Tag Archives: Italian

Posto – Washington, DC (Logan Circle)

We went out last Saturday night with Wendi and Stuart in DC at one of their go-to restaurants that is now one of the places Erin and I can’t wait to get back to. Posto (www.postodc.com), located in the Logan Circle neighborhood of DC, is a lively, modern Italian restaurant with a warm ambiance and amazing food.

As we walked through the door, we were greeted by smiling faces and were taken to our table that was in the center of a large dining room surrounded by a massive, inviting bar to one side and a huge, wood-burning oven to the rear where fresh bread and pizzas are made. The wait staff were very prompt to take our drink order and were beyond professional.

We had a white pizza as an appetizer that was loaded with delicious burrata cheese, roasted garlic, grape tomatoes, and basil; the crust was perfectly cooked and the toppings blended perfectly together. After this, I just knew dinner was going to be amazing.

After hearing the list of nightly specials, Stuart and I decided to go with the braised short ribs tossed with fresh pasta while Erin and Wendi had truffle and cremini mushroom pasta and a fresh pizza with arugula, truffle oil and an egg. The short ribs with pasta was absolutely delicious – the ribs were cooked perfectly and were so tender that they seemed to melt into the fresh pasta. Of course I had to taste Erin’s pasta; the flavoring of the mushrooms melded so. well with the creaminess of the perfectly saucy pasta. If you’re wondering about the egg on the pizza, it’s delicious! Erin and I recently had this delicacy at Graffiato’s, Mike Isabella’s tappas restaurant in Chinatown – the egg is rich and adds the perfect flavoring and texture to the pizza. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a must try if you ever see it on a menu.

We were fortunate enough to try a new dessert that the chef was testing – it was something to the sorts of a chocolate peanut butter tort. The flavor was out of this world – perfectly rich and savory sweet – and was served with a small scoop of delicious vanilla ice cream. After looking at the menu, you’ll definitely want to save room for a dessert to share.

If you’re looking for a great new restaurant to try out in DC, or even if you’re looking for a new spin on some of your favorite Italian dishes, Posto is a must try. A lot of times I associate Italian meals with unbuttoning my pants and wanting to go to sleep – not at Posto, the portions here were absolutely perfect! I was a little worried since we were headed out after dinner, but none of us were lethargic or talking about being stuffed (and don’t worry, the prices were really good). Erin and I definitely added this to our favorite places in DC and will be going back sooner than later!

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Il Porto – Gaithersburg

Are you looking for a delicious Italian meal in a cozy restaurant with an amazing wait staff? If so, you don’t need to go any further than Il Porto in Gaithersburg (and Frederick). The restaurant is located in the Market shopping center off of Muddy Branch Road but please do not judge a book by its cover (I did this originally and I was completely wrong!). The restaurant can get pretty packed on Friday and Saturday nights so call ahead to see if there’s a wait and put your name on the reservation list. The owners just renovated the interior and took over the retail store next door to expand their footprint; that put in about 20 more tables and a great bar area.

Upon walking into the restaurant, you are greeted by a jovial Italian man (I’m not sure if it’s the owner or not) and quickly seated. As you look around the restaurant, you are likely to see someone you know; even if you don’t, it will quickly feel like home. The wait staff all seem to know the customers they are waiting on and some customers even walk around the restaurant saying hello to everyone they know; it’s such a great atmosphere. Homemade bread, freshly grated parmesan cheese, and rosemary olive oil are always brought over to the table and it’s hard not to start mixing up the dipping sauce before the waiter has even left the table. During our visit this past week, we asked Luis (the best waiter in the whole place, in my opinion) to warm the bread up a little bit. I expected the chef to put it in the microwave for a couple of seconds and return it to our table and I would have been fine with that, but we were delivered hot, toasted bread without any questions or signs of any ill thought.

The food here is great! In the past, we’ve had their Calamari, Chicken Parmesan, Eggplant Parmesan, Crispy Flounder, Chicken with Vodka Sauce and we always get the Greek salad. This time, we decided to get different entrées – we ordered the Chicken Doratti (thanks for the suggestion, Gayle) and Chicken Marsala. The Chicken Marsala was delicious and was served with a side of fettuccini noodles and red sauce; the marsala sauce didn’t have pieces of mushrooms like the sauce from many other places, but the favor was out of this world! The Chicken Doratti entrée is thin chicken breasts in a light butter, lemon and caper sauce with a side of pasta – this was absolutely amazing! Instead of the pasta as my side dish, I requested sautéed spinach and it was delivered perfectly, with no questions.

As I mentioned before, one of the entrées I often get is the whole Crispy Flounder. If you’ve never had a whole fish, this is the place to get it! The crispy exterior fresh flounder is served with an apricot sauce drizzled over the top and is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. It’s not on the menu everyday (and when it is, it goes fast) so definitely try it if you see it listed as a special.

Il Porto also has a restaurant in downtown Frederick that I hear is just as amazing as their Gaithersburg location; if you’re in Frederick and looking for an alternative to Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill, Mamma Lucia, or Venutti’s then you must try their location on Market Street. Il Porto is one of my favorite places to go for any type of occasion; we’ve been just for a quick dinner, a romantic night out, and even on Valentine’s Day last year – it just seems to be perfect anytime! Give it a try and let me know what you think!