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Apr 20, 2009 02:10 PM

Potenza - authentic Italian in DC?

My husband and I will be celebrating our first anniversary in a couple of weeks, and want to dine at a restaurant that reminds us of our honeymoon in Italy. Has anyone tried Potenza, the new Italian restaurant on H Street downtown? I haven't been able to find many reviews...

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  1. Obelisk, whose chef was nominated for a James Beard Mid Atlantic award this year, feels and tastes like a 32 seat townhouse in, say, Padua. Last Saturday night the burrata that they had flown in from Puglia was incredible! The menu changes every night but is $75 prix fixe for what amounts to about 9 courses including 5 antipasto of about two to three bites each. 2003 tre biccheri Tenuta Sant Antonio Valpolicella is a bargain at $60 on a fairly priced wine list. Their amarone was $90. In Bassano en Grappa it was E 65 (US $88.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joe H

      Enthusiastic 2nd for Obelisk! My husband and I always celebrate our wedding anniversary at Obelisk. No other Italian restaurant in DC comes close to the quality of the experience at Obelisk. I'd call immediately, as it is a very small restaurant and books up fast.

    2. Haven't been to Potenza yet but we have reservations to try it next Friday night. Yelpers seem to like it, however, so you might want to scoot over there for enthusiatic reviews.

      However - I have to second the voices singing Obelisk's praises - its my most favorite restaurant in DC for all sorts of reasons (food, ambiance, food, service, food...) and a wonderful place to celebrate a special occasion. Best to arrive hungry, though - the food just keeps coming!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: nycreba

        DCist reviewed Potenza today:

        I want to stop by their bakery some time soon and bring some of their bread home.

      2. had a great experience at potenza. the rigatoni/sunday gravy and the rabbit/truffle tortellini mentioned in dcist's review happen to be the 2 main courses we ordered, they are both excellent and we'd order them again. didn't go for the seafood or meat entrees, definitely ate too much bread and salumi, won't make that mistake next time. the pastas, except the orecchiette, are all house-made. starters we ordered were octupus and veal carpaccio, both ok, won't order again. definitely get the semi-freddo for dessert, panna cotta wasn't bad but i wouldn't order it again. grape gelato has intense flavor. did a great job creating a well-balanced vibe. nice thought to add a few raised bar seats looking into the kitchen for solo diners. hanging out at the bar with a beer and salumi before being seated is definitely a good call. looking forward to going back.