Ruffino’s Spaghetti House Closes for Renovations

by ARLnow.com September 10, 2010 at 3:02 pm 3,196 10 Comments

We stopped by Ruffino’s Spaghetti House (4763 Lee Highway) today to check out a tip that it had closed down. Good news, pasta fans: a recorded message on the restaurant’s answering machine reveals that it’s only undergoing renovations and will reopen “in a few weeks.”

Not much else to say about it, so here’s an amusing review of Ruffino’s posted by Yelp user “Chelsea M.”

This place has had an aura about it for me since my beau and his dude crew instituted the manly tradition of monthly “mafia” dinners at Ruffino’s. For years, these guys have gushed about the food, the house chianti and the staff, who have let them come back to the kitchen to thank the chefs personally for their dinner and a Sopranos-esque evening.

After finally getting to experience Ruffino’s in the flesh, my fantasies were more than fulfilled. The butter-drenched garlic bread was a dream come true and like a stick of Doublemint, my chicken castenella ( basically chicken and eggplant parm combined if my memory is serving me correctly) doubled my pleasure as well as my fun. t also arrived with a heaping side of spaghetti, which saved me from having to politely request some pasta from my date. Our waiter could not have been sweeter and more attentive and the atmosphere is perfectly cozy and cute.

This place ain’t Milano, but it’s not trying to be. Quality, generous portions, kindness and endless carbs are all delivered at this adorable spot. As a gal who’s been around the Little Italy block in NYC, I’m happy to endorse Ruffino’s as a perfect destination for a date night or any impending man meal.

  • Lou

    An Arlington institution.

  • A great place to get a good place of pasta. But it was worn down. Good to see it is hopefully coming back after a renovation.

    Funny to see the sign removed from the facade – you can see remnants of an old elaborate mural that adorned the buildings before the current drab white wash.

    • charlie

      the mural is from the early 00’s and was hideously fascinating. i can’t believe it didn’t cause numerous fender benders… it was strange to say the least.

  • TGEoA

    Why do good places like Orleans House and Alpine get shuttered and this rat-house stays open?

    • Kevin

      Orleans House was not good by any measure.

  • FacadeCurious

    What are the odds that readers could dig up what the actual mural looked like? Anyone know where to find a photo of this property from back in the day?

    • LIbraryLady

      I’d check with the Virginia Room at the Central Library. They can find almost anything!

  • katy

    Wasn’t it a mural of gondolas in Venice?

  • swimmer

    Does anyone know what happened to John, the original owner of Ruffinos? John ran into some financial difficulties back in the eighties trying to run too many restaurants.If we can find him look forward to some righteous Italian.

  • Kathleen

    I love this restaurant and am eagerly waiting for it to reopen. My husband, son and I would go there from time to time. We last went after not being there for at least six months. We sat down and the waiter came to our table and handed me a pair of eye glasses. “You left these here the last time you were here.” That is the type of place this is – a wonderful family restaurant with good food and an exceptional staff.


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