Tag Archives: Georgetown

Filomena — Lunch on 1 May 2019



This week I took the newly-free shuttle from Dupont Circle to Georgetown for a return visit to an old favourite. Filomena has been around since 1983, and any restaurant that can still fill the house after 36 years must be doing something right. At Filomena, that means serving consistently good food and providing consistently good service at a consistently good price.

And the portions are huge. I have what I euphemistically call a large appetite, but I had to call for take-out containers for the two-thirds of the starter and the main. I couldn’t even think about touching the dessert until 12 hours later.



At Filomena, the Calamari Fritti is marinated in milk for 24 hours before being and quick-fried and served with spicy Marinara sauce.



According to the menu, when Bono, from U2, ate at Filomena, he liked the Rigatoni con Salsicce so much that he ordered seconds. While I’m sure that’s true, I can’t imagine how he—or anyone else—could do it. Perhaps he took a nap between servings.

The sausage is made in-house, with mushrooms, onions, Chianti, and herbs.

Chocolate Truffle

Chocolate Truffle

Insanely rich dessert. Chocolate cake between layers of chocolates-ganache.

So there it is, the opposite of trendy. And I hope they never change a thing.


Lunch at Filomena — 16 August 2018



This was my “Why haven’t I ever been here before?” lunch.

Filomena, in Georgetown near the canal, has been around for 35 years, but I’d somehow missed out on it until now. This is a classic Italian family restaurant, named for the matriarch of the founder’s family, and filled with furniture, antiques, and knick-knacks from her home.

The menu casually drops the names of some past patrons, like President Clinton, who favoured Linguini Cardinale (Lobster Meat in Creamy Cardinale Lobster Sauce over Linguini) and U2’s Bono, who ordered seconds of the Rigatoni con Salsicce (Whole Link Italian Sausage pieces with Mushrooms, Onions, Ground Italian Sausage, Chianti Wine, Herbs and Vine Ripe Sunday Sauce).

Polpetti Classico

Polpetti Classico

When I was in Venice last year, I had Polpetti—Italian meatballs—for lunch at Ca’ D’Oro, which were rumoured to be the best in the city.  According to the Michelin Guide, Ca’ D’Oro’s “meatballs are…legendary”.

The Polpetti Classico at Filomena were infinitely better.


I wasn’t able to take a useable picture of my main, Cannelloni Frutti di Mare. Here’s Filomena’s description of the dish:

“A Generous Amount of Fresh Shrimp, Creamy Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheeses blended and stuffed into the Pasta, Mamma’s rolled Black Pasta Sheets. Our original Seafood Lasagna recipe in the form of Cannelloni. Oven baked and covered with our famous Creamy Cardinale Lobster Sauce.”

A bit disappointing, after the great Polpetti.

Cookies n’ Cream Mousse Cake

Cookies n’ Cream Mousse Cake

This Cookies n’ Cream Mousse Cake gave me everything I wanted from a dessert. Not only was it delicious, it was, like everything at Filomena, generously proportioned, i.e. BIG. A welcome change from the three-bite desserts I’d had earlier in the week.

Will be back.

La Chaumière — Lunch on 14 August 2017

2017 Summer Restaurant Weeks: Week Two, Day One

Monday was the first day of The Big One: The official Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week, featuring more than 250 restaurants in the greater Washington area.

I took the shuttle from my place at Dupont Circle to La Chaumière, an old French charmer in the heart of Georgetown.

Moules Farcies à la Bourguignonne

Moules Farcies à la Bourguignonne

As you can see from the picture…. Nothing, really. If I hadn’t taken it myself, I wouldn’t have any idea what it is, either.

It’s a photo of Moules Farcies à la Bourguignonne, my starter at La Chaumière. The dish consisted of ~10 tiny, tiny mussels, baked in garlic butter with pesto. Savouring the sauce is always the best part of eating a serving of mussels, and I mopped up every bit of the garlic pesto sauce with the restaurant’s good bread.

Veal Marengo

Veal Marengo

Veal Marengo is a stew made with veal shoulder, tomatoes, and white wine.
For some reason, possibly because of the mound of rice in the center of the dish, it reminded me of New Orleans. Flavourful and filling.

Mousse au Chocolat

I ended the meal with a classic: Dark Chocolate Mousse, with a raspberry on top.

Old Man Shouts At Cloud

A Rant

I’m getting reactionary in my old age. There was a time when a restaurant dress code would have been enough to make me cross the place off my list. People should dress any way they wanted, I believed, and what the other patrons thought about it was irrelevant.

Now that dress codes are largely a thing of the past in all but the most upscale places, I’ve changed my mind.

The ambiance and cuisine at La Chaumière attract a refined, soft-spoken, well-dressed, rather elegant clientele, ranging from their early 20s up, but leaning toward the mature side. Shortly after I started my main, two women in shorts and sleeveless tops—basically beachwear—were seated at a nearby table. One of them was 50-ish, badly bleached, and wearing clothing designed for someone 30 years younger. They were joined by another similarly dressed woman. And then the phones came out.

It was just wrong.

Did she have every right to go to a fairly sophisticated restaurant dressed as if she was headed for the Jersey Shore? Of course she did.

Did I give her the evil eye and mutter rude comments in her direction? Of course I didn’t.

Did it ruin my enjoyment of the meal? Certainly not.

Did I have a right to be mildly irritated by the appearance and behavior of a fellow diner? I think I did, as long as I refrained from showing it in any way.

Until she put down the phone and started playing a tuba.

The interior at La Chaumière. Pictures found on the Net.

Julia Child’s DC Residence Is on the Market…

…for $1,100,000.

In something of an understatement, the Agent’s Summary describes the property as  “As-is condition, Fixer-Upper, Needs work, Rehab potential.”  And this is what it looks like:

Julia Child House

In most places—even in Georgetown, where the house is located—$1,100,000 might seem a bit excessive for a “Fixer-Upper.”  My Mother used to enjoy driving me up the wall with stories about the mortgage on my family’s home, which was much larger and better kept than this one.  It was $87 a month.

Julia Child House

Paul and Julia Child lived in this house at 2706 Olive Street, NW, in 1948, when they were both serving in the Office of Strategic Services, an organization that later became the CIA.  They lived in France through the early 50s, and returned here In 1956.  Julia Child gave cooking lessons in the kitchen.

Julia Child House

All photos found on the Estately.com page.

Café Milano — Lunch on 23 January 2015

2015 Winter Restaurant Week, Day 4

My final stop during 2015 Winter Restaurant Week (Part 1)* was Georgetown’s Café Milano. Café Milano is famous as a place to see and to be seen, if you’re a political, sports, or media celebrity.  I’m none of the above, but I was eager to check it out.

Café  Milano

Café Milano

The restaurant is on Prospect Street, near M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, in the heart of Georgetown.  It’s big and beautiful and crowded.  It’s also very, very loud, and, since the tables are close to each other, it’s not a good place to have a quiet conversation.

Café  Milano Pappa al pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro

This was a traditional Tuscan bread and tomato soup, with basil-infused olive oil.   Impressive. Imagine the best spaghetti sauce you’ve ever had, and you’ve got some idea of how it tasted.

Café  Milano Taglio di branzino del mediterraneo con vellutata di patate , capperi e cime di rapa saltate

Taglio di Branzino del Mediterraneo

My main was a sautéed Mediterranean sea bass fillet in a potato-caper sauce, with sautéed broccoli rabe.  I didn’t know what to expect w/the potato-caper sauce, but found it to be excellent. The fish was simply but expertly cooked.

Café  Milano Zuppa inglese alle fragole


Piedmont traditional chocolate, amaretto, and caramel flan.

Celebrity count:  Zero, but I wasn’t really looking.   One Dimension or Hillary Clinton could have been sitting at the next table, and I wouldn’t have noticed.   Almost anybody except One Dimension or Hillary Clinton could have been sitting at the next table, and I wouldn’t have noticed.

*2015 Winter Restaurant Week officially ends on Sunday, but many restaurants, including some of DC’s best, extend the party for another week.

Fiola Mare — Lunch on 20 January 2015

2015 Winter Restaurant Week, Day 2

Fabio Trabocchi’s Italian seafood restaurant, Fiola Mare, opened about a year ago on the Georgetown waterfront in a complex of restaurants, offices, and up-scale condominiums called Washington Harbour.   I’ve never been sure about the “Harbour” part—the only boats that dock on the Georgetown waterfront are the cruise ships that take tourists a few miles up and down the Potomac.

Fiola Mare is hot.  The Washingtonian ranked it as Number 4 on the 2015 “100 Very Best Restaurants” list.  It’s a beautifully designed large room—140 seats—w/a great view of the Kennedy Center and of Virginia, across the river.  Both the food and service validated the Washingtonian’s high ranking.

The English translation for “Fiola Mare” is “Daughter of the Sea.”

Fiola Mare

Fiola Mare

Fiola Mare Trout


Citrus Cured Ocean Trout.  That’s arugula again, which topped yesterday’s Pork Loin main at Poste.  Looks like kale, unavoidable a couple of years ago, has been replaced as the default green.  The pesto was made w/basil Genovese, which, I’ve discovered, is generally considered the best basil for pesto.

Fiola Mare Bass


Olive Oil Poached Local Rockfish. on a bed of quinoa and red peppers marinati.

Fiola Mare Dessert


Marchesi Chocolate Terrine.   Pasticceria Marchesi is a Milanese shop known for its pastries and chocolates since the 19th century.   Prada recently bought an 80% share of the company.  This dessert, w/pistachio mousse and mint, was perfection.

So the food and service were great.  My one complaint:   The charge for my 8-ounce Diet Coke was $5.  I know that restaurants mark up wine by 200 – 400 percent, but a 1000+ percent mark up on soft drinks seems excessive.

Georgetown Waterfront, outside Fiola Mare