Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Natalia

Natalia's Elegant CreationsIn retrospect, I suppose it was foolhardy of me to order four different desserts from Natalia’s Elegant Creations, a newly opened European style pastry shop, located on Broad Street, but I could hardly resist.

The prices were so right, and the presentations so striking, that it was pretty much all I could do not to order everything in the display case. (The fact that the cost of my meal would be reimbursed to me probably had something to do with this too come to think of it.)

Although my stomach felt a tad heavy after I finished gorging myself,I had no regrets. In terms of volume, the portion sizes are kept to a classy handful, but they pack an entire cakes worth of richness and flavor. Just one dessert is usually enough to leave you satisfied, but if you have a hedonistic streak (and you know you do), ordering two wont put too much of a dent in your wallet. If you couldn't tell from the breathless praise of the first paragraph, the desserts at Natalia’s are absolutely fantastic. Most items range from $1.25 for freshly baked cookies to $7 for the more luxurious cheesecakes. By the way, you cannot go wrong with those cheesecakes.

While I have no formal cheesecake training, I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur and I am not exaggerating at all when I say it’s the best cheesecake I've ever had. I could list all the deserts available, but I would just end up repeating the words “amazing,” “incredible,” “out of this world” and “absolutely worth it.” So just take my word for it, order anything that sits in the display racks under the counter and you can’t go wrong.

Natalia’s has a number of things besides desserts that set it apart. The coffee is decidedly above average and priced at $1.75 a cup, so for $3, the price of a large coffee at Starbucks, you can get a far superior cup and a cookie that definitely beats any of the overpriced fare you’d find in their standardized display case. For those of you who have sit through something unreasonably long and boring after your cup, such as a meeting or calculus class, free refills are offered.

Another excellent choice to quench your thirst would be the Lemonade Float ($2.75). This creation, cooked up in some state-of-the art, top secret beverage laboratory no doubt, is freshly squeezed lemonade mixed with your choice of different fruit purees. It combines the refreshing qualities of a cool glass of lemonade with the richness of a smoothie, creating some sort of super beverage, the first of its kind that I’ve encountered.

What with all the dessert I was eating, I almost forgot about the main course. Even though its focus is pastries, Natalia’s is no slouch in this department. A variety of freshly made sandwiches are available for $8. While they are a little pricey, the ingredients are fresher, the meal is larger, and what you choose to get afterwards will invariably be better than what you could get at any chain.

If you’re hosting a snazzy party, event, or if you just have a hankerin’ for two dozen cup cakes and for some reason you can't get out of your house, Natalia’s offers a variety of catering options. You can order cakes sized from six to ten inches, for around $30 – $55.

Prices for individual types vary and are subject to change. A dozen cupcakes is $34, assorted types of cookies are $20 per pound, and a dozen gourmet dessert bars of various types cost around $20.

The prices are reasonable, the atmosphere is inviting, the service is great, and it's in the 300 block of Broad Street, so you already know where it is. While it’s not trying to pass for health food, Natalia’s pastries are made with all natural ingredients, with no preservatives and everything is made fresh the day you order it. Virtually anything on the menu can be made gluten free if you prefer. So stop reading and get over there already, and experience what will hopefully be a Falls Church institution for years and years to come.