Sunday, May 6, 2007

Friday at Panache and Sette Osteria

Friends met Friday to celebrate a birthday and relax and unwind a bit after the work week. Happy hour at Panache was certainly quite the scene with more than a few folks packed into most of the space. Luckily our birthday boy had thought ahead and reserved part of the bar for the group. Panache offers $4 house wines, cocktails and beers on tap until 7 p.m. I started with the Merlot which was too sweet and just didn't taste good. It was a fairly warm evening, and Panache's semi-open space in the bar area enabled us to enjoy it, so I opted to go white and ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio. It was crisp and light. My friends Amy and Chan and later my new friend Jackie arrived shortly and joined the crowd for a few more drinks, and we shared an order of Hummus which was actually quite tasty and served with large chunks of fresh tomato and nicely toasted flatbread. After a few hours, we decided to move onwards to our dinner destination. I was interested in trying the new Circa in Dupont, but the wait was over an hour and we were fairly hungry. We decided to go across the street to Sette Osteria, which as it turns out was a great choice as we didn't wait more than 30 minutes and were seated on their lovely patio. We settled in and ordered a bottle of Montepulciano Di Abruzzo which was fruity and light and perfect for the dishes on offer at Sette. To start, we ordered Guazzetto di Cozze e Vongole - mussels and clams stewed with white wine and touch of tomato; and Panzarotti - fried mini mozzarella calzone with marinara. I am not much for fried food generally, but did manage to have a taste of the cheese in the Panzarotti and it was creamy and almost sweet - very tasty. The mussels were large and delicious and the clams were on the small side but the dish was very nice all around thanks to a nice and tangy broth. We decided to share three larger plates for dinner - Rucola e Finocchio, or arugula and shaved fennel with Pecorino Campano and lemon vinaigrette; Quattro Stagioni pizza, which consists of a perfectly thin and crisp crust thanks to a high temperature wood-fired oven, along with tomato, fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, fresh artichokes and porchetta ham; and Pollo alla Griglia, or chicken breast pounded thin and grilled, with mixed field greens and tomatoes. The pizza was absolutely delicious, and the toppings really blended together as far as textures and flavors go. The salad is a standby for me and I almost always order it when at Sette, and we all enjoyed the crisp greens and fennel sliced extremely thin along with the tangy cheese and it was a nice refresher for the palate in between bites of the other dishes. The chicken was absolutely gorgeous with meat still fairly moist but a crust rich and dark brown and perfectly crispy. The beautiful yellow, red and orange tomatoes that adorned the top of the dish made for a beautiful presentation as well. We had a great meal and certainly enjoyed the lovely summer evening and the good company. A nice start to the weekend for sure.

1725 DeSales Street in NW DC

Sette Osteria
1666 Connecticut Avenue in NW DC

No comments: