A chance sighting of famed actor Robert Duvall (we caught him on our visit last year, too!) isn’t the only compelling reason to visit this restaurant channeling a quaint Italian agriturismo. There’s also the abundance of herbs and flowers spilling out of the garden, the stone-studded patio and even some stonework inside, accented by plenty of wood and colorful paintings created by the chef’s brother. Chef-owner Lou Patierno successfully marries a roster of basics done right, like a juicy steak or a filet of branzino, with seasonal specials. Consider the housemade pistachio fettuccine piled high with artichoke hearts and more crushed pistachios, or the stuffed, battered and fried squash blossoms offered in warmer months. The fennel, orange and olive salad is a fresh and bright way to start a meal here, and tiramisu might seem like a pedantic way to end—but does that make it any less satisfying? Yet, if there’s an almond cake on the dessert tray, definitely add that to the list of the evening’s sweet endings.
Italian | $$$
4244 Loudoun Ave., The Plains