Pasta Mia, in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, has the appearance of an unassuming local Italian restaurant with a small glass and brick exterior. But even though it doesn’t open until 6:30 p.m., patrons tend to line up outside about 45 minutes before service begins—plus, there are only 40 seats. The menu is limited, with a small selection of appetizers like a Caesar salad and prosciutto with mozzarella, while the signatures are the pastas prepared by the owner himself. Take a seat at one of the tables with a red-and-white-checkered tablecloth and order your perfect pair of pasta type (such as gnocchi, pappardelle, or fusilli) and sauce, i.e. pesto, meat, or cream. If there's room for dessert after the heaping portions, try the tiramisu in a teacup.
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