Today was my 27th birthday, and Chris took me to an amazing birthday dinner at Sfoglina in the Van Ness neighborhood. Since I moved to DC though in 2015, we have a tradition of going to a new restaurant every year for my birthday. Last year, it was our first time dining at Q by Peter Chang.
Sfoglina is a restaurant that specializes in handmade Italian pastas. The aesthetic was a little bit unexpected. In a city full of old buildings and history, Sfoglina appears as this quaint, gardenesque restaurant. The inside is modern and chic with subtle hints of a classic vibe.
We started out with cocktails. Chris ordered the Aged Negroni (gin, Campari, sweet vermouth) and I ordered the Fabio Venetian Spritzer (Aperol, prosecco, yuzu). Both drinks were spectacular. I found mine to be particularly refreshing.
For entrees, we ordered the squid ink linguine with lobster and the pappardelle noodles with lamb ragu. These were the two dishes we wanted to try most, of course with the realization that we’d be sharing a little bit.
The pappardelle was delectable. The handmade pasta was a work of art with perfect thickness and texture. However, what really made this dish was the lamb ragu. Chris even said that it was the best ragu he has had since Bologna. I have never had food in Bologna, but that ragu was something to admire. I could tell that that meat had been braising for a long time due to the depth of flavor that had developed. This was hands down the best pasta I have had in a long time.
The squid ink pasta came out as a surprisingly colorful dish. This was my first time trying squid ink pasta, and I am officially a fan. The pasta was cooked perfectly, and so was the lobster. The lobster meat was juicy, tender, luscious.
Since it was my birthday, we finished our meal by sharing a piece of cake: chocolate piemontese cake. After all, you have to have some cake on your birthday. The cake was rich in chocolate flavor with a smooth and thick ganache. My favorite part was definitely the hazelnut crunch in the bottom layer. I haven’t had chocolate cake that good in a long time.
I don’t have anything negative to say about the food. The only complaint we both had was regarding the service. It felt incredibly rushed, and that pace didn’t fit in with the theme of the restaurant. For a restaurant making handmade Italian pastas, it would have been nice to experience a bit of the pacing of Italy and have been able to take our time and enjoy the experience more. Everything happened so quickly that it was almost overwhelming. It felt like a sprint instead of a gentle jog. That did detract from our dining experience. Other than that, I really enjoyed the meal and would consider going back.
*This post reflects my honest views. I did not receive any compensation or other incentives to post this review.
Sfloglina Van Ness
4445 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
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