So, locals will tell you that D.C. will never be known for Italian food in the way that New York City or Chicago is. That is, with one exception…Filomena in historic Georgetown. This another place that is very popular with D.C. residents and neighboring cities, and once you try some of their made-from-scratch, passed-down family favorites…you’ll completely understand why.
Filomena is located in the heart of Georgetown, and vastly bustling subset of D.C. that feels like a cross between the West Village in NYC, New Orleans and San Francisco. Shop after shop of top notch stores, from clothing to food to great bars…it’s awesome. A word of warning: don’t drive – you’ll never find a parking spot. Hop in a cab and make your way over. Cabs are easy to catch in and around town.
You enter the front door, and immediately see a woman, or women, (dressed in old Italian-style clothing) making fresh pasta by hand. This particular evening, she was making fresh gnocchi.
You make your way down the highly adorned stair case, and end up in the main foyer of the restaurant. Filomena is the creation of JoAnna Filomena, whose mother was the inspiration for the overall experience patrons receive when they dine at Mother Filomena’s…or, just Filomena.
The entire restaurant is decorated to the hilt for every major holiday. We were there the weekend before Easter, and you simply cannot believe the decorations, ranging from giant ornate bunnies pulling huge wagons full of fancy eggs to Italian-esque statues adorned with rabbit ears and Easter eggs. It may sound whacky, but it works. It is a very unique, but fun and inviting ambiance.
But let’s get to the main event…the food. Wow, oh wow. The minute you bite into the food…you can feel the made-from-scratch Italian love that is put into every dish. We started with a Mozzarella in Carrozza , which is a super creamy mozzarella, breaded and lightly fried and drizzled with an amazing creamy, cheese sauce. Served with their signature spicy marinara sauce. To die for.
We also were served Aranchi, which are tender rice balls made of Arborio rice, filled with fresh Bolognese sauce, cheese and tiny peas…lightly fried. Ridiculous.
For entrees, we ranged from a special seafood risotto with lobster, shrimp, calamari, scallops and more, to manicotti, gnocchi, meatballs and ravioli. We were in the mood for classic Italian. Oh. My. God.
And then finally, even though we were stuffed to the gills, we decided to try the dessert. Our reservation was at 4:30pm (it was all we could get when reserving a week prior)…and we kept noticing these amazing desserts parade by us to the front of the restaurant. Our waiter, Allasandro, said that they were made fresh that day in their on-site bakery, and would all be gone by the end of the evening. Well, we had no choice…we had to order something! So, we had a triple layered vanilla cannoli, a caramel cream stuffed chocolate éclair, and a cookie and cream mouse cake. Um…there are no words.
The meal was then capped off by a complimentary offering a large pitcher of Sambuca and Amoretto. All intended to make you feel as special as Mother Filomena would have made you feel in her own home in Italy.
An absolute dining pleasure we had. Spend a day in Georgetown shopping. Then head over to Filomena’s for an Italian feast you won’t soon forget.
Reservations are strongly encouraged.Filomena 1063 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20007 202. 338.8800