Its a passion-project of mine to eat at every Italian restaurant in the District. And I’m doing pretty good. Carbs are a siren call to me. You have bread? Pasta? I’m there. However, its taken me quite awhile to belly up to Sette Osteria’s bar. And man, I’m glad I did.
I went here with my college roommate while she was visiting, (She still lives in Dallas, where we attended SMU. Go Mustangs!) which was the perfect excuse to have a long, boozy lunch out on their patio. After all, we were reviewing this for you, dear reader. We had to go above and beyond.
So we did.
We first started with different cocktails while we looked over the menu. I went for the light and fresh Sette, and it was everything I hoped for. Not too sweet, and with a decent amount of citrus, the Sette was a nice drink to start off an outdoor lunch in the springtime.
My friend got the blu-jito. She seemed to enjoy it, but it wasn’t for me. I usually love mojitos but the blueberry made it a little too sour and acidic for my taste. But then again, I like to feel like I’m on a tropical island when I order a cocktail, so maybe I’m just a pansy.
Perhaps the only gripe I have with Sette Osteria is that the service was a little slow. Granted, my friend and I were set to have a lengthy lunch on my day off, but in total we were there for over 3 hours. We had 3 courses, so that math makes it about an hour and some change per course. The waitress we had was extremely nice, but it seemed she was the only one working. So on a Thursday with about seven full tables she was swamped. Like I said before, this was my first time there so I’m not sure if this is a common thing or if they were just short staffed, but I felt we were about to become permanently attached to our seats by the time we got our check.
Now, with the whining out of the way, onto the main attraction: the food. Overall I was very impressed. The food was fresh and had some great presentation, especially the salumi platter we had. Ususally the bread in an Italian resturant can be pretty bland, after all it’s an expected thing and many establishments tend to make it an afterthought. The bread at Sette Osteria was rull good. Not real good, it was rull good. The bread was the same dough used to make the pizzas, so it was flavorful with the right amount of crisp on the outside and light on the inside. Needless to say, we had about 4 baskets of it.
The salumi platter was something we ordered on a whim, and I’m sure glad we did. You can order specific cuts of meat and make your own platter, but instead we went with the house platter. Our waitress said it was a collection of their best-sellers, so we decided it was the best way to go.
And boy, was she right. All the meats were different but worked together, along with their accompaniments. For two, the appetizer was a perfect amount, so if you’re with a bigger group you might want to make your own platter because everything here came in 4’s. That’s perfect for a duo, but if you have an odd number or four or more people eating, the salumi platter can become slim pickin’s soon.
After the platter we had already been at the restaurant for about an hour and we decided to try the house white sangria. While I enjoyed the sette a lot, the sangria was the winner of the drinks. It was immensely drinkable, and not overly sweet or fruity like most sangrias out there. It was obvious this one was blended in-house, and not from a mix, which is appreciated.
About 10 minutes after getting our drinks, the main event arrived. We both opted for pasta dishes, because gluten, and didn’t look back.
One interesting thing Sette Osteria does is allow you to order either full or half portions all day. We have no self-control so we both got full portions, but its nice to have the option to make a heavy meal lighter.
My friend got the fettuccine alfredo and really enjoyed it. The noodles were homemade and thick, so they held up to the creamy sauce well. The sauce was about 85 percent parmesan, if I had to guess, so obviously that made it so much better. Needless to say, the whole portion was consumed without a doggy-bag needed after the fact.
I got what was essentially angel-hair pasta with a tomato basil sauce. The angel hair pasta wasn’t handmade, which was fine for me. I don’t think that added or subtracted from anything because the light angel hair was the perfect vehicle for the springy and fresh sauce. The tomatoes were very fresh, and I appreciated the bigger chunks of garlic and thick-cut basil.
I downed this plate of pasta in record time.
We were both pretty full after the main course, but we decided to be good public servants and solider on to the dessert course. At first we thought we’d split something, but after looking at the menu (tiramisu! gelato! affagatos!) we realized we were getting at least 2 desserts to “test” them out.
Yea, thinly veiled statement. We just couldn’t decide what to share so we decided to invoke the treat yo’ self mindset and go whole hog. And you know what? I’m still not sorry.
I got the tiramisu and I had no complaints. It was fluffy and sweet, with just the right amount of coffee flavor. It was a great tiramisu.
However, the real winner was the crème brûlée. Guys, this brûlée was next level. I’m not even team brûlée when it comes to most restaurants because they tend to be overdone and not that impressive. But this one was sweet custard from the gods. The crème brûlée had an orange flavor in the custard that really put it over the edge. When you come here GET THIS. You’ll thank me later.
In short, the Sette Osteria is a great place to hang out with your friends. I wouldn’t come here if I was ever in a rush, but if you have time to sit back and relax, I implore you to do so.