While we were running some errands on Saturday, Amy and I stopped by Lia's in Friendship Heights again for lunch. My favorite thing to get there so far is the Filei Calabresi with a sweet and spicy pork sausage, juicy grape tomatoes and green peas. I especially like how the cooks don't pile on the sauce and let the the other ingredients flavor the dish. I think you'll find that the portions of the pasta entrees are big enough to share with someone else, and Amy and I have been able to share this dish both times we've eaten it.
Start with the arugula salad, add a couple glasses of wine, and you've got yourself a mighty fine lunch. But add too many glasses of wine, and suddenly you're wondering how a quick $20 lunch turned into a $60 one...
I stopped in at Lia's for lunch the other day, sat down at the bar and had a few appetizers and a meat-and-cheese plate. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience and I think that it's a good addition to the very average restaurant scene in Friendship Heights.
While none of the food we ordered was anything to go crazy over, everything we had was pretty good. Appetizers aren't cheap and most are from $8 to $10, but they're also large enough to share. Two people can easily get away with ordering an appetizer for each and a cheese plate to share. The lobster risotto appetizer that Amy ordered was a little "soupy" although the menu said it was a creamy risotto so maybe that's what they're going for, but the rice was tender and not overcooked. Amy commented that the lobster was a little chewy...I had the mushroom gnocchi which was a little oversalted, but otherwise good.
We also ordered a meat-and-cheese plate. The cheeses were good, although nothing that you couldn't pick up at Whole Foods or Balducci's (as far as I could tell -- I'm no cheese expert), and the bread was a warm sliced Italian-style white loaf. The prosciutto, speck and bresaola on the meat plate were fresh and not too dry.
I think the jury is still out on whether or not Lia's is worth a special trip, but if you're in Friendship Heights, it's probably worth checking out.