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Casa Nonna Closes in Dupont

by Prince Of Petworth May 24, 2012 at 10:30 am 53 Comments

1250 Connecticut Ave, NW

@tomsietsema tweeted the news yesterday:

“Bummer news: @CasaNonna closes tonight. Owner thanks chef but says, “we did not have response we had hoped for” in DC.”

Casa Nonna opened in Sept. 2010 in the former California Pizza Kitchen at 1250 Connecticut Ave, NW. Will anyone miss Casa Nonna?

It’s a pretty prime space so it’ll be interesting to see who takes over the space.

  • Anonymous

    I think that location stinks.

    • Yep, Dupont is over.

      • Denizen of Tenallytown

        Definitely. Shaw is where it’s at today, baby!

        • Anonymous

          You guys are hilarious.

        • Anonymous

          Dupont is the most livable, walkable, most convenient neighborhood in the District. The rent is high for a reason.

          • Anonymous

            There are other neighborhoods that are equally livable, walkable and convenient. In fact, some other neighborhoods are more centrally-located (i.e, Logan) than Dupont. This doesn’t take away from Dupont’s niceness, but to say that it is the neighborhood that is most livable, walkable and convenient is not accurate.

          • Anonymous

            Metro, metro, metro. Logan is awesome, I agree, but it is far from the metro and the only close stations are all Green/Yellow lines. Logan is also very residential where Dupont has more options for working close by. Definitely more walkable: http://www.walkscore.com/DC/Washington_D.C./Logan_Circle

          • Anonymous

            Depending upon where exactly you live, people tout Dupont as a neighborhood that is metro accessible. Unless you happen to live on top of the Dupont metro, many of the residences/apartments would indicate that a walk would be around 10 minutes, which would also put you equidistance to the Woodley Park metro (another stop on the red line). If you’re more ambitious, you could walk to other metro lines of different colors. Logan gives you access to Dupont, Shaw, U Street, McPherson (the greens being probably closest and Dupont and McPherson being about a 5 min more walk. Since Logan is more truly centrally and walkable than Dupont, especially to downtown, Chinatown and PQ. The point is both are nice neighborhoods that offer a lot. I thought it was hyperbole to say that Dupont is the MOST livable, walkable and convenient neighborhood in the city. I agree that you probably get more office workers on CT ave in the Dupont, which makes chains/fast foods appealing for lunchtime but even though Logan probably is more residential, better neighborhood for dinner and entertainment.

    • Anonymous

      Used to be great for California Pizza Kitchen. I miss that place. The biggest problem in going more frequently to CPK was horrible parking… I also miss Club 5 from around the corner. Maybe someone should start a chill club/bar like Club 5 in that spot…

      • anon

        5 chill??? It was a coke/ectasy den…i’d hardly call that chill…

  • T

    I still miss that CPK.

    • Patrick

      Amen to that! Wonder what will go here next.. Cheesecake Factory?

      • PCats

        I miss CPK too.

    • Gallery of Peanuts

      +1 again!

    • +100! CPK was a great place to take the kids and still be able to get a grown-up drink. It was great at lunch because I LOVE their roasted vegetable salad. Didn’t deal with parking because the 42 stopped right out front.

  • They had great food, you’re right, it was just something about the location. It never popped into my head when I was looking for food.

    • eb

      exactly, me too!

  • Anonymous

    it’s definitely the location. I enjoyed the food and the happy hours were pretty good too… it’s disappointing.

  • Otberbur

    I ate there twice. Both experiences were pleasant, but the food quality varied. A weekday lunch was first-rate, but a dinner was merely good. There are too many other Italian restaurants nearby at a similar price point (which was pretty expensive) with very good to spectacular food for a place that isn’t consistently excellent to be truly viable. I feel sorry for the people who lost their jobs, but that is unfortunately the nature of the fiercely competitive high-end restaurant trade.

  • Richard

    Oh no, this is sad news. The food was great and innovative. The interior decor was classy – the pizza bar in front of the flaming oven was impressive.

    Amazing that a restaurant like this couldn’t make it in DC – it always seemed busy, I wonder if the original owners fall-out was part of this?

  • SnarkCity

    Interesting to see the positive comments.. always looked pretty “meh” from the outside. Now I wish I had tried it anyway.

  • Anonymous

    It might have done better downtown or in PQ. The location for business lunches might have been alright but for dinner and weekends, not so much.

  • Appears that heavy Italian food is not the winning recipe it used to be.

    • JustMe

      Appears that heavy Italian food is not the winning recipe it used to be.

      I think that’s the thing– for those willing to spend a lot of money on a meal, other types of restaurants and cuisines are more attractive and in style than heavy Italian food.

  • NoLongerNew2CH

    It’s odd, Dupont should have all the elements for a thriving, evolving restaurant scene: lots of commercial spaces, tons of disposable income in the area, lots of folks interested in high-end cuisine, tons of cache, etc., and yet, it seems (other than the Monis restaurants, Komi and Little Sero), to be really stagnant / uninspired on the restaurant front. When I think of going out to a destination restaurant, Dupont almost never comes to mind, certainly nothing like the thriving 14th Street scene. And there are a ton of places that seem to have been there forever, but are just so-so. Seems like Logan, Penn Quarter, etc. attract the newer, more ambitious food destinations …

    • anon

      Agree. Pizzaria Paradiso is the only place I’ll eat a sit-down meal in Dupont. There are some good take-out/quick lunch spots, but why are all the restaurants there so mediocre?

    • Irving Streete

      Pesce, Mourayo and Eola all offer good-to-excellent cooking in nice surroundings, the first to at a (relatively) modest price.

      But, having worked in Dupont for years, the ration of good restaurants to forgettable joint is low. I blame tourists from the Hilton and uninspired suburban office drones for supporting mediocre establishments.

      • Love Mourayo! I was introduced to it by a Greek friend whose family owns a Greek restaurant in Chicago, so he knows from good Greek food!

    • Anonymous

      Dupont should have all the elements for a thriving, evolving restaurant scene…

      “Evolving” is a matter of opinion, but how can you state that restaurants aren’t “thriving” in Dupont? Rents are some of the highest in DC, yet there are dozens of restaurants that have been there for 10+ years and dozens more than have opened up in the last 5.

      14th St is “evolving” because it’s going from having only placed like Yum’s Chinese to actual restaurants.

  • Anonymous

    A new Chipotle or Chop’d?


  • angruck

    We went there when Casa Nonna first opened and loved it. Went about a month ago and the menu was really different but it was really great food! We thought it was a little pricey but the food was great. I will definitely miss this place 🙁

  • emmyindc

    I ate their a couple of times for lunch and also went for happy hour. It was good, but overpriced for what it was. It seemed to lack heart, which I suppose one should expect for that location.

    It’s too bad, cause they’re a real gap in restaurants in the neighborhood between the expensive (Morton’s, Equinox, BLT Steak) and quick (Nando’s, Shake Shack, food trucks). It would be nice if there were more sit-down places that had quality food but weren’t only for expense account dining.

  • Thor

    I’ve never been there maybe because I always associated that location with CPK’s bad pizza but I think they’re going out of business because a place that big would be expensive to rent: 20-25 thousand a month?

  • Anonymous

    they had an awesome Friday happy hour with free food

  • Any kind of seafood place and I’d be there… maybe the BlackSalt ownership group can take a peek.

    • i feel like this is a great idea! the black salt group restaurants are always fantastic, and dupont could use a seafood-focused place. there’s already a lot of red meat options. but i do agree with other commenters that the behemoth, office-building look of the outside is something the next restaurant will have to work with.

    • The rent/overhead vs reward is not there anymore in Dupont. Property owners are still charging as if Dupont is still the only safe neighborhood in the city for people with money. It’s not 1991 anymore.

      • Denizen of Tenallytown

        Absolutely. Only a fool would open a place up in Dupont when there’s such potential in Shaw. It’s as safe as Dupont these days! Actually, Shaw is so over, too. All the people in the know are opening up in Langdon and Brentwood.

  • Anonymous

    yeah, this is a bummer. the food was really good, but the location was just terrible for anything other than workday lunches. it’s not even just the intersection where it’s at, but mostly that terrible building. its relationship with the street and how it looks from the outside was a real handicap.

    my only other complaint was that the manager was a little “slick” which was off-putting when thinking about someplace cool to eat.

  • PetworthRes

    I ate there once. Was totally looking forward to it, but then they were out of what I wanted to order. And my second choice, and my THIRD choice, too. Bleh.

  • Frank

    It was solid but a bit pricey for what it was (casual and inconsistent Italian food). I am a little sad but excited by the prospects of what could be in that space — it’s a great location. I too miss the CPK, we were regulars.

  • KnappyKlumps

    The place was expensive, but the food was good. A friend who worked there a few months ago said that they almost closed due to the cost of the lease, but an 11th hour decision was made and they stayed. looks like things fell through. Knowing that the lease price is ridiculously expensive, I’ll be surprised if anything moves in.

  • Ate there once back in January or February – had the unique experience of the server bringing our check shortly after we’d started eating dessert with the assurance “no rush, whenever you’re ready” and when the restaurant was half-empty. Food was pretty good, those flatbread things were awesome, but couldn’t bring myself to go back.

    • EB

      I agree with the sausage king of Chicago. I had a similar experience of being rushed out, and I found that the food was mediocre and overpriced. I will not miss it at all.

  • Anonymous

    Sad to see this place go. Chef Amy has a real talent in the kitchen. The food was rustic and tasty. The menu always offered something new- but he Stracci with short rib was always our favorite. A great place for larger parties of 5 or more, even after they changed from family style service.

    Sadly, the space was just too big. Future owners should consider splitting the space and re-doing the facade to make it more welcoming.

    Let’s hope Chef Amy opens something equally delicious in the city soon.

  • Anonymous

    It must be the mediocore food. Despite everyone trashing the neighborhood, I think south dupont is one of the best spots in DC for a restaurant. Not only do you get a good lunch crowd, it’s #1 in happy hours, with ozio, rumors, lucky bar, and dirty martini near by, and the night life is hopping on the weekends with all the clubs. Plus, unlike H street or Logan Circle, the metro is there too. Yeah, it may not be as trendy bloomingdale, and it is pretty corporate, but it’s the heart of the city, and has been for decades. Hipsters, quit trashing Northwest.

    • Denizen of Tenallytown

      Replace “hipsters” with “self interested recent home purchasers looking for a quick ROI and the day when they don’t have to constantly look over their shoulders when walking in their respective neighborhoods”, then I agree.

      • tinywings

        Well what’s wrong with that?

        • Anonymous

          More power to them. But just because they bought a place in da hood doesn’t mean that Du Pont or anywhere west of the park is “over” or out of style.

  • ggdc

    Olive Garden should move into this space!

    • May you be force-fed a diet of nothing but Bojangles food for the next 6 months!

      • Is that a punishment or a reward?

        • Punishment, unless you enjoy/need the epic amount of grease that oozes out of everything they serve as a poor-man’s laxative. 😛


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