Jump to content

Authentic and/or Great Italian in NoVA


DanCole42
 Share

Recommended Posts

My wife and I are looking to do a date night on Friday. We're want Italian that's either good and authentic or just great. We don't want to head inside the Beltway, or into any Friday night traffic clusterfucks like Tyson's Corner.

Any ideas?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never been there, but what about Girasole in The Plains, VA?

So I went to their website, and at first I was like... OMG... this is PERFECT. I've been looking for a place like this! The space and property looks gorgeous. The chef is actually from Italy. They wanted a place that reminded them of Tuscany. Lots of Virginia wines. Local ingredients.

And then I got to the menu... fried mozzarella? Fried calamari? Veal scalloppini? Veal picatta? This is the kind of lowest common denominator pseudo-Italian I can get at Tony's in Fair Lakes.

Am I missing something, here?

It's like going to Frontera Grill expecting mole and chicharrones de queso and instead getting a Taco Bell meximelt...

I'm very confused. B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and I are looking to do a date night on Friday. We're want Italian that's either good and authentic or just great. We don't want to head inside the Beltway, or into any Friday night traffic clusterfucks like Tyson's Corner.

Any ideas?

It's hard enough to find this in the city...And as to your complaints about the "Italian" menu, it is unfortunately what folks think of when they want Italian.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Villa Mozart in the heart of Fairfax City will make your dream come true. Really refined, very well-executed Italian cuisine, suave and gracious service, pleasant dining room. Get the carpaccio to start; you'll thank me. You can see their menu on their website (you might want to turn the volume down before you click). This is one of my very favorite restaurants in the area. You may still get a Friday reservation.

ETA: Bonaroti isn't a bad place, but it plays in an entirely different league.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if you called them and asked for real Italian food? Maybe?

Nope! It just seemed like an interesting place to try since I think we've driven by it a few times when out in the Plains/Middleburg area a few times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I went to their website, and at first I was like... OMG... this is PERFECT. I've been looking for a place like this! The space and property looks gorgeous. The chef is actually from Italy. They wanted a place that reminded them of Tuscany. Lots of Virginia wines. Local ingredients.

And then I got to the menu... fried mozzarella? Fried calamari? Veal scalloppini? Veal picatta? This is the kind of lowest common denominator pseudo-Italian I can get at Tony's in Fair Lakes.

Am I missing something, here?

It's like going to Frontera Grill expecting mole and chicharrones de queso and instead getting a Taco Bell meximelt...

I'm very confused. :mellow:

I'm curious about your dining habits. Have you been to the SBC in Herndon. And if so, what's your take on the place?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't been to Panino in Manassas, but I ran into Bill McKenney of the estimable Italian wine importers Michael Downey Selections, and he says that Downey sell quite a bit of wine to Panino and gave the food a ringing endorsement. As much of NoVA Italian is a wine list wasteland, that's a pretty ringing endorsement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried to walk-in here a few years back and was rebuffed, as they were booked despite being empty at 6:00. I told them I could be out by 7, but no dice.

Turns out they did know what they were doing, and that is running a fabulous, small scale fine dining restaurant.

I have eaten at Villa Mozart three times since, and all of them have been excellent. Go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haven't been....yet! Thanks, we will definitely try it.

I tried to walk-in here a few years back and was rebuffed, as they were booked despite being empty at 6:00. I told them I could be out by 7, but no dice.

Turns out they did know what they were doing, and that is running a fabulous, small scale fine dining restaurant.

I have eaten at Villa Mozart three times since, and all of them have been excellent. Go.

I've only been to Villa Mozart once (click), but that was enough for me to vault it to the top of Fairfax in the Dining Guide. Granted, not a very high vault.

I remember it as being somewhat expensive, filled with attorneys (it's fine dining right in the heart of Legalville), and quite good - not "blow you away" good, but Joe I'm pretty sure you'll like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never been there, but what about Girasole in The Plains, VA?

Not sure whether Girasole is authentic anything but we ate there once last year and enjoyed ourselves very much. We were coming back from a visit to Sky Meadows, took a detour hoping to find something to eat, drove past it, and then turned back because it looked lovely, and so it was.

We had no expectations whatsoever. Very much a thing of the moment, but what we experienced was appreciated. It was late summer, and the flowers in the garden were beautiful, and the sunlight was beautiful.

My sense is that, like so many restaurants out in the country, they try to sell cater to all palates and that means something that pretty much anybody would like, e.g., steak. But we found things we liked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the general wasteland of Reston, including the horrific Disney-esque Town Center, and extending to Herndon, there are only three restaurants I would voluntarily eat in -- El Manatial, PassionFish and Zeffirelli's. I can't say I've been all over the menu at Zeffirelli's, but I had one of the more sublime osso buco dishes I've ever had there.

All the way over in Old Town, there are the credible A La Lucia and Landini Brothers.

But in that vast expanse of northern Virginia between Zeffirelli's and Old Town, the Italian pickings are slim. I would have to put Villa Mozart up where Don put it.

Of course, if Maestro was still open, we would be having a different conversation....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the general wasteland of Reston, including the horrific Disney-esque Town Center, and extending to Herndon, there are only three restaurants I would voluntarily eat in -- El Manatial, PassionFish and Zeffirelli's. I can't say I've been all over the menu at Zeffirelli's, but I had one of the more sublime osso buco dishes I've ever had there.

All the way over in Old Town, there are the credible A La Lucia and Landini Brothers.

But in that vast expanse of northern Virginia between Zeffirelli's and Old Town, the Italian pickings are slim. I would have to put Villa Mozart up where Don put it.

Of course, if Maestro was still open, we would be having a different conversation....

I understand that the owners of Thai Luong have split up with one of them opening a new Thai restaurant elsewhere in Herndon. Still, prior to the split, Thai Luong was excellent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and I are looking to do a date night on Friday. We're want Italian that's either good and authentic or just great. We don't want to head inside the Beltway, or into any Friday night traffic clusterfucks like Tyson's Corner.

Any ideas?

Well, Dan, did you do your date night? Where did you go? What was it like? Were clusterfucks avoided?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure whether Girasole is authentic anything but we ate there once last year and enjoyed ourselves very much. We were coming back from a visit to Sky Meadows, took a detour hoping to find something to eat, drove past it, and then turned back because it looked lovely, and so it was.

We had no expectations whatsoever. Very much a thing of the moment, but what we experienced was appreciated. It was late summer, and the flowers in the garden were beautiful, and the sunlight was beautiful.

My sense is that, like so many restaurants out in the country, they try to sell cater to all palates and that means something that pretty much anybody would like, e.g., steak. But we found things we liked.

Thanks for the detailed response! It's good to know it would be a decent experience if we were in the neighborhood.

I understand that the owners of Thai Luong have split up with one of them opening a new Thai restaurant elsewhere in Herndon. Still, prior to the split, Thai Luong was excellent.

The brother and sister team, I believe, did split up. The brother is running a new Thai restaurant in Herndon called Thai Tada. However it is in the location of an old Thai Restaurant called Tarin Thai.

I agree prior to the separation, Thai Luong was excellent and comparable to Nava Thai or the other Wheaton restaurants. Now, I would say both are going thru some growing pains as quality cooks and servers were split into the two locations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...