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Mar 19, 2007 09:38 AM

Cheap authentic Italian?

Is there an authentic Italian restaurant located anywhere in DC or NoVa? I’m talking red and white tablecloth, $10 pasta with Aunt Rose waiting tables, not Galileo. Thanks in advance.

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  1. try il radicchio in arlington or pasta mia in adams morgan (pasta mia might be a little more expensive but its authentic).

    5 Replies
    1. re: elnora

      Il Radicchio is awful. Skip it.

      Someone recommended Listrani's to me (couple of locations) but I haven't been in a LONG time.

      1. re: beachgirl54

        At best Il Raddichio can be considered somewhat authentic Italian, but Listrani's is definitely an Italian-American red sauce joint. For truly authentic Italian, I think you will have to move up a little from cheap, to moderately priced and for that you can't beat Dino in Clevland Park with Bebo Trattoria in Crystal City coming in second.

        1. re: MacArthur Mike

          Il Raddichio isn't that bad - I actually enjoyed it more than Sette Bello.

          Although I have never been, my brother loves Ruffino's Spaghetti House (is that the whole name?) on Lee Highway in Arlington. He said it sounds similar to what I describe Il Raddichio to be like - cheap, good Italian food. Anyone been there?

          1. re: ALLex16

            Been there three times, it does the job for inexpensive standards of pasta and wine that tastes like it comes from a box you would buy for one euro in an Italian supermarket.

          2. re: MacArthur Mike

            Bebo is honest Italian, but has dicey service. Some of the best Italian food at reasonable prices in the Washington area is served at Greek restaurants.

      2. Esposito's in Fairfax is probably right up your alley.

        Pasta Mia is really more headache than its worth, which is a shame.

        1. Restaurant AV if you're near Chinatown, Luigi's if you want something near Dupont. Both have been around forever for a reason. Cheap, good, unpretentious.

          3 Replies
          1. re: monkeyrotica

            I second Luigi's on 19th Street near DuPont.

            1. re: jaydreb

              Just went to Luigi's last week. Service was dreadful (so bad that we almost walked out). Food was cold and tasteless. Extremely greasy. Perhaps they have new management. I don't remember it being this awful.

              1. re: xena1441

                I went on Monday with 3 kids for a total of 7 people and it was a great family place. but the pasta was unimpressive tho the pizza was pretty good. You can't beat the prices. We didn't have that hard of a time with the service. Overall not a destination spot by any means. don't go out of your way to go there

          2. Il Radicchio has been disappointing of late. I think they changed owners again.

            Try A La Lucia in Old Town Alexandria. It's not $10 pasta but it is moderate, it's not a chain, and it is good.

            1. I second the A La Lucia recommendation. Tom S doesn't care for it but that doesn't mean it isn't worth it... :-)