Looking for fresh pasta made by cute old ladies and served in a kitschy atmosphere? Look no further than Filomena in Georgetown. Filomena is located in a basement on Wisconsin Avenue near M Street. It was too dark in there for us to take food pictures so you'll have to go and experience it for yourself.
Filomena's menu lists the names of all of the famous people that have dined there. Allegedly, Bill Clinton is a big fan. After trying his favorite pasta dish on a previous visit, we're fans too. On this trip we started off with the Insalatina Di Stagione: organic field greens, bleu cheese crumbles, and toasted pecans tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. It was a bit heavy on the dressing but delicious.
For my entree I ordered the cavatelli pasta special. Cavatelli are ricotta dumplings and I am in love with them. They are squishy, little pillows of wonderful. I know Filomena has lots of other great pasta dishes on the menu, but I can't get past the cavatelli. The special featured jumbo shrimp, pancetta, and cavatelli tossed in a creamy tomato sauce. The best part is that the portions are ridiculously large so I had two awesome lunches to take home!
B ordered the Festivale in Venezia (black fettucine in a brandy tomato sauce with shrimp, scallops, lobster and crab). After the first bite, we looked at each other and giggled. We adore fresh pasta, and Filomena does it as well as anywhere we've dined.
At the end of the meal, Filomena offers complimentary pours of Amaretto or Sambuca liquor. They are meant to aide digestion and warm you up on the inside. We didn't go near the Sambuca because it tastes like black licorice, but the Amaretto warmed my tummy. We passed on dessert because we were stuffed to the gills, but it wasn't easy because Filomena makes a large variety of desserts in house every day.
Second Thoughts From B
As you descend into the underground Italian heaven that is Filomena, you pass by a couple of angels. Maybe they are little, old Italian handmade pasta masters covered in flour, but they are angels to me. Any Italian restaurant worth its salt needs fresh pasta and no place features the difference between dry and fresh better than Filomena.
J and I have been here on several occasions. The menu is expansive but I've usually stuck with the thicker pastas so I can fully appreciate their wonderful textures. Each dish I've had is top notch, not to mention huge. When you look at the menu, the prices may scare you at first. Most past dishes are around $30. But to justify it in your mind think about the fact that you're essentially paying for 2-3 meals.
The sauces are all fresh and it shows. These are not one dimensional flavors gooped onto a pile of noodles. You'll also notice that the ingredients justify the prices. If it says shrimp, we're talking fat and juicy shrimp. Crab or lobster, same thing... no bits so small that you forget they're there. Instead, giant chunks everywhere.
Finally, I have to mention the decor. Usually, Filomena feels like a very traditional, yet over the top, stereotype of an old Italian upscale restaurant. But for Halloween, they go all out. It is covered in ghouls and goblins and anything else you associate with the holiday. And like everything else at Filomena, they do this bigger and better than anyone with literally thousands of professional quality props. We wish we could have taken a picture to do it justice (some can be found on their website here) but instead, consider this: the decorations require a disclaimer on the front door warning people that they might be scared to enter. This sums up Filomena to me; anything they do, they do bigger and better that anyone, and thank goodness (and those angels) that this includes their pasta.