A few weeks ago, J turned the big 2-7. Every year, he tells me not to make a big deal out of his birthday, and every year, I ignore him. This year was no different. I threw him a little party at our place on Saturday, but on Friday (his actual birthday) I made plans to celebrate over an intimate dinner together. We love trying new-to-us restaurants on special occassions, and Filomena has been on J’s list since we moved to DC. I had been before, but it’s always fun to get to experience things again through his eyes.
Filomena is known for its amazing Italian food, and it’s clear as soon as you walk in that this place is the real deal. You’re greeted by smiling “pasta mamas” who are making the homemade pasta that’s about to be served.
The decor is fabulously gaudy, with christmas lights strung year-round and dining rooms brimming with antique props and paintings.
The true star of the night, fittingly, is always the food. We started with the arancini, perfect little bundles of rice, cheese and ragu deep fried and served with spicy marinara sauce.
I had the lasagna – and by had, I mean I took 2 bites and promptly asked for a doggie bag because just two bites of any plate at Filomena is as rich and filling as an entire meal, in the best possible way.
The birthday boy had the ravioli and meatballs, and even though he managed at least 5 bites before following my lead, he left just as pleasantly stuffed.
Just when you think you couldn’t possibly eat or drink another thing, your waiter appears with overflowing decanters of amaretto and sambuca with espresso beans. which are left on the table to be enjoyed for as long as you feel like staying. We both stumbled out the door with the lingering flavor of licorice and the distinct satisfaction that only a birthday meal can bring.