After a few of the cold evenings we’ve had, a few friends and I decided to hit Locanda Italian for some pasta, red wine, and good conversation.

  • Food:When you have 3 people coming from 3 different places around the city during rush hour, it makes it difficult to make it anywhere at the same time.  So while I was waiting for my other other dining companions, I sat at the bar with a glass of red.  The bartender was incredibly nice and super attentive (you’ll see why I’m giving her props later).  One of my friends came in and we decided to order their calamari.  Despite being incredibly heavy on the garlic powder, it was really good.  It was light (despite being fried) and came with two dipping sides of salsa verde and spicy anchovy aioli.  We decided we liked the aioli the best.  Then my last friend came and ordered the warm olives.  After looking at the menu, we were ready to order. I ordered the mushroom ravioli which was so light and full of mushroom goodness(and also was covered in a very light butter sauce); one friend ordered the pennette all’Arrabbiata (which was good and spicy); the other ordered maccheroncelli & cheese.  Now here’s where it gets interesting — she got the right food, but there was no pancetta with it.  So she had to ask for it on the side.  But when you look at the menu, it says it comes with pancetta.  What’s up with that?  Once she got her pancetta, it was excellent.  All three of us loved our entrees.  For dessert, we ordered the chocolate and hazelnut cake.  Let me tell you — I like bitter chocolate.  But this was bad.  There was absolutely no flavor
  • Service:Dismal.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I asked for more water…where was our server?  Too bad the bartender didn’t serve our table.  Oh, and you know how Sietsema said you get cookies with your bill?  Yeah, we didn’t get any.
  • Atmosphere: It’s a narrow restaurant with 3-4 floor to ceiling windows in the front.  The interior is light with orange (comfortable) chairs.  In the back, there’s a bar with about 10 chairs that make it a perfect spot to wait for your friends.
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I’d definitely go again to get their calamari and pasta.  It was really good, but if I see the same server as we had this last time, I’ll run in the direction of the door. 

Details:

  • Reservations recommended.
  • Hours: Tue-Thu 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 6-10 pm, Fri 11:00 am-2:30 pm, 6-11 pm, Sat 6-11 pm, Sun 11:30 am-3 pm
  • Address: 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003
  • Ph: 202-547-0002
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