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WaPo Critic: Chain La Tagliatella a 'Threat to Our Nation'

Photo: Eater DC / La Tagliatella Atlanta
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema filed a takedown review of La Tagliatella, the Poland-based Italian chain restaurant that has locations in Arlington, VA and Atlanta. Sietsema gives the Arlington location a lowly 1/2 star 'Fair' assessment, throwing digs at the completely not "authentico" food and the "super-sized plates and bowls" it's served in. It's well worth a read.

La Tagliatella, which has over 130 locations worldwide, boasts "400 combinations of pasta and sauce" and over the top decor. The chain has an eye towards further US expansion, to which Sietsema urges: "Someone needs to put a stop to this threat to our nation."

From soup to dessert, Sietsema basically hates everything he eats. A honey and pistachio vinaigrette available for caesar salad "goes down like melted baklava," while a creamy minestrone soup is a "pallid puree." The filet mignon has "a blinding sheen," and "fried eggplant does a great impression of a mummy." Risotto reminds him of "the Spanish rice [he] endured in my grade-school cafeteria," and the tiramisu makes Sietsema wonder, "Surely the '80s wants its dessert back." Sietsema was so dissapointed in the meal he found an exploratory meal at Olive Garden to be tastier. Apparently, the saving graces of the meal were the smiling hostesses, the speedy service, the "generous and strong" cocktails, and the fact that "the cooks know when to pluck their noodles from hot water."

Sietsema isn't the only critic of late to review a chain restaurant. Only last week LA Weekly critic Besha Rodell gave 1 star to Outback Steakhouse, which she was able to reluctantly enjoy. Redell's predecessor Jonathan Gold filed a review of Olive Garden in 2011, while Grand Forks Herald critic Marilyn Hagerty's review of her local Olive Garden notoriously went viral, and helped land her a book deal with Anthony Bourdain's Ecco imprint.

· Tom Sietsema: Just say 'No, grazie' to La Tagliatella [WaPo]
· All Tom Sietsema Coverage on Eater [-E-]

La Tagliatelle

2950 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201