Editor’s Note: This restaurant closed in November 2017
Don’t arrive at Villa Mozart with expectations of chicken parm, penne vodka and tiramisu, unless the latter is deconstructed and reinterpreted as a chocolate tuile column filled with mascarpone and ladyfingers and a tableside drizzle of espresso sauce; this is not American-Italian cuisine. The chef, Andrea Pace, is a native of northern Italy, and as such, the panzarotti isn’t a pizza turnover but rather three fried puffs with a smattering of herbed ricotta and mozzarella. Smooth strands of marinated and grilled eggplant and equally smooth strips of speck fill the middle of the refined plate.
Dinner looked like clouds. Alternating between potatoes filled with rib meat and fava beans (imagine stuffed gnocchi) for a meaty-earthy bite are tufts of white microfoam made from Parmesan. This dish was ethereal, light and sophisticated, a reminder Italian is more than noodles sauced in red.
MISC: There’s always a weeknight prix fixe option here: three courses for $39.
Italian | $$$
4009 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax
*This post has been updated