Thompson Italian – well worth a trip across the river

Thompson Italian, a welcome addition to Falls Church, fully delivers on promises of fresh pasta and seasonal dishes in a casual, family friendly environment. The restaurant, first open for service in August, is run by husband/wife duo Gabe & Katherine Thompson (chef and pastry chef), whose impressive resumés include (among others) fine dining establishments Le Bernardin & Per Se, as well as RPM Italian here in DC.

Upon entering, you’re greeted by the neon Pasta Power sign by the bar

The menu at Thompson has something for everyone and is perfect for sharing. Start with the fritto misto, a lightly battered combination of calamari, lemon, chilies and parsley, served with a tasty diavolo sauce that is as addicting as it looks. The spicy pork meatballs are also a solid appetizer, seasoned with cumin and served with a slightly sweet marinara. And of course there’s the roasted garlic bread, with a perfectly crisp texture that will surely please any crowd.

I also sampled a few of the pasta dishes on the menu – all of which are hand rolled on site. The ricotta gnocchi are pillowy in texture, with a savory lamb ragu sauce that coats the pasta well. The sweet corn ravioli is the perfect summer pasta – light and sweet, with fresh corn shining throughout the dish. My favorite of the night was the orecchiette – the pasta had an amazing, chewy texture, which paired perfectly with the sausage and broccoli rabe pesto and came with a little bit of a kick.

Ricotta gnocchi with lamb ragu

To round out the meal, I had the olive oil cake for dessert. It’s topped with a light crème fraîche mousse, drizzled with a raisin marmellata for a touch of sweetness, and finished with a sprinkling of flake salt. The balance of savory and sweet components is done very well.

Olive oil cake

Thompson Italian is open 6 nights a week (closed Tuesdays). The space includes a casual bar area with a few small tables and a larger common table, a sizeable dining room, and a lovely patio out back.
124 N. Washington St.,
Falls Church, VA 22046
5 pm – 10 pm

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