San Lorenzo

Picture: Agnolotti di Ortica (stinging nettle, goat cheese agnolotti, asparagus, morel mushrooms, spring onion)

Last Updated:6/13/2020

Current Status:  San Lorenzo has been creative to keep the lights on.  Starting June 22 they will return to sit-down service, reservations on Resy.  The cute spot in Shaw is also doing take-out and delivery.  They have a few pantry items as well.  Delivery available through DoorDash and Caviar as well as its staff, with expanded delivery zone into Maryland on Mondays and VA on Wednesdays. You can even do a bulk order for a group at multiple locations and have a Zoom meal.  For ordering directly, there are tabs on the site, or call 202.588.8954 or email to place your order. If you reach  voicemail they will call you back ASAP.

Staff Relief Fund

Before Times Review:

Last visited: April 2019

The space is warm, bright, inviting, and sometimes loud.  From 9th Street you step into a well-conceived, if packed, narrow, storefront spot that stretches to the back.  Since opening in 2018, San Lorenzo has been bringing in the crowds.  The payoff is reasonably-priced (though far from cheap) Italian that can be stop-you-in-your-tracks good.

The idea for the place was the chef’s, Massimo Fabbri.  Fabbri helmed the kitchen at downtown dining palace Tosca for years.  Part of the allure is that you can now eat his food without having to bring your expense-account friend along.  A native of Tuscany, the name and nature of San Lorenzo draws from Fabbri’s roots.  The pastas are insanely good but portioned so you can still fit in a main course if you come hungry.  The menu changes with the season, with several anchor dishes for stability.  Prosciutto-based ragu with fettuccine was decadent and sublime, requiring discipline not to scoop it up in a few giant bites.  The calamari is a standout among the antipasti, as is the signature stuffed squash blossom.  There are frequent nightly specials that often lead to goodness.

The wine list is Tuscan heavy but includes many decently-priced bottles.  Even the high-end ones don’t appear to be marked up to typical levels. Many veterans of the local hospitality world make up the staff, and the professionalism shows.  It is still a neighborhood place, but they understand the menu and the list. Along with the kitchen they seemed to have settled in.

It may be hard to snag a reservation, and even the bar is often filled end to end.  I suggest the patience required to get in, it will be rewarded.  It is a great neighborhood spot that is worth making a trip across town for.

Other Guidance:  The atmosphere is nice neighborhood.  Jeans are common and ties are not.  GF, V can pick around the menu.

Rating: Worth Paying for Cab
Cuisine: Italian
Neighborhood: Shaw
Address: 1316 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Reservations: Resy

Other Critics/Voices:

Washington Post:  2.0 (a head-scratcher from Tom)

Washingtonian: #56 in 2020; #92 in 2019.