“A modern Italian place to meet” is Posto‘s motto, and indeed its Logan Circle neighborhood has been eagerly waiting to meet it. The newest venture from executive chef Massimo Fabbri, of downtown’s lauded Tosca, it replaces Viridian next to Studio Theatre and has already escalated in popularity, evident by the full dining room on a freezing Monday night.
It’s a relief to find that Posto has warmed-up the walls of a previously minimal and rather chilly atmosphere from Viridian’s days. The decor might strike some as more Napa than Roma, with columns wrapped in glowing natural wood, but the large light installation murals of grapevines and various Italian scenes like Venice’s Campanile set the scene. Somehow these oversized murals, dancing the line between ironic and tacky, end up being rather joyous. And though many have commented on the decibel level, I found that though it was packed, our table of four could still carry on bantering without much problem.
For my first course I tried the Pesce Spada - swordfish carpaccio with tomatoes, capers and olives. I was surprised to have it come out with a heap of frisee on top (not so much a fan of twiggyness in food), but it matched well with the fish, which was delicate and flavorful. A friend pronounced the Granchio – lump crabmeat with peppers – “very yummy” – but another’s Insalata del Posto - arugula salad with fennel – was deemed “overdressed” (then again, he is a very picky German).
I’d heard pasta was the standout here, made in house by chef de cuisine Matteo Venini, and I was not disappointed. Continue reading