Capitol Hill keeps giving me good reasons to leave my Northwest haven and head crosstown and when I heard about Locanda I decided it was time for me to once again risk getting lost (which always seems to happen when I drive into Capitol Hill) and make another trip to Southeast. You see, the search for great Italian food in the DC area is my holy grail quest.
Cost – $$$
Service – A-
Our server was knowledgeable about the menu, friendly and down-to-earth. He came over with an appropriate frequency and after the meal when I (jokingly) asked him if they could extract the marrow from the bones and put it in a doggy bag he honestly started contemplating how they would make this feat happen (before I admitted to him that I was not actually interested in this feat happening).
Food – B
Although the food certainly wasn’t a disappointment, the grail quest unfortunately, shall continue for there was nothing really that special about the cuisine at Locanda. The scialatielli was the only thing that impressed but I was disappointed by the chianti-braised lamb shank. Further, the wine seemed marked-up a bit too much, creating a final tab that didn’t seem to quite match-up to the culinary experience.
Decor – A-
An optimist would refer to the decor as inspired by Philippe Starck while a pessimist would say the Locanda proprietors spent a quick afternoon on Ikea.com to furnish the space. I’d say the truth probably leans more towards the former than the latter (hence the grade). It offers a modern feel that I think Capitol Hill needs more of.
Feel – C
I had a great time but mostly because of the company and the additional dimension offered by the waitstaff. For the spend, it was probably not worthwhile and there are a number of other options where I feel like I’d get more for my spend. Furthermore, the clientele definitely seemed to skew a bit more on the mature side when we were there, which I’m not opposed to but sort of offset the modern aesthetic of the venue. Overall, I liked what Locanda was trying to do but felt like the execution needs some improvement before I would return.
Locanda is located at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue. They can be reached at (202) 547-0002.