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The owners of L’Enfant Cafe have opened a pasta bar for people who don’t like too many decisions. Red, White and Basil, located at 1781 Florida Ave. NW, is about as simple as it gets: You get a house salad, pasta dish, and cannoli for $16. The only choices you have to make are what type of pasta and what type of sauce you want.
The seven housemade pasta options include spaghetti, rigatoni, and cheese tortellini (with some vegan options available). Sauces are divided into red, white, and basil categories with a dozen choices in all, ranging from bolognese to mushroom cream sauce to pesto. In addition, the restaurant offers a few daily pasta specials and a limited selection of sides like bruschetta or a bowl of meatballs.
Wine choices are equally easy: There’s one red, white, and Prosecco—all available by the glass, half liter, or full liter—as well as a red and white daily special. Beer? You can choose between two Italian varieties.
The space is minimalist as well, with fewer than 30 seats including a communal table. Jars of tomato sauce, olives, and peppers line one wall. Another features a black and white photo of what look like showgirls eating enormous plates of spaghetti with chopsticks. Passersby can peer in the kitchen from a big window facing the street. Even the restroom wallpaper is pasta themed.
Take a look at the full menu below.