Pasta Concerto

Villa Mozart's pastas hit the right notes

Romance abounds at the tiny Villa Mozart.

The converted house in Old Town Fairfax is an idyllic place for a date, and also a place to fall in love with innovative pastas from chef Andrea Pace.

Classic flavors and preparations dominate the appetizer and meat sections of the Northern Italian chef's menu, but the unnecessarily overlooked pasta section is rife with Pace's creativity.

If only a garden could sprout Pace's rose pasta ($21). The chef curls wide noodles into a spiral filled with lemony ricotta. He turns each curled noodle onto its side to showcase the budlike appearance, then tops the pasta flowers with baby zucchini and diced tomato to create the jewel-colored flourishes of a garden.

Light gnocchi ($20) are made with a blend of eggplant and potato, then served with fresh tomatoes and mushrooms. Pace's spinach-and-cheese ravioli ($19), inspired by his hometown of Merano, use rye flour for a richer flavor.

If the promise of love isn't lure enough, dine at Villa Mozart Monday through Thursday, when the dining room offers three courses for $39. Finish with a flaky seasonal strudel–currently filled with spiced apples–or a chocolate soufflé baked with polenta for a hint of crunch.

Villa Mozart, 4009 Chain Bridge Rd., Fairfax; 703-691-4747 or villamozartrestaurant.com