By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano
Centreville | Italian | $$
“I’ll have the penne alla vodka.” It was a statement, not a question. This dish isn’t on the menu at Ciao Osteria, a homey Italian-American restaurant that commands lines on the weekends in its spot in a Centreville strip mall.
The server wrote down the order, no question. Ciao Osteria is a place of comfort, with standards from the red-sauce-joint canon (on menu or off), and also expertly charring Neapolitan-style pies. The toppings—mozzarella, prosciutto de Parma, arugula—are intentionally sparse, better to let the chewy crust have its moment.
Follow the path most followed and order the boozy, rich, creamy, can’t-go-wrong tiramisu for dessert. // 14115 St. Germain Drive, Centreville