Q and A with Chef Bryan Moscatello of Potenza
Alex Nicholson | Nov 10, 2010 | 1:10PM |

Potenza is an Italian restaurant and bakery downtown on H St and 15th NW. The bakery is a great option for downtown lunch seekers. The restaurant serves mid to upper-mid range Italian fare that is best suited to a night out with friends. Potenza is lively, well located and totally approachable. Also totally approachable is Chef Bryan Moscatello, who took some time to answer the standard questions from BYT.

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BYT: A person walks into Potenza, what do they HAVE to order?

Chef Moscatello: The house cured salumi platter, a pizza, the suckling pig on Wednesday and an order of canolis of course.

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BYT: Name five ingredients you think everyone should have.

Chef Moscatello: Maldon Salt, Tellicherry peppercorns, Villa Manodori balsamic vinegar, Trevi olive oil from Umbria and Beurre d’Isigny.  I must admit this question is a little unfair though.

BYT: What’s your favorite ingredient or kitchen tool right now?

Chef Moscatello: A spoon always has been and always will be!

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BYT: What’s your guilty pleasure?

Chef Moscatello: Epoisses – a soft, washed rind cheese from Bourgogne, France

BYT: Who is your biggest influence, or your hottest food crush?

Chef Moscatello: Not sure if this answer is what you’re looking for, but currently I am being influenced by anyone who dares to be great, from extreme sports pioneers to moguls of industry, hoteliers and restaurateurs. Food crush = edible cocktails

BYT: One thing everyone should know how to make?

Chef Moscatello: An emulsification.  With this knowledge you will have a sauce, dressing or spread for any occasion.

BYT: Best meal you ever had?

Chef Moscatello: Alinea in Chicago.  It was a roller coaster ride for all of the senses.

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BYT: Someone comes to DC to visit – where do you take them?

Chef Moscatello: Zola Wine and Kitchen for a great farm-to-table lunch, and then the new Zola Chef’s Tasting Room for dinner

BYT: You just got a phone call and you need to make dinner for four in under an hour. Using only what you have in your house right now?

Chef Moscatello: It appears we will be going hungry but we will drink well.  The only thing I could actually pull off right now would be duck fat braised potato confit,  poached duck egg, grilled greens, and cherry balsamic dressing.  I would also be able to squeak out a coffee ice cream affogato with a cashew tuille.  I pretty much only eat breakfast at my house.

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Be sure to check out Potenza’s Savory or Sweet tasting menu. For $28 you can order 3 savory items or 3 desserts, with an option for a wine pairing. Well priced and tasty!