I really have to hand it to Potenza. This place is on fire and the owners behind this place may have made the smartest business decision in Washington when it comes to the restaurant scene. Not only is the restaurant itself delicious, rustic, and inviting, but the entire concept is brilliant. I work across the street from this establishment so I am in there quite often. I started by eating at the restaurant itself and I really can’t say a bad thing about their tender and simple pastas like the Mezzalune, Cappellini and Gnocchi. I even had the roast chicken with potatoes and spinach last week and was wowed by the lemony gravy of the sauce and the perfectly cooked and flavored chicken.
After some time I started venturing to the bar for lunch—it has a very large space with many seats for multiple parties to eat lunch quickly and still enjoy all the fabulous food the restaurant has to offer. My colleague and I often order the pizzas (and one pizza is big enough for two to share)! Further they offer great lunch specials with three courses for $15.00 that include a salad, a sandwich, and a cookie bag which is another great option for dining at the bar.
Then I started to notice that the little bakery attached to the restaurant had some delicious looking treats such as fresh baked breads, muffins and even gelato. One day I popped my head inside to see that in addition to their normal bakery business they were now doing a take-away lunch business with a new special every day. The special normally includes some sort of pasta such as stuffed shells or three meat lasagna and then comes with cookies and a soda all for $9.90. You can either take it to go or they have a small little café seating area to eat at your heart’s content while you watch some of the bakers roll the handmade pasta.
And recently for the summer they have pitched a little grill outside near their outdoor seating and they are grilling Italian sausages with vegetables on the street like vendor food. Anyone can pop over, order a quick sausage, get it wrapped up as if it was from a street cart and take it back to snack on at the office.
And you think I’m done? Nope, there’s more. Finally, I needed a wine for a dinner party I was going to recently… and not to worry, Potenza has its own wine shop as well that even carried my favorite Italian wine that is not always easy to find: Falanghina.
Is there anything this place doesn’t do? Fabulous Italian restaurant: check. Great bar for dining and drinks: check. Bakery: check. Lunch takeout food: check. Wine shop: check. Keep it up Potenza. I’m loving your style.
1430 H St. NW
Washington DC 20004
(Corner of 15th and H)