Food

Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s Gorgeous New Italian Restaurant Is All About the Pastas

Take a look inside Sfoglina, now open in Van Ness.
Sfoglina from chef Fabio and Maria Trabocchi opens in Van Ness with plenty of pasta. Photography by Jeff Elkins

Chef Fabio and Maria Trabocchi built a reputation on ultra-luxe Italian with Fiola and Fiola Mare. Even their downtown trattoria, Casa Luca, is classy enough to host the Obamas. Now, the duo are venturing into new, supposedly more casual territory with their fourth DC restaurant, Sfoglina. The pasta-centric eatery just opened in Van Ness with an all-day menu and weekend brunch.

The dining room is meant to be casual-yet-stylish, with custom fabrics and bright banquettes.
The dining room is meant to be casual-yet-stylish, with custom fabrics and bright banquettes.
All pastas are made in-house, such as ricotta tortellini with almonds and lemon.
All pastas are made in-house, including ricotta tortellini with almonds and lemon.

Granted, casual for the Trabocchis isn’t exactly dressed-down. The space is full of bright custom fabrics and boasts a white marble bar for sipping $8 yuzu-prosecco spritzers during happy hour. Prices are lower than either Fiolas—entrees generally run $22 to $26—though the kitchen labor is no less intense.

Fabio drew inspiration from his father’s homemade wooden pasta table, and commissioned a custom version for rolling doughs; dried pastas are also made in-house with an extruder. Guests can pick between classics like ricotta tortellini with almonds and lemon zest, or seasonal pastas such as sepia noodles with crab and clams. Pastaterians can order any three ($60) to be shared family-style.

Find Italian cocktails at the bar, or pick from an extensive wine list.
Find Italian cocktails at the bar, or pick from an extensive wine list.
Pastas fall into two category: classic and seasonal, such as these beef agnolotti with black truffle.
Pastas fall into two category: classic and seasonal, such as these beef agnolotti with black truffle.The core menu runs from lunch to dinner, with additional salads midday, and egg dishes come brunch. Carb-conscious patrons will always find options, whether small plates of burrata and cured meats, or three “not pasta” entrees that feature a rotating meat, fish, and vegetarian option.

A few true splurges are also on tap—this wouldn’t be a Trabocchi restaurant without the option of Alba white truffles—though Fabio says the aim is to cater to a full spectrum of neighborhood customers. Families will find a special children’s menu, and the restaurant also sells fresh pastas and sauces for quick home cooking. Weekend grab-and-go options may be worth traveling for, no matter where you live—especially croissants filled with Nutella. 

Sfoglina. 4445 Connecticut Ave., NW (at Yuma St.); 202-450-1312. Open Monday, 3 to 10 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sfoglina is the fourth Italian restaurant in DC for chef Fabio Trabocchi.
Sfoglina is the fourth Italian restaurant in DC for chef Fabio Trabocchi.

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