4009 Chain Bridge Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30. Open for dinner Monday through Saturday 5:30 to 10.
Price Range: Very expensive
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Intimate
Prosciutto with cantaloupe; chestnut soup; arugula salad; eggplant and zucchini with Taleggio; “meat and potatoes” with lamb two ways and potato mille foglie; saddle and leg of rabbit; pheasant breast with sauerkraut and Asian pear; poached halibut in a
Cuisine: Northern Italian cooking that sometimes veers into the nonsensical—does the excellent beef carpaccio really need cubes of foie gras on top?—but often soars, especially the risottos and pastas.
Mood: This small cottage bears all the hallmarks of traditional romance: red roses on the tables, lilting opera, and street photos of Italy. There are white tablecloths and heavy silverware, but you’ll also feel comfortable in jeans.
Best for: Cozy dinners for two; anniversary or birthday celebrations (the waiters sing).
Best dishes: Chestnut soup with caramelized chestnuts; arugula salad; penne drizzled with butter and balsamic vinegar and hiding nubs of lobster; linguine with langoustines and shrimp; risotto with lobster and mushrooms; lacquered breast of pheasant with sauerkraut and Asian pear; saddle and leg of rabbit.
Insider tips: The lunch deal offers three courses for $18. It’s a simpler menu than you’ll find at night, but dinner dishes are available on request.
Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.