August 1, 2013


The other night the hubs and I went out to dinner with a friend at a new restaurant over on H Street called Vendetta. There were a few reasons why we wanted to check it out, but the two big ones were (1) there is prosecco on tap, and (2) there are two bocce ball courts. Intrigued? You should be.

The restaurant has a mod vibe to it, with mid-century Italian posters framed neatly on the exposed brick walls and two Vespas hanging above the upstairs bar. It manages not to be kitschy with its decor, and it instead feels like a cool place to hang out. We sat at a table in the window and had open-air access to the sidewalk, which was perfect on a breezy summer evening.

Vendetta was fairly quiet on that Tuesday night, though it started to pick up a little bit as the night went on. They recently changed chefs, and while I can't comment on what the food was like with the previous guy, we were told that the new chef is much better. 

We started off with delicious bread to dip in olive oil and slather in red pepper butter. YUM. Too often with restaurants, this part of the meal is forgettable, but I appreciated that Vendetta didn't neglect it. It was our introduction to their food, and it made me excited to try out more. While our fried zucchini was good, it was the bread and oil that had me oohing and aahing.

However, I have to admit that I wasn't wowed by my gnocchi dish. I am very particular about my gnocchi, and while this pasta was tasty, and the vegetables were crisp and delicious, I wasn't a huge fan of the texture that comes from pan-frying gnocchi. I prefer it to be soft and melty, which this definitely wasn't. I'll chalk it up to different gnocchi interpretations. Not bad, but not what I wanted. No hard feelings, though.

The chocolate mousse, though.... wow. I could have eaten a bucket of this. It was sweet, soft, chocolatey happiness in a mug. So good. So so so so good. SO GOOD. I want to savor it all over again just thinking about it. Ahhh. 

I would let Vendetta settle into their new chef and identity, but overall I think it fits well into the H Street vibe and can do well in this neighborhood. They just started offering a Sunday night dinner special, have good happy hour deals, and even do half-price bottles of wine on Mondays. It's great! Some of the main dishes need a bit more of a wow factor, but I believe they can get there. At the very least, it is a great spot to sip some prosecco, share some chocolate mousse, and declare your superiority on the bocce ball court.

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