Dishes We Love: Large Plates of Pasta.

[ 0 ] February 4, 2015 |

photo 1 (1)While heading to Noelia Italian Kitchen on a winter night, I lamented over my past excitement when I knew Italian food was in my future.  Thoughts of large plates, simple ingredients and fresh combinations of pasta and tomatoes made me a little sad because the District has frankly lost the very essence of the Italian dinner.  Noelia was a welcome surprise.  The number one thing I appreciated about Noelia’s entrees were the portions because they actually leave room for leftovers.  Unheard of around these parts with every other restaurant taking on the Spanish tapas way of life, Noelia’s portions did not disappoint.

I had always thought Italian food was meant to be shared by family and friends, which means portions that can feed the whole clan.  This vision is fleeting where most of the Italian restaurants serve small portions that are meant for “sharing” but by who??  Me and myself??  There is no way two people can share small plates and definitely not when Italian food is involved.  Thankfully Noelia got the memo on this and Italian flavor.  The dishes were simple and the usual suspects took over the menu:  Lasagna Bolognese, Pappardelle with Pesto and Spaghetti, just to name a few.

photo 2 (1)I settled in with a heaping pile of Fettucine Del Atlantico (*translation:  Smoked Salmon and Caviar over Fettucine in a Vodka Cream Sauce).  A little rich for my taste, I do not think I would order this on my next visit.  I would, however, order the Lasagna Bolognese, which is what my guest ordered and I had instant plate envy.  After tasting the thick layers of alternating cheese, sheets of pasta and ground beef, envy had turned to pure jealousy.

Noelia is just what the District needed:  affordable, classic Italian dishes, served in dinner size portions.  Located in Downtown DC’s Metro Center neighborhood, Noelia also makes it easy to get to the food fast.  No more hunting for small plates.

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Category: restaurant reviews, Reviews, Washington D.C.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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