Food

La Piazza

June 2005

Owner Carlo Pacarella comes to Alexandria from Italy by way of New Jersey, where he and his wife, Cinzia Ramundo, honed their skills. Their Alexandria venture is a small place that knows what it's about. Patrons order at a counter, sit down at one of the few tables, and await their food. The menu is short. With rare exceptions, everything's on the mark. As a result the restaurant has a loyal following among its neighbors and commuters from the Braddock Road Metro station.

Salads are a strength, whether the small house salad, spring mix and romaine lettuce in a first-rate vinaigrette, or one of the larger salads that can serve as the main course of a light luncheon. Pastas are king, and the list is long. At around $10 for dinner and $7 or $8 for lunch, they are good deals, especially considering that a house salad and good garlic bread are included. Along with simple spaghetti and meatballs or a more ambitious wild-mushroom ravioli, the menu includes such staples as veal and peppers or veal parmigiana for $10.50. Hot and cold subs are other good choices. Wines are $15 to $18 a bottle, $4 a glass.

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