Rione XIII opened quite some time ago but my first visit was last week. I think it is my favorite Ethan Stowell restaurant. The food is great but that’s true of all of his places. What makes Rione XIII my favorite is the feel of the place. Exposed brick walls, high ceilings and interior windows (repurposed from the original exterior windows) combine for a relaxing, comfortable, welcoming room.
What’s odd is that you could describe most of Ethan’s other locations with the same or similar words. In fact, the layout of Rione XIII is the same as Bar Cotto, although on a bit larger scale. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that gives Rione XIII that extra bit of warmth. I think it’s something to do with the light.
As always, the menu is full of inspired food – similar to things you know, yet presented with a twist of some sort that elevates and deliciously surprises you. Happy hour is a bargain with several pastas and pizzas offered at greatly reduced prices. On a recent visit we tried two pastas and one pizza and I’d be more than happy to have all of them again. Pastas are made in-house and have a luscious, silky, toothy bite. Pizzas are shaped flatbread style and have perfect, crispy crusts.
While there is plenty on the menu to satisfy the meat-eater, there are also enough options to keep vegetarians satisfied.
401 15th Ave E