Restaurant Review: Pasta Mia

Posted on October 31, 2008. Filed under: Attempts at Cooking, Everyday Me | Tags: , , , |

There is a lot of hype about this restaurant that is positive. But other websites like yelp.com feature reviews that bash this restaurant for their food, service and wait-times. I decided that it was about time I got out and experienced a true ‘city’ meal at a real ‘local’ restaurant, I’m a local now so I can do this!

It was my Mom’s birthday (Happy Birthday!!) so we got together a ‘party’ of 5. It was great. We were all excited to try this place out. While I was excited to try it, I was also nervous banking off of the terrible reviews some people leave of this restaurant. I’m not sure if they just went on a bad evening or had different expectations but I loved it and can not wait to go back. Let me break down for you the ‘rules’ for Pasta Mia, which will set up your first and general expectations for your evening:

Arrival time is essential. If you are even there 5 minutes too late you will not be seated for quite some time. Be sure to arrive ‘on time’. Pasta Mia doesn’t actually open up for dinner or seating until 6:30pm but be ready! There is a Starbucks across the street, so if you really want to be sneaky you can go to Starbucks, hawk the door from the window and as soon as one person lines up you run, RUN, out of Starbucks, through the busy intersection and get yourself on that line, because people flock here! Your spot on line can make or break your evening, it’s that simple.

Now that you’re on the line waiting, get comfortable; Bring a friend, or a book, or chat on your phone to occupy yourself while you wait. Be sure that the entire group of people you want to eat with is there – because if they aren’t with you when they are ready to seat you, you are eating alone! They will not wait for others in your group to show up, so be prepared. Depending on the size of the parties that are also in line only a handful actually get to make it in to eat at 6:30. On the night I went there were only 10 parties that made it inside,the line was down the block that night. Supply and demand is huge.

2001-05-22 - Washington, DC - Pasta Mia by bewarenerd.

This quaint treasure is run by a small Italian family – the Mother/Wife is likened to the Soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame. She is serious and she knows she has a good product, additionally – she makes the rules and you have to play by them, that’s how this restaurant works. If she comes to your table to take your order – be ready to go! Otherwise you could wait another 30 minutes to put an order in. And don’t expect any special orders.

There is only 1 chef in the kitchen so be prepared to wait. Order a salad or other appetizer to fill up the time and be sure that you are with exciting people who can carry a conversation. The food is worth the wait. If you want sneak a peak at the amazing kitchen – sneak down to the bathroom. You will be in awe of the magic this man creates in a kitchen that small. They do give you bread and oil on the table to munch on while you wait.

The food is wonderful and worth the wait. It is good homemade pasta – you can taste the quality of it! While I was waiting in line we saw the groceries get delivered and brought it fresh for that evening’s meals. Just amazing at how this family feeds ‘the big family’ in their small restaurant. If you want to get on the Wife’s good side as she combs through the restaurant inspecting you eating your food, compliment the food, tell her how great it is, and you will see the faint cracks of a smile on her face. She has plenty of time to walk through and watch everyone eating – they feed you about 3lbs of pasta (maybe a slight exaggeration). You will definitely have leftovers though regardless of what you order here.

And of course you MUST have a bit of room in your stomach for dessert. They only serve espresso or cappuccino and the 2 dessert choices are tiramisu and tartuffo (Pardon my spelling it is most likely very far off). Both are amazing. I love a good piece of Tira Misu and boy did they hit it on the money.

As you can tell my evening here was great. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the bad reviewers may have just hit it on a bad evening or didn’t expect what I laid out above. You have to anticipate the wait, the long lines, etc in order to enjoy the delicious food. It was a great meal and very reasonably priced (Entrees are about $15 – $20 each). Be sure that you have cash with you! This place ONLY ACCEPTS CASH. For your convenience there is a Wachovia across the street. Pasta Mia is truly a gem in downtown Adams Morgan. I really can not wait to go back for seconds!

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