Pasta Mia Closing Soon in Adams Morgan?

by Prince Of Petworth January 10, 2014 at 10:30 am 39 Comments

1790 Columbia Rd, NW

Speaking of restaurants some once loved but no longer do, The Post asks Is Pasta Mia in Adams Morgan on the verge of closing?:

“Broglia went on to say that longtime patrons already know the place is closing, sounding as if Pasta Mia had begun its final countdown. The owner said his lease expires on Feb. 28, which could mark Pasta Mia’s last day of service. Broglia said he would know more in a couple of weeks when he next talks with the landlord.”

Back in 2010 we talked about Pasta Mia – Worth an Hour Wait? Suffice it to say opinions were rather mixed.


  • Anonymous

    Went there once, waited FOREVER, didn’t like the food. Never went back.
    Good riddance.

    • TropicBird

      +1. Could never figure out why people waited in line to eat there! Do people not have stoves and a jar or sauce?

  • anonymous

    Why was this place once loved? Ate there once, got pasta so absurdly al dente it crunched like cornflakes and then got to watch the entire staff angrily melt down when we sent it back. These guys are and have always been shoemakers.

  • Anonymous

    I was wondering, do people still line up down the block to get into this place? I pass by there regularly and I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve noticed that.

    • 15thstnw

      Yeah. When I moved to the neighborhood in 2010, there were always lines. I haven’t seen a line there in over a year now. Kinda amazing how quickly their business slowed down.

  • Alex

    Boo. This is sad. The service was always questionable. But it was fun, it a kitschy-secret-only in DC kind of way. I have several fond memories of ridiculous portions, good/cheap wine, and lots of fun with friends. I never was one to wait in line, though. Going on a crappy Wednesday night was usually fine.

    • Mike

      Wine=Cheap, yes, but it was never good.

  • Anonymous

    the last time we went we were pressured for 20 minutes by our waiter and THEN by his pushy mother his mother to buy his $4 homemade bejeweled-esque iphone game. He kept showing me how to play on his phone until I finally just asked for the check and left. Never went back again

    • Alex

      Yeah, you had to be careful pulling out a smartphone. The mother would laser-in on it and try to SELL SELL SELL that damned app.

    • andy2

      Did the same to me – but the food was really good, chatted up the mom and son for a while. It made for a fun evening and now I have an app to remember a fun dinner with great friends.

      I will miss them as its good food at decent prices – just wish they took reservations

    • Allison

      Aw hell no. If anyone ever tried to push me on their side business crap while I was eating a meal at a restaurant I would be appalled.

  • Anonymous

    After spending 6 months in Italy, this is the most authentic rendition of an Italian trattoria you can find. It’s not high cuisine, nor is it trying to be- just home style Italian food, not a “concept”. Just housemade pasta made the old fashioned way– and yes, they make it al dente. Also, GREAT value for the amount of food you get. Great homemade bread as well as house wine that’s drinkable and cheaper than anything you’ll get anywhere else in DC.

    • ItalAnon

      I see those red and white checker tablecloths and your statement about it being great value for the AMOUNT of food and assume this is just as far from an Italian trattoria as everywhere else.

  • Anon

    Terrible ambiance, worse service. Just because you get a giant plate of pasta for $10 does not make it a deal. My last time there, over 7 years ago, our bill was presented before we got our entrees. Know how they responded? Boxed the food to go! Never stepped foot in there again and told many others of my experience. Good riddance

  • DMV-ist

    I definitely remember living in Adams Morgan back around 2000 when this place was hot. The line would snake down the block around opening time. At the time there just weren’t that many good affordable places to eat in DC, and this particular restaurant served people a large ok meal at a very affordable price. It was never the best Italian restaurant in DC, or even in Adams Morgan, but it was perceived as a great value. For the price of little more than what you’d pay for a meal at a nearby fast food joint you’d get a heaping bowl of passable pasta and sauce. If you wanted to wash it down with wine then the house wine was drinkable and very affordable.
    Obviously times have changed. The options for eating out in DC have greatly expanded and this now seems like a bit of a throw back. However, despite its obvious flaws (mediocre pasta, indifferent service, uninspiring decor) I think I’ll miss Pasta Mia if it closes down.

    • kken

      +1, lived around the corner on Euclid 2002-2005. Things have definitely changed in this town (for the better) so this place was no longer a destination, long lines and all. I haven’t been back in several years and I’m kinda glad my last experience was decent that I can remember it decently when it passes.

  • Anonymous

    Loved Pasta Mia. We used to live in Adams. Morgan, but now live un Petworth. We miss it, but understand their predicament. Rents are out of control. We would welcome you in Petworth! Cheaper rent, a loyal clientele, and an emerging neighborhood. Your loyal customers will follow and you will gain a whole new market of people from Columbia Heights, Petworth and Parkview!

    • +1 Come to Petworth. Pasta Mia would be amazing on the Upshur strip by Petworth Citizen. Do it!

  • Hooray! This makes me so happy! It’s a good day!

  • McGobes

    Hopefully someone will open a shop in that location where I can buy a knockoff Barca jersey.

  • new

    I really don’t get the hate for this place. It has always been on of my favorite for an Italian dinner and then of course the leftover lunch the next day. If this is true it makes me really sad.

    • kken

      Welcome to the new Internet… leaner, meaner and 100% more snark.

  • counterspace

    Horrible experience there. My wife were enticed into the city by a groupon and dropped by here for dinner. What a mistake. The waiter copped a total attitude when we asked him to store our stroller. Food was mediocre at best and certainly not the value we’re used to in Reston.

    • Snappity Snap Snap

      “certainly not the value we’re used to in Reston.”
      Really! Let me guess, maybe you also got a better deal on a big-ass house out there.

      • Anonymous

        And the parking’s a dream!

      • Anonymous

        You see me trolling, you’re hating…

  • georgecostanza

    Horrible experience there. My wife were enticed into the city by a groupon and dropped by here for dinner. What a mistake. The waiter copped a total attitude when we asked him to store our stroller. Food was mediocre at best and certainly not the value we’re used to in Reston.

  • Anonymous

    There have been rumors for many years that Pasta Mia was about to close. I’ve always liked the place (though haven’t been there in quite a while). I’d be sad if they did close, but certainly won’t believe it until I see it.

  • Cliff

    Pasta Mia is the best place other than Napoli Italy for pasta! I hope this is not true. I would wait 5 hours to eat there if I had to, and the owners are awesome – very nice people.

  • Scott

    The food is amazing. All the hipsters saying it isn’t are simply haters. Not to mention, the owners are hard-working. I love the place and would be very sad if it closed.

  • WillS

    Pasta Mia is a bit of a local culinary landmark and, if you had to wait FOREVER to get in, that is part of the experience. Because enough people appreciate their food. Otherwise, go somewhere else where you can use your OpenTable rez. Yes, they’ve some quirks with their homemade-on-the-spot pasta, sauce, and service. Most of the time, they are dead on with the dente and the sauce too. They are a favorite neighborhood Italian pasta joint. They are nothing less, and they are well loved by those for whom they are exactly that. IMHO

  • Anonymous

    I went to this place a few times when I lived in Adams Morgan. The first time, the long wait and shitty service was novel, as you felt like it was kind of a Seinfeld, soup nazi experience. The novelty wears off immediately. I don’t get why wait times and rude service for mediocre Italian. The people who say this is better than food in Italy are on crack cocaine. You can find better cheap Italian in the ‘burbs like a lot of other ethnic food.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve eaten there two or 3 times and have really liked it. I think once or twice we had to wait awhile outside, but the most recent time there was no wait at all (it could have been because it was a bit later in the evening). We were also only a party of 2 and I think bigger crowds are much harder to accommodate.

    To me it is good Italian comfort food. If you are looking for a MIchelin star place with black squid ink fetuccini topped with parmesean foam and microgreens harvested from the roof garden then you may want to try a different scene.

    There aren’t a whole lot of places left in the immediate area where you can get an affordable Italian meal. Not trying to hate on the new 14th St restaurants but Pasta Mia has never forced me to wait an hour or more just to be seated like some other places have.

    I’ll believe the closure when I see it.

  • dcd

    I have fond memories of living on Champlain Street (before most/any of the new condos were built), walking up the street on a nice Saturday at 5:30 with beer/wine in coffee cups and waiting in line (and running home to go to the bathroom). Not great food, but fun, and affordable. Plus, my wife went into labor at dinner there one Friday night, when we were eating with friends. Two days later, we had a baby. When I read this post and I realized we had only been back once since that night, we decided to go last night in case it did end up closing in 2 months. Still looks the same, although it opened at 6 instead of 6:30.

    Times sure have changed a lot. We don’t do roadies too often anymore. The baby is now 7 years old. The friends we had dinner with are divorced, and one is remaried and lives 3000 miles away. The $10 bowl of pasta is now $17. These days, I typically wait in line for Littie Serow, not Pasta Mia, but I’m glad we went one last time.

  • Wobble

    Ehh? Ate there once about 10-12 years ago. Waited in line for a long time. Not particularly memorable. I just remember large bowls of pasta and lots of chili-infused oil. I don’t remember the service, at all, or mama.

    Never saw fit to go back again, and with all the competition, even less likely to go now.

    The Billy Joel days are the past, when an Italian restaurant (in the US) was red-sauced pasta, red-checked table cloths, and cheap red wine. It is now 2014, and people demand more. I feel for the owners, but times change.

    • Anonymous

      Everything seems to come around, though. In 10 or 15 years I presume the classic Italian restaurant will see a resurgence, just as certainly as many other trends of fashion, music or art are cyclical.

      I can’t imagine that people’s demands change all that much, I think it’s just a matter of what is trendy at any particular time. Demographics could influence it as well.

    • Rich

      They were dying out in the Billy Joel days. Red sauce Italian places were among the first “ethnic” restaurants back in the 20s and really took off in the 50s. White sauce Italian places selling tasteless fettucini alfredo supplanted them in the 70s and 80s.

      Pasta Mia was a 90s icon. I’m surprised that its quirky business model has survived this long. In its heyday, it did provide good value and was worth the wait in a city where Italian food had become bland and inedible or simple very overpriced and unimpressive.

  • Anonymous

    count me among the fans who thought the food itself stood on its own (once you peel back all the other aspects of the experience that would polarize diners, e.g, cash-only, long-lines, uncompromising management, my baby-stroller, blah blah). amazing caesar salad with white anchovies, the best house wine around, and I have not been able to find a replacement for my gnocchi fix. my only knock was the bread.

  • CCDD

    For what it’s worth, went to Pasta Mia last night and the wife said they were not closing. We shall see.


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