Friday, October 26, 2012

Filomena

Located in the heart of historic Georgetown for over 27 years, Filomena Ristorante offers outstanding traditional Italian cuisine in an elegant atmosphere along with exceptional service. The famous "Pasta Mamas" make pasta fresh daily and desserts are made in their own in-house bakery. Try their fresh made Italian sausage or handmade ravioli stuffed with fresh ingredients. Filomena is best known for its linguine cardinale made with fresh lobster meat (Bill Clinton's favorite). Closest Metro is Foggy Bottom.



Photo: Zagat
For Christmas last year, my Aunt Debbie gifted Keith and I a "Table for Two" Smartbox Gift Card and we finally picked Filomena to use it.  We made reservations way in advance for an early dinner, yet when we arrived the restaurant was already very crowded with many folks waiting to be seated.  Luckily, we did not have to wait long and were seated in the tightly packed, amber-lit dining room.  Decorated with Halloween garb, the place was a little kitschy for my taste, but had a grandmotherly charm about it with the doily place mats and miniature table lamps.  I thought the cover of the menu was nice with names of all the celebrities who have dined at Filomena inscribed on it.

Offering a choice of appetizer, main, and dessert for two we were able to choose from anything off the regular menu with our gift card.  Our server joyfully warned us that we were in for a lot of food!  First we ordered a bottle of Monteppulciano D'Abruzzi "Farnese" 2010, a light red wine of Italy that comes from the Abruzzi Region.  We sipped on the wine and nibbled on the freshly baked bread while we decided on our courses.  I chose the Funghi di Spinaci, a lovely starter of white mushroom caps fully stuffed with spinach and Italian cheeses.  It was topped with their famous cheesy and white Bernini Sauce.  Keith ordered the classic La Torre di Melanzane. Stacked slices of eggplant breaded and pan fried were layered with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and fresh basil.  Both appetizers were very fresh and paired well with the wine.

For our main courses, I chose the pasta special of the day which was a Shrimp Fettucine with pancetta, sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts in a creamy vodka sauce.  A large portion of fresh shrimp with heads and tails still on were scattered in the generous portion of pasta.  Normally, I do not care for this type of presentation as it can be very messy, but the shrimp were cooked so tenderly that the heads fell right off with ease.  The flavor of the sauce with the extra acidic bite from the sundried tomatoes and artichokes was excellent.  Keith took a bite and stated he would prefer more spice to kick it up a notch, but I loved it just as it was.  The generous portion was too much to finish in one sitting, so I asked them to box up the rest for me to take home.  Keith ordered a hearty dish of Osso Bucco alla Costello, which was a slow braised 16 ounce veal shank in veal stock, tomato sauce, red wine and diced vegetables.  The meat was then glazed with its own juices and served over saffron and mushroom risotto.  The portion was also very large and Keith was not able to finish all the risotto, so packed that up to go as well knowing we still had a dessert course to come.

With the dessert menus, our server brought us shots of white Sambuca and Amaretto as a complimentary after dinner toast for good luck.  We chose to drink only the Amaretto and it was so sweet!  To end my meal, I chose the Spumoni Cannoli Mousse Cake - Filomena's version of the Italian favorite age old Spumoni Ice Cream. First green pistachio mousse (laden with pistachio nuts) followed by a layer of fresh strawberry mousse, then the center of cannoli cream with chips of chocolate and red cherries. It was beautiful, colorful, and delicious! The presentation and flavors were so unique and really stood out to me.  I would definitely order this again.  Keith ordered the Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake that was rich and came with a freshly made "turtle candy" under a mountain of Filomena's famous cheesecake ~ Wow!

We had a great meal at Filomena and normally would not have ordered so much had it not been for our "Table for Two" gift card.  (Thank you, Aunt Debbie for the treat!)  Many Italian classics in addition to modern twists are available on the menu - all in huge portion sizes, so I suggest you share.  The restaurant also seems popular for special occasions as we heard "Happy Birthday" sung four different times in the the time were were there.  Check out why Filomena is loved by presidents, celebrities, and guests from all over the world.  Make reservations ahead of time, since tourists often come in to dine making the wait a bit longer than usual.

Total Rating: 3.65
Food: 4, Price: 3, Service: 4, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 3

What I ate:
Funghi di Spinaci 
white mushroom caps stuffed with spinach and Italian cheeses.
topped with their famous Bernini Sauce. 

Shrimp Fettuccine
with pancetta, sundried tomatoes and artichokes in a vodka cream sauce

Spumoni Cannoli Mousse Cake
green pistachio mousse, fresh strawberry mousse, with a center of cannoli cream
with chips of chocolate and red cherries

Plus Keith ate:
La Torre di Melanzane 
stacked slices of eggplant breaded and pan fried when ordered. 
layered with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and fresh basil.

Osso Bucco alla Costello
slow braised 16 ounce veal shank "Osso Bucco Style"
in veal stock, tomato sauce, red wine and diced vegetables.
served over saffron and mushroom risotto, then glazed with its own juices.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake
flourless chocolate cake base covered with homemade rick thick caramel,
laden with toasted pecans, then piled high with our creamy cheesecake
and finished with a rick dark chocolate ganache with caramel custard puffs and pecans

  Filomena on Urbanspoon

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