At this point in the 2013 game, you don’t need US to tell you that 14th street is bursting at the seams with new restaurants. In fact, there are SO MANY new places that it is almost a running joke among DC’s food covering community that they are TRYING not to write about something on 14th street every single day. Still, in the sea of buzziness, a perfect little Italian restaurant quietly-yet-confidently opened on the corner of 14th and Q (1541 14th street NW, to be exact) and if our recent jaunt there is anything to go by, we should all be paying attention to ETTO.
Brought to you by the guys behind 2Amy (who know a thing or two about Italian food in DC) and the Standard (who know a thing or two about creating a place you want to never not hang out at) it is a perfect little pocket of salumi and oak fired pizza heaven.
Everything inside is perfectly curated and smacks of the kind of love of food and drink you want from your Italian go-to restaurant. ETTO has 2 cocktails on the menu ($11 each) but they are both great: one a play on the DC classic, the gin rickey and the other a Lambrusco based summer wine concoction which packs a little more punch that your go-to sangria. House made red vermouth included.
Both go perfectly with the house cured meats and seasonal dishes like the radish summer salad with mint and anchovies which Stephanie and I lapped up within seconds as well as the Inspired desserts including the salumi shaped chocolate loaf which is bound to get instagrammed A LOT this summer (the abundance of natural light should serve that purpose particularly well).
Add to that the fact that the space is airy, light, well conditioned and that there is a bread wall we had to strongly resist from just grabbing loaves from and running out of the door with, and it all comes down to one conclusion: when we feel like a vacation from 14th street ON 14TH street this summer, this is where you’ll find us.
all photos: Stephanie Breijo