The new neighborhood hot spot comes from Massimo Fabbri, the seasoned chef turned restaurateur behind D.C. power dining spot Tosca. San Lorenzo slid into the space formerly occupied by Thally (1316 Ninth St NW) and was completely transformed by Swatchroom into a chic slice of Italy.
The roughly 70-seat spot, with room for 56 in the dining room and another 14 at its gold and tiled-covered bar, was inspired by a restaurant in Fabbri’s native Italy. Pasta dishes range from guitar-shaped chitarra with garlic-basil tomato sauce to taglierini with morel mushroom ragu and clams, and there’s a T-bone steak for two for carnivore fans.
Read on to hear what the public is saying, just a few weeks into service:
The Best of News: Hungry Lobbyist says “these pastas can compete against any of the best pastas in DC! However our breath was taken away by the scallops entree and a pork rib entree that might have been the best thing we have eaten in a month.” Instagram user @bougiefoodie_dc notes “the pappardelle was bomb and our server was really sweet.” [Instagram, Hungry Lobbyist]
The More, Please News: WCP’s Laura Hayes notes “the space is charming and the negronis are strong. You’ll only wish the portions were slightly larger.” Yelper Matt S. says “our server warned us that the pasta dishes were small and tiny they were (despite the $15-20 price tag). Sherronda A. notes “pasta portions are on the small side but were all a great texture and filling none the less (ordered pappardelle, tortelli, and chitarra).” [Yelp, WCP]
The Stamp of Approval News: Yelper Neha P. recommends orderings the prosciutto, “which was cut fresh right in front of us and the Fiori Di Zucca, the warm goat cheese is heavenly. The branzino was perfectly cooked. And the pasta!!! OMG we are still dreaming of the pappardelle.” And Google reviewer Fushkina Deresso experienced “excellent food with great atmosphere. Great service. One of my favorite Italian restaurant in DC.” Google reviewer Mark Porter calls it “a small place with a neighborhood feel, but with legit honest Italian food.” [Google, Yelp]
The Digging the Design News: Yelper Eduardo C. says San Lorenzo “is well-decorated and lively; however, being a small restaurant means less privacy (tables are too close to each other. sometimes it is good, because you ended up chatting with nice people, as it happened with us.” And Yelper Neha P. “really enjoyed the atmosphere and welcoming feeling once we sat down.” [Google, Yelp]
The Booze News: Yelper Caroline C. says “cocktails were inventive and well balanced, and we greatly enjoyed the wines we tried.” And Sherronda A. says “the Morandi is a good drink if you are not a big drinker or want something light and simple. Also tried the Grotta Giusti and Superpesca and both were surprisingly delicious!” [Yelp]
The Initial Kinks — or Not — News: Yelper Catherine B. says “the cocktails, prosciutto and paperdelle were really great but the ribs and gnocchi were just okay. Probably the most frustrating part of the evening was ... everything came out at once, resulting in a rushed dining experience and cold pasta.” But Yelper Paso L. disagrees: “None of the usual kinks I’m used to with a new restaurant were present. Service was attentive without being pushy. Courses came at a good pace. Simple and well curated menu ... this place will be booked solid as soon as everyone finds out.” [Yelp]
The Massimo Groupie News Yelper Samantha P., “a devotee of one of chef Massimo Fabbri’s earlier restaurants,” reports the roasted calamari with shaved Brussels sprouts and bell pepper puree “was one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten, long meaty pieces, not thin and rubbery in the slightest [and] the Branzino, stuffed with pureed potatoes and tomatoes, was cooked perfectly and the flavors were unexpectedly good together.” And Twitter user @jtoddindc says “the food was delicious, but Massimo rarely, if ever, disappoints.” [Twitter, Yelp]
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