Etto in Logan Circle could have easily gotten lost among the dozens of new restaurants opening in the area this summer. But with the owners of local favorites 2 Amys and the Standard behind it, anticipation and expectations have been high.
For the most part, expectations have been met. And although the menu is heavy on meats and seafood, there are just enough inviting salads and pizzas, especially among the seasonal options, for a couple of vegetarians to enjoy a varied dinner.
Our favorite item of the night was probably kale salad with marcona almonds and parmesan. Versions of this salad appear from coast to coast but this one had an especially addictive balance of oil, salt, and greens.
Another seasonal dish of beets and slices of tangy aged goat cheese hit all the right notes as well, especially atop a piece of fresh bread that would make both Amys proud.
Saffron cauliflower tipped a bit too far in the fat direction without enough flavor, so we might go with celery salad or ember-grilled eggplant next time.
Fresh chanterelle with herbs and parmesan topped the pizza of the night. I was skeptical – delicate, buttery chanterelles are easy to overwhelm – but here their flavor shined through a mellow, smooth tomato sauce and restrained amount of cheese. The crust, made with whole grains milled on site and cooked at a higher temperature than at 2 Amys, was chewy while retaining crunch.
While we skipped over a candy plate, chocolate salami (?) and something called Miss Frascati (??) for some comfort sweets at Ted’s Bulletin* across the street, I’m planning to come back for wine and dessert one night soon. Or maybe dinner too, since the often-changing seasonal dishes seem to be the best bets on the menu and Fall with all its squashy splendor is just around the corner.
1541 14th Street NW (at Q)
*Side note: Ted’s PB&J shake. Do it.