Eating in DC: Etto

Sometimes we just want a taste of Italy close to home. So we often choose Italian restaurants here in our hometown of Washington, DC (which is, btw, having a bit of a food renaissance, in our humble opinion...)

Etto Olive Oil

We had heard a lot about Etto and were excited to try it out for a delayed Valentine dinner, as I had finally kicked the darned sickness plaguing me!

The Atmosphere

We got there on the early side of the evening and enjoyed a nice table by the window. Per the usual DC scene, our table was right on top of another one, but it was alright, as our neighbors were pretty quiet. It's a small space.

The Drinks

We ordered a bottle of Nebbiolo, which is traditionally one of our favorite full-bodied Italian reds. Upon its arrival, however, it was not at all what we were expecting. After opening the bottle, it was only then that our waiter mentioned that this was a unique bottle that had a hint of effervescence. I'll say!! It was a very light wine with lots of bubbles -- unlike any Italian red I've had before. It was not for us, and it was too bad that our waiter failed to mention how different this wine would be until it was too late, since there were no descriptions on the wine list that we could recall. In the end, we made the best of it and enjoyed our meal. We figured we would be adventurous and try this bottle. Let's be clear though; we will never order this again, and have learned to confirm the bottle we're expecting is indeed what we've ordered in the future.

Etto Bread

The Food

Our first course was the star of the show. We had a watercress Caesar salad and the 24 month aged prosciutto, accompanied by dark brown bread and fresh, bright olive oil in the most adorable of pouring vessels. The salad was huge and fresh. At $7, no complaints, besides the incredibly hard croutons. The Prosciutto was delicious, but given the amount offered, we weren't convinced that the $15 price was fair... The bread was under salted, as is customary in Italy, so that was nice, but it was extremely spongy. I guess it was good for catching the olive oily-goodness, but it's not something I would travel far for otherwise.

We split the Margarita pizza, which came out looking beautiful. The weird part was that the crust was soggy on the bottom and spongy at the ends, much like our bread at the beginning of the meal. Again, it was fine, but nothing I'll be dreaming about in the future. 

Overall Rating

1.5 out of 5 stars

All in all, this was a pleasant night out together because we made it so. The service at Etto was mediocre, and the food was alright, but rather overpriced for what we got. The best part of our night? Getting to talk about how much more excited we are to get to Italy where Italian food is done right! Given all the other amazing Italian restaurants popping up all over town, we're not looking to come back here anytime soon.


1541 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005