Word of Mouth: Argia’s

From Kliman Online’s “Word of Mouth”

Argia's Restaurant (124 N Washington St., Falls Church; 703-534-1033) is the kind of place you wish the area were thick with—an unpretentious, family-style restaurant where you can pop in looking disheveled after a long, sweaty day of shopping and settle in for a meal of homey, simple Italian cooking.  

So why am I unable to work up any excitement for it? A salad of frutti di mare was bountiful, but the seafood tasted dull. I had settled on ordering the gazpacho, until a server retreated to the kitchen and returned with the news that it had been made two days earlier. "Sometimes, that's good," he said. "It gives the flavors time to come together."
I liked that the spaghetti in the spaghetti and meatballs is homemade, and the noodle did have a nice firmness and resilience, but the marinara was flat and the meatballs were leaden (a function of too much meat and too little breadcrumb). Spaghetti and meatballs is, as any of the staff will tell you, one of the two most popular dishes on the menu; the other is the lasagna. It's hard to see why, if the version I ate not long ago was any indication. It was overbaked, for one thing, and was made with more meat and cheese than noodle. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I would much rather eat a microwaved lasagna from Michael Angelo's—a wonderful line of Italian frozen dinners, available at Whole Foods. 

-August 12, 2008