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Villa Mozart Restaurant - 0 Reviews - 4009 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, VA - French Restaurants Reviews - Phone (703) 691-4747

Villa Mozart Restaurant

4009 Chain Bridge Rd
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 691-4747
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Restaurants , French Restaurants

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Food & Dining , European Restaurants


Villa Mozart Restaurant - Fairfax, VA
Villa Mozart Restaurant - Fairfax, VA
Villa Mozart Restaurant - Fairfax, VA
Villa Mozart Restaurant - Fairfax, VA
Villa Mozart Restaurant - Fairfax, VA
Villa Mozart Restaurant - Fairfax, VA
Villa Mozart Restaurant - Fairfax, VA


Editorial review from 1/23/2008

Lewis Review Villa Mozart restaurant offers a rare opportunity to experience the food of Italy's Alto Adige region, near the Austrian border, reinterpreted by Andrea Pace, who started his culinary career at the famous Villa Mozart resort in the ancient town of Merano. Merano, outside Bolzano and not far from the main mountain pass into Austria, exists in a special, almost tropical micro-climate, created by the sheltering Alps. At Villa Mozart in downtown Fairfax, Pace parrots that unique atmosphere with dishes that reflect the cuisine of the Italian mountains, but with a light touch. Consider his pappardelle with venison ragout. Stewed venison is a staple of far northern Italy. The meat is usually cooked much like an American pot roast or beef stew -- until it is falling apart -- and then paired with sturdy noodles. You'll find the dish at posh ski villages and tiny inns along the Great Dolomite Road through the Italian Alps. Pace's version features homemade pappardelle (wide ribbon pasta) with a ragout that combines wild mushrooms and tender nuggets of venison loin. It's a lighter version of the hearty Italian mountain fare but lacks nothing of its earthiness. Pace has been in the Washington culinary scene for seven years, first as the executive chef of Cafe Milano in Georgetown, then at Il Cigno in Reston and for 3 1/2 years at Fiore di Luna in Great Falls. Villa Mozart, which opened in October, is the first restaurant he has owned, and it's a small, personal space. The vestibule is super-heated, to knock the chill off diners who have made the short walk from the back parking lot. An etched glass door leads to a small hall, with a private dining room to the right and the main dining room to the left. The decor is spare but quietly elegant, with modern leather chairs surrounding white-clothed tables. Black-and-white photos hang on pale green walls, but unfortunately the overhead spotlights miss most of the photos. And the only piece of furniture that lends personality to the space, an elegant sideboard, is at the rear of the room, opposite the wine storage rack. It's possible to carry on a conversation without raising your voice, though there are no curtains or carpeting. The view out the windows of Villa Mozart may not mirror the stunning Italian landscape, but concentrate on the food and you can forget you are in the heart of suburban sprawl. All the dishes are elegantly presented on plain white china, which allows the food to be the center of attention. Service is mostly deft, and there is a small wine list with some lesser-known jewels, such as a Cesanese, a varietal from a grape grown in the middle portion of Italy. The menu, which changes often as Pace rotates seasonal ingredients, is heavily tilted toward appetizers and pasta dishes, with a half-dozen main courses, limited in these winter months to beef, lamb, venison and a fish special. Among the appetizers are a host of Italian favorites: sweet prosciutto di Parma, slightly thicker than the usual paper-thin slices; deep, rosy petals of the air-dried beef (bresaolo); beef and venison renditions of carpaccio (thinly sliced raw meat); buffalo mozzarella salad; and hearts of lettuce. For something more unusual, try the Morbidelle, soft, savory ricotta dumplings each containing slices of black truffle and topped with a shower of wild mushrooms and truffle slices. Pace said his inspiration for the dish came from a southern Italian dessert of sweet ricotta dumplings. Pasta dishes are the stars of the menu, especially the white polenta-filled ravioli. The polenta (made from corn meal) is so fine that there is no graininess to the filling, just the creamy texture of sottocenere cheese, a raw-milk cheese that is flavored with and washed in truffles. The pasta is thin and delicate, and the dish is finished with a reduced port-wine sauce. The ravioli are rich-tasting and wonderful. Pace pays the same attention to Yukon Gold potato gnocchi, light but tasting of potato, nestled in a tomato sauce that doesn't overwhelm the delicate flavor of the dumplings. Linguine with shrimp and langoustine may sound like something you have had before, but Pace makes it beautiful, with the langoustine resting on a tangle of linguine and shrimp in a gentle brandy and cherry-tomato sauce. The two most popular dishes on the menu both involve lobster: penne with lobster, accented with a traditional balsamico, and lobster risotto. A rack of lamb main course arrived as two large medallions of meat with a single long rib bone indicating that the nuggets had been carved from the rack. The medallions rested on a bed of braised fennel, green beans and roasted garlic puree. Be sure to save room for desserts. The apple strudel, an alpine favorite, is light enough to stand on its own (literally, it's presented as two stand-alone towers) and is studded with toasted pine nuts. The chocolate mousse is made with Geraci olive oil, an award-winning oil from Sicily, and the chocolate souffle is made with polenta, but it's so weightless you'd think it was just air. Lunch is served weekdays and includes an $18 three-course special, several pastas and main-course salads, which are named after Mozart concertos and sonatas. Villa Mozart is one performance you don't want to miss. --Nancy Lewis (Jan. 24, 2008) more

Editorial review from 12/11/2007

First Bite In 1986, Andrea Pace was 20 and fresh out of culinary school when he went to apprentice at Villa Mozart, the acclaimed restaurant in Merano, Italy, headed by the masterful Andreas Hellrigl. The art deco destination immediately impressed the novice cook. "One day," Pace recalls thinking as he checked out the luxe hotel property, " I want to open a Villa Mozart." It took him two decades to reach that goal, but he's finally there -- or more specifically in Fairfax City, where this fall he opened the doors of the first restaurant where he could call the shots as sole owner. Villa Mozart's address will be familiar to anyone who frequented Le Tire Bouchon, which the new Italian restaurant replaces. Pace's cooking might register with local diners, too, given that he launched his Washington career in 2001 at Cafe Milano in Georgetown and went on to work in the kitchens of Il Cigno in Reston and Fiore di Luna in Great Falls. With fewer than 50 seats, Villa Mozart is a small restaurant. But anyone looking for a dash of romance will be drawn to the intimate main dining room, whose tabletops sparkle with stemware and whose gray walls are a backdrop for handsome sepia-toned photographs of ironwork: gates, stairwells and other objects. To the right of the foyer is a private party room, complete with a plasma TV screen, that can seat up to 14 diners. Two months into his latest gig, Pace is dishing out quiet pleasures: hot chestnut soup garnished with crisp julienned celery, grilled rack of lamb treated to braised fennel, linguine scattered with shrimp and splashed with basil-brightened, lobster-enriched tomato sauce. Winter is heralded, and Pace's northern Italian roots are acknowledged, with an entree of venison bedded on white polenta. The dish is rounded out with Brussels sprouts, baby carrots and a filmy huckleberry sauce. Bargain hunters might opt to try Villa Mozart for lunch. That's when Pace serves a three-course meal for $18. With luck, the menu might conclude with a chocolate mousse bearing an Italian accent: "Olive oil," the chef says. --Tom Sietsema (Dec. 12, 2007) more
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Menu for Villa Mozart Restaurant

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Additional information

  • Hours:

    Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2:30 pm; Dinner: Mon-Sat 5:30-10 pm
  • Neighborhoods: