This article originally appeared on HungryLobbyist.com on Dec. 7, 2017.
As new development pops up across the DMV, so too will new neighborhood gems.
In Merrifield, the Fairfax, VA ‘hood best known for its Mosaic District, there’s a new spot ready to bring hand-crafted Italian fare to the masses – La Favola.
Founded by slow-food advocate Jawad Laouaouda (owner of Bon Vivant Cafe + Farm Market in Del Rey) and Chef Marco Tellaki, La Favola offers authentic, handcrafted Italian cuisine designed to be savored and enjoyed. And that’s easy to do, especially if you select the wine pairing.
Chef Tellaki brings his experience at Michelin-star restaurants in Monaco and Italy to Merrifield, and his pizzas and pastas did not disappoint.
On behalf of Hungry Lobbyist, we tried a five-course tasting menu paired with four different wines. For those concerned about the commute, my Orange Line metro trip from downtown DC at rush hour was easy, and the restaurant was a quick walk from the Dunn Loring stop. I left my office at 5 and made it to the front door in just about 30 minutes. (If that seems like a long time, consider: going to Maryland is way worse.)
Our tasting was delicious. The food was rich and well accentuated by the wines.
We started with a delicate margarita pizza, onto which we drizzled a spicy house-made red pepper olive oil – a move I’d highly recommend. The oil added a nice layer of heat to the pie.
In addition, we tried Buffalo mozzarella caprese with bright cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and balsamic. Speared on a wooden spike, the caprese gave us one of our best single bites all night.
Then there was pasta. So much pasta. But too much pasta is never enough.
First, the ravioli all’astice, lobster ravioli with pink vodka sauce and arugula. The presentation was beautiful – as was the case for all three pastas we tried – and the savory pasta nicely cut the sweetness of the lobster and vodka sauce.
Second, the tagliatelle alla bolognese, the richest of all the dishes we tried. This pasta was our favorite of the three, granted our own personal taste skews toward deep red sauces. That said, on a cold night in a cold season, this is my choice.
Third, the garganeli Yasmine, a pasta named for the chef’s daughter. Creamy, cheesy, and savory, I ate up this pasta no problem despite my rapidly filling stomach.
More than adequately full by the end of the meal, chef brought us one more surprise – a light and sweet tiramisu. Our only complaint for the meal came here, as the ladyfingers tasted a little too watery for our liking. But for a meal of pizza and pasta, a light marscapone and chocolate desert was a fitting cap to a great meal.
So for a new neighborhood spot in a rapidly growing neighborhood, La Favola has the goods. And the pastas.