A “Hidden” Gem Quietly Closed in Logan this Weekend

posto
1515 14th Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Do you know if Posto has shut its doors? It was closed tonight [Sunday] and there was what seemed to be a small makeshift memorial (votive candles, etc.) in front of it. There’s no info on any closing on the website or their voice mail, but according to Open Table, there are no reservations available through March. Any info?”

On Saturday a tipster also emailed:

“Apparently Posto on 14th is closing for good this weekend. Any news?!”

and

“the building had been sold and the restaurant was closing”

Sadly the owner confirmed in an email to me on Saturday:

“Yes today it’s our last shift.”

A bit overshadowed by the new guys – Posto opened in the former Viridian space (which was also an awesome spot) back in January 2009. Posto survived the months (years?) long construction where the sidewalk in front of their restaurant was covered by plywood. The food was great too. RIP. Hope someone keeps the tradition of great restaurants in this spot alive.

57 Comment

  • justinbc

    I wasn’t a fan, but I did regularly run into Wolf Blitzer leaving here.

  • It was a good place to take picky parents (which I dont have, but know folks who do and always took them there). I did like the outside seating. Hopefully we get some small plates!

    • Can someone explain all the parents comments on this thread? It just seemed like a good restaurant to me –not sure why it would appeal to older people or parents any more or less than any other place.

      • I respond to threads when I have something to add. Posto is a block from my house and it was a good mid-price option to eat dinner and never required reservations before 7p.m. Nothing more or less. It will be missed because they served good food and food that was enjoyed by my kids who are not the most adventurous but on the last visit my 11 y.o. did enjoy the rabbit ragu.

  • Definitely sad. I was far from a regular, but the times I went the food and service were excellent. Also, Borderstan reports that the building’s owners plan to turn it into an office.

  • I saw on another blog that Sotheby’s was supposed to be taking over the space. I really really hope that is not the case because I am really sick of real estate offices taking over spaces around 14th St. (First Logan Hardware on P St, then Pulp on 14th). Grrr

    • Just confirmed with someone who works at Sotheby’s that they are moving into the space.

      • Presumably this means that Sotheby’s is leaving its current location directly across the street. So now the question is what goes in there…

      • My experience with real estate is limited to HGTV, but I feel like the “high end” agents in NYC are often in crappy old cubes (i.e. from Selling NY). Why do they spend so much $$$$ on rent when really they shouldn’t be spending that much time in their offices??
        .
        Maybe DC real estate is just a different ball game I guess.

        • “High End” agencies in NYC are not in crappy spaces. They tend to be in hip busy areas of the city.

          • Good to know. The couple featured on Selling New York never seemed to be in that nice of spaces. But maybe those aren’t as high end as they lead to believe….

          • I Dont Get It

            You should watch “Million Dollar Listing Listing New York” (not that I do).

        • They spend plenty of time in their offices. Not in a regular 9-5 sort of way, but where do you think they look up listings, draw up contracts, meet with clients (ok, the latter can occur elsewhere, but you still need a brick and mortar spot people can walk into).

          • Like I said, I am basing this off watching HGTV, I’m no pro. And I was just guessing that some of the ones they show have work in little cubes cause they don’t spend a lot of time there. Maybe they were just cheap..

          • Well, they’re also in NYC where real estate is crazy expensive. I haven’t watched Selling New York, but I’d bet their offices are in pricey areas, and while the individual cube might not be super nice, they probably have a decent space for clients, conference room, etc.

        • I’m guessing there is a selection effect. Most high end agents will not agree to have their entire lives filmed.

  • Bummer. I loved the physical space, a spacious, relaxed place to eat, and the food was always solid and fairly-priced, even if not terribly creative. Nice wine list, too. I agree, a place that was always a hit with parents and a great back-up spot when hotter, newer more high-concept Logan Circle restaurants were overflowing with customers. I had a bunch of really nice meals here.

  • This was our go-to for quick dinners for years. They were excellent with kids as well. I’m glad we went recently. Crap.

  • Food and service were good the 2 times I went. I never returned though because it was one of the loudest restaurants I’ve ever been in. Neither of the times I was there were my guests able to hear everyone at the table.

    • Good point. I suppose we enjoyed it more because the times we went were off-hours like weekdays and early pre-show dinners, so we never experienced a rush. IIRC, the floor was entirely polished concrete and and all the walls and surfaces were hard and vertical, an acoustic nightmare.

    • Ditto. One of the loudest spaces in a town full of loud restaurant spaces. And nothing special about the food – straight down the middle Italian. Hard to complain, nothing to celebrate kind of fare.

  • The best memory I have of eating at Posto was one Saturday evening in March — Nancy Pelosi, who was House Speaker at the time, was dining at the restaurant with a small entourage in the back of the restaurant. As she and her guests were walking toward the door to leave, the entire restaurant bursted into spontaneous cheering and applause because we all knew that she was about to lead something historic the very next day. She looked truly shocked at the reception, but smiled and thanked everyone nonetheless before exiting the restaurant.

    A quintessential Washington moment, and one I won’t forget. (Yes, this sounds a lot like the Metro Diary section of the NYTimes…)

  • Rave: Great trip to Belize, blue hole crossed off the bucket list. Swam near a reef shark too.
    Rant: Feeling light headed.
    Rave 2: upcoming get together with friends from my fellowship program.

  • Never ate there, but once provided impromptu entertainment for the outdoor diners by tripping and falling flat on my face right in front of Posto. It was following a post-rugby drink-up and I had stopped to get Chinese take-out, so when I tripped, I was more concerned with protecting the bag with the food than protecting my face. My front tooth was chipped and my lip all cut up, but the food was safe!

  • Too many restaurants and many people want to eat at newer places for some reason -with a few stalwart exceptions. There aren’t enough quality food stores however for those who enjoy good products and cooking at home. Perhaps there could be a market street that has a butcher shop, fish monger, bakery, cheese, produce, pantry and such like in Europe where customers can buy exactly what restaurants use.

    Sure there is Union Market, but it is mostly a social food court and both the bread and produce offerings are laughable by any epicure’s standards.

    • The problem with the Logan Circle/U Street (and to an extent Shaw) neighborhood is a) there are too many and b) there’s not a lot of variety – in price. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the staples are more the “normal” restaurant. Even Le Diplomate is not hard to get a reservation at anymore (Saturday nights require more than a week in advance – but the rest of the week isn’t hard). I love a lot of the restaurants in the area, but also am not really interested in spending $30 every time I go to dinner (let alone if getting more than 1 drink).
      .
      I think the restaurant size is also a factor. Posto was a pretty big restaurant – or at least felt significantly larger than Ghibellina, Lupo Verde, etc.

      • YES to the price issue. I really wanted to go out to sit at a restaurant (not a fast casual place) for dinner last Friday in the area and there are literally no options that allow you to both: 1) be full, and 2) walk away for less than $20 per person without drinks. Ugh.

        • Either of you wanting to eat dinner at a restaurant that ins’t cast casual in DC in 2016 for under $30 is not realistic. Good food costs more than commodity crap and staff needs to be paid as well.
          Too much of the population has been desensitized to the actual cost of food and that stems from factory food devaluing what quality food used to and should be. Learn to cook and demand better ingredients from the market place and you can eat just as well at home for the same price without tax and tip.

          • You still can pull that off at a few places, but your options to do so are basically burgers and pizza. Maybe some pastas. Also, it’s much easier to do a $20 dinner in some of DC’s more distant neighborhoods than right downtown, which Logan has certainly become.

          • I don’t think it’s the food costs as much as it is the leases they have to pay. I moved out of Logan two months ago into a house just inside the beltway in Silver Spring. We enjoy eating at a number of terrific Thai, Indian, and Chinese places in Silver Spring/Wheaton/Rockville and if we don’t order too much alcohol, we can easily enjoy leisurely dinners for around $20 or less per person. Just because a restaurant is located along a trendy strip does not mean the quality of food is any better than someplace located in a less trendy place that charges less.

          • Your explanation fits New York, not DC.
            .
            People constantly compare DC to NY and how they want them to be on the same level. It’s just not going to ever be the same. DC does NOT have the population density to support 20 restaurants in 5 blocks up 14th Street and stretched out on U Street., with a majority of them being on the pricier end. We’ve seen restaurants close – and it’s supposed to be the “hippest” place in DC.
            .
            DC in general is just not a place where people regularly want to go eat $25 dinners on a Tuesday night. Are there people who can and do? Absolutely. Is it enough to sustain so many restaurants? No. Think about how many residents are interns, under 30, etc
            .
            And I’m not even saying I need some gourmet meal. Look at Stoney’s – they aren’t producing anything crazy and the demand has remained constant. There’s been a significant decline in demand at Le Diplomate over just a couple years (not saying they’re struggling but the revenue ain’t going up)..

        • You could have at Posto. How about (and I’m not speaking to quality) Commissary, Stoney’s, Logan Tavern, Baan Thai, B Too, Cork, Sette Osteria, Ted’s, Bar Pilar, Drafting Table, El Centro, Lalibela?
          You may not be able to get multi course at all these but you could have a satisfying meal at all of them for sub $20.

  • this place was far from a gem… arrivederci posto!

    • dcgator

      Ha, I tend to agree. I went once, but wasn’t floored. Although, I am sorry to hear the spot is being taken by a real estate office.

  • Well, it probably wasn’t as bad as i thought, but i loved Veridian, and when I went to Posto a few times in the early days, I was always disappointed that (to me) it wasn’t as good as Veridian, so I found myself never going back there. They did have what is, for that stretch of 14th, a pretty good run.

    • I still miss veridian. A unique menu before unique menus were a thing. Lots of fresh veggies in starring roles.

  • ate here once a few years ago because its super close to my apartment. did not like the food, ambiance, or service. i think it is much more appreciated by people who drive in from the suburbs to catch a show next door, but i could be wrong. i will not miss it, even if it gets replaced by offices

  • Like others who have already commented, it was one of my favorites go-to neighborhood places, and I am sad it closed. And I also took my parents here as it happens (though they are adventurous eaters, this was the only not-ridiculosuly loud and scene-y place on 14th Street… dad has some hearing loss and wouldn’t have lasted 5 seconds in Ghibellina).

  • Sheesh, people, 14th street is FULL of options… if you can’t find a decent meal on 14th street it says everything about you and nothing about the strip

    • 14th Street might be full of places, but none offered the neighborhood feel in a quasi-upscale environment. The place sure had its faults (mostly service), but it was charming and as good – if not better than the “hot new” italian places like Etto, Ghibellina, Lupo Verde, etc. Posto helped foster the 14th Street dining scene and it’s sad what happened to it.

      And for a SOTHEBY’S?! Ugh a group of tragic sharks pretending to sell a “luxury” lifestyle that Posto helped create. Hopefully those fools get the right shade of blue when they put up their new signage…

  • figby

    Ah — so sad!! One of the few places you could get into last-minute on 14th without a reservation, that was really quite good.

  • Sotheby’s bought the whole building. Their current space is really small…but worth mentioning that they have been in the neighborhood for many years, first on Q at 14th then in their current space. Many of the Logan office’s agents actually live in the neighborhood and they do a lot of fundraising for N Street Village, a neighborhood charity (and others throughout the city). FWIW, other than Long & Foster a few years back, all the other real estate shops on 14th have come to the party in the last year.

    • You obviously work for these guys. Regardless, this move emphasizes how overly paid your company is. I will be taking this display of money as a reason not to use you in the future.

    • There was a gap between the Q street location and their current 14th street space. They left the neighborhood and came back after gobbling up another local business (Hounshell). But thank you for the PR piece on your firm! I will be sure to look at WFP and other neighborhood friendly agents next time I am in the market. RIP Posto.

  • I was a regular and the food was always consistently good, and truly Italian. Prices kept creeping up, wine was expensive. We ate their last Tuesday and spend $140 with tip. Two entrees, shared salad and a bottle of wine. That is way too expensive for a weekday night out. Lupo is no different price wise, and the portions are even smaller.

  • I was a regular there. Almost always sat at the bar as they had great happy hour drinks (but better food off the menu.) Excellent service and lovely fresh pasta. For those who complained about the sound, yes, it USED to be one of the noisiest places around. But about five years ago, I think, they got rid of the metal ceiling and put foam crate-type material under the tables to absorb more sound. I’m so very sad!

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