After 36 years, Filomena still revels in old-time hospitality and titanic portions

Feb 03, 2019 352

BY: Tom Sietsema

JoAnna Filomena Chiacchieri can reel off the reasons her basement Italian restaurant in Georgetown has lasted — thrived, even — for 36 years in a famously fickle industry. One of them is the way her dining room makes customers feel. “When people are seated,” says the restaurateur, 82, “we give them something to look at.”

Talk about an understatement! No other restaurant in town addresses holidays and special occasions to the extent Filomena does, which is to say December looked as if Santa Claus colluded with Jack Frost to cover every inch of space with red garlands, silver tinsel, life-size plastic reindeer and a fake pine tree so big it displaced four tables. (By the time you read this, the restaurant will be awash in red hearts and white doves for Valentine’s Day.) No matter the season, the dim lighting in the dining room manages to shave several years off your face.

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