week, Bajaj wanted to make sure that his latest restaurant would be performing at its peak before the power players start to stumble in following their fisticuffs over health-care reform. “No matter how good you think you are, you can always get better,” he says.

Chef Nicholas Stefanelli, former sous chef at Maestro in McLean and chef de cuisine at Fiamma in New York, is not starting out with any limited menus either. He and the kitchen have jumped right into the full lunch and dinner menus [PDFs], Bajaj says, including pizza. From the look of these menus, Bibiana seems to be taking its Italian food quite seriously.

And check this out, Bibiana hasn’t even been open a day and the Examiner already has a “first look” on the place, including pictures. It must be a record.