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539 8th Street SE, Washington DC, DC 20003
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Ranked #645 of 2,568 restaurants in Washington DC
Price range: $10 - $25
Cuisines: Italian, Vegetarian, Pasta
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: G St
Description: Lavagna opened with a concept to keep food simple, fresh, and Italian, and now one of DC’s exciting new culinary talents has taken over the burners at Lavagna. Executive Chef Alex Ripley was lured to DC by the booming culinary region where his passion for this industry and for food could easily be recognized. Lavagnas’ team is excited to progress with its newest addition. ‘Farm to table’ is an essential drive of this Virginia born chef. A good portion of his life was spent growing up in the Northern Neck of Virginia; which has instilled a lifelong passion for fresh and locally sourced cuisine. Chef Ripley went on to study the culinary arts at Johnston and Wales, where he learned to develop his own unique style and flair. He continued with his career at many restaurants along the East Coast; Morgan Creek Grill on the Isle of Palms in Charleston, SC, Solas in Raleigh, NC and The Founders Inn Hampton Roads, VA, but began his career as Executive Chef at The Mooring in Kinsale, VA.“The complexity of food begins here in the kitchen,” says the Chef, with an idea, and blossoms into something beautiful with only a few movements of a knife, the stir of a spoon, the sizzle of olive oil, and the commitment to provide delicious culinary treats seasoned with passion and the love of food. My philosophy stands true to this day, ‘Italian Inspired and Locally Created,’ - a process that can only begin with fresh local ingredients, sourcing the best of what is available locally throughout the seasons”“Outgoing and passionate about his culinary vision; Chef Ripley has such energy, enthusiasm and passion for his craft,” Owner, Stephen Cheung. “We are thrilled to welcome him to our team and share our passion for the culinary world.”
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38 reviews from our community

72% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
144 helpful votes 144 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014 NEW

We're not foodies but for an evening we felt like it. The dishes were beautifully and lovingly presented. The flavors mixed well and took simple ingredients and elevated them to new levels. We started with the Baltimore scallops which were perfectly cooked with a lovely celery root puree with fennel, orange, blood orange and pinenuts. This was my wife's first... More

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Central Connecticut
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014 NEW

We were in Washington to run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. My wife is gluten free and Lavagna has gluten free pasta. I had traditional spaghetti and meatballs. The food truly is very fresh and flavorful. The portions are the right size, the meals are to feed you, not to fill you up. After dining in chain restaurants that bring... More

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Oakland, CA
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2014

Lavagna prides itself on farm-fresh food, which comes with great service, and friendly (not intrusive) staff. Heartily recommend the brussel sprouts side (we had as appetizer, roasted with cranberries and cheese), all the house-made pastas - we had a creamy pesto with Italian sausage and spaghetti with meat sauce. There is a fine wine list, and 1/2 price nights on... More

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Scarborough, United Kingdom
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

Stopped in here for a couple of drinks on a wander of the neighbourhood and am glad we did, we were welcomed to the bar upstairs to find a good selection of beers, wines, and spirits Mona behind the bar was wonderful and friendly and made sure we had everything we needed.

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Arlington, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

Went on a double date to celebrate an engagement and Lavagna did not disappoint. We all live in the city and have been to all the 'special occasion' restaurants but this was better for a Friday night full of wine and delicious homemade pastas and sauces. Bruschetta was innovative with the caramelized onions and I went simple with spaghetti and... More

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Washington, DC
Top Contributor
270 reviews 270 reviews
184 restaurant reviews
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

Lavagna's upstairs space provided a good arena for a group dinner, with one exception. The room is too noisy, but that is par for the course for most similar rooms in restaurants. You just can't hear the people at the end of your table. The family style presentation allowed diners to sample a fair amount of the menu. Pork tenderloin... More

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

Very good restaurant ! They make their own pasta, don't order anything else. they have great sauce and pasta, I have ordered other items and been disappointed. Made reservations for dinner as it gets busy !

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Scranton, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

very quaint and excellent food. The lobster pasta dish was fresh and very tasty. Wine list was above par.

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Wetherby, United Kingdom
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

Had received advertisement from Lavagna and went with raised expectations of fresh, local ingredients and great Italian cooking. Found the atmosphere cool and the surroundings slightly austere. Food fairly average and bland. Not likely to go back as there are other places on 8th Street with more of everything

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

Literally everything was amazing. The flatbread with honey butter, mimosas, mascarpone pancakes, crab omelette, one of the best cappucinos I've had outside of Italy. Seriously incredible food.

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