Who’s Lia? That’s a question owner Geoff Tracy has been asked repeatedly since he opened the Italian restaurant in 2006. Turns out it’s not an old girlfriend or his grandmother, but simply the second half of the word “Italia.”
The name represents a departure for Tracy, who owns Chef Geoff restaurants in Rockville, Spring Valley, downtown D.C. and Tysons Corner. But regardless of what it’s called, Lia’s certainly works. Bethesda Magazine readers voted it the Best Restaurant in Chevy Chase in 2009 and 2011, as well as this year.
Seasoned chef Cesare Lanfranconi, formerly of downtown’s Spezie, Ristorante Tosca and Galileo restaurants, currently is at the helm, putting his own mark on the menu while continuing Lia’s tradition of fun, approachable food at a range of prices. It’s a winning combination for the daytime office workers, local retirees and families who frequent Lia’s, whether they’re ordering the mushroom ravioli, scallop risotto or Lanfranconi’s surprise big-selling starter—grilled baby octopus.
4435 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase, 240-223-5427, liasrestaurant.com