From “Filipino spaghetti” to a steaming bowl of ramen, here’s where to curl up with a bowl of warm noodles this winter.
This is the time of year to tuck into a bowl of stretchy strands because sweater weather doesn’t last forever. Here’s where to check out new noodles in town.
For: Here for the hot dog
Of course there’s pancit, a signature Filipino noodle dish, with rice noodles, as thin as floss, tangling around chicken, cabbage and carrots. Weekends bring pancit palabok to Fredericksburg’s Kusina, a new Filipino restaurant, boasting thicker noodles glossed in a shrimp sauce. And then there’s what owner Jay Lacson calls “the famous Filipino spaghetti.” A riff on the Italian Bolognese, it’s ground pork with a tomato sauce sweetened with brown sugar and banana ketchup topped with sliced hot dogs. // 10151 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg
For: Sophisticated strands
Fine-dining royalty Fabio and Maria Trabocchi bring Sfoglina, the third location of their upscale, casual pasta-centered concept, to restaurant-hungry Rosslyn (see full review on page 144). Noodles include long and hollow bucatini, rippled mafalde and tubular paccheri in sauces both understated (barely more than garlic and oil) and husky (Tuscan lamb ragu). // 1100 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
For: Carby comfort
If that fiery broth, those orange bubbles of chili oil gliding on the surface of a hot pot are too much, well, there’s just as much heat, minus the searing liquid, in a dry pot. A cousin to the well-known hot pot, a dry pot stars at Jing Du 17, a new Szechuan spot in Falls Church. Find various meats, vegetables and noodles vibrating in numbing spice. Noodles also float in a beefy broth cuddled up with bok choy. // 6280 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church; 703-269-1969
For: Thai takeover
Ramen’s domination continues as it spreads further from city centers with Umai in Herndon. And as it travels, it shape-shifts, moving beyond the defined classics. Umai sells Japanese staples like gyoza (dumplings) and karaage (fried chicken) and a classic tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen with the typical accompaniments of pork chashu, ginger and a jellied egg. But then Thai flavors influence the bowl of noodles, with a khao soi-inspired version with curried coconut milk, chicken thigh and a nest of crispy noodles, and another playing with lemongrass and shrimp paste, an homage to tom yum. // 482 Elden St., Herndon; 571-752-6122