In celebration of my friend's DC Metro-themed music video, we all met up at Vapiano for dinner. This is an upscale cafeteria-style Italian restaurant. There are parking garages and street parking, but we took the metro. The closet metro stop is Farragut North on the red line (1 block away).
When you walk in, the cashier hands you a plastic card, which is what you use to keep track of your purchases. After you visit a food or drink station, your items are swiped onto the card. You eat your food, and THEN pay your balance off at the register before leaving. Pretty cool concept!
The restaurant is split in half. The left side is the bar and lounge. They also have an outdoor patio on that side of the restaurant. It was very crowded when we first walked in around 8pm.
This is the restaurant portion of the restaurant. They have a huge open kitchen with different stations labeled pasta, pizza, salad, etc. The wooden blocks the women are standing next to is where you get your trays, flatware and glasses.
The decor of the restaurant is very modern. The tables are very high and you use bar stools. They are also open seating, so you may be sitting with sitting with strangers like we did.
The bf and I only went to the pasta station, so I can't really comment on how they make pizza, etc. The pasta guy was like "you take photo?" haha. You tell the pasta maker what dish you want off the menu, then choose from like 9 different kinds of pasta. It takes only a few minutes for your food to be ready and you can make your food spicy if you want. They offer whole grain pastas for those who want to be somewhat healthier.
They also give you free bread with your meal. On the table there are bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. OMG I was in heaven because the quality of the oil and vinegar was awesome. I could have just eaten that for dinner.
The bf ordered the 'Filetto Di Manzo E Rucola (Filet of Beef, Fresh Vegetables, Mushrooms, Arugula) with Whole Grain Rotini pasta' for $11.95. We both weren't fond of this dish. It was very bland and watery. There wasn't enough meat in it either. The bf did mess up and accidentally denied the addition of garlic and chili peppers into the dish because he heard the guy wrong. I'm sure that contributed to blandness and the fact it was with whole grain pasta.
I ordered the 'Pesto E Spinaci (Light Cream, Spinach, Tomatoes, Hint of Pesto) with Penne pasta' for $10.95. I LOVED my dish. The pasta was cooked al dente, the sauce was just salty enough, and the flavors worked very well together. I was recommended this by a friend, and I'd totally recommend this to someone else.
This 'Gold Peak Green Tea' was so light and refreshing. I'm not sure where or if they have fountain drinks. I just saw everyone drinking from the bar or a bottle.
One very unique thing are the actual herb plants on your table! You can pick them and put them into you dish to add some flavor. We had a basil and oregano plant at our table.
After paying they have a bowl of gummie bears for you to take from! If you're a germaphone, I'm sure you're cringing right now, haha.
1800 M St NW # 6
Washington, DC 20036-5828