Best of Falls Church 2017 Editors’ Picks: BEST Restaurant Video-Augmented Ambiance


The big screen TVs at Sfizi Cafe display breathtaking aerial views of Italy. Photo: Nicholas F. Benton

There’s a lot Italian to like about the Sfizi Cafe on the ground floor of the famous Flower Building. Owner Lino P. Ricciardi, being from the Milan region of Northern Italy himself, has crafted an establishment that is among the most charming and unique in Falls Church with outstanding cuisine to match the ambiance that includes the display of an extensive but not overly expensive wine selection and shelves full of unique Italian imported food products ranging from pastas to jars of olives, gnocchi and sauces, all for sale, of course.

Incomparable is the open visual access to the kitchen, where one can observe all the bustling comings and goings of the wait staff with their interactions with the food preparations prior to swinging doors being banged open and plates and platters of food, from the antipasti and salads to the main dishes are thrust onto the dining room floor in the hands of those deft servers. Deep in the back, one can catch glimpses of the main chef and his team working away, who never disappoint with their featured dishes of the day.

But in the small but not too small dining area there is one special feature worthy of honors this year, and that is the large elevated HDTV screen that silently displays incredibly detailed aerial views of areas from all over Italy, both in video and still photo formats. These are breathtaking, honestly, and they keep rolling, showing those who pay attention to them some of the most cherished spots in the Italian peninsula, from Rome, to Florence, to Venice, coastline fishing villages and much more, including Sicily. Lino says he’s collected these tapes over time, and they range from ones that are an hour and a half long to 20 minutes, and enjoys arranging them for showing to his diners. It’s a fabulous show worth the price of admission, they say, all by itself.

Sfizi Cafe | 800 West Broad St. | Falls Church |