Secret Garden (a long-standing Korean restaurant in Graham Center) has a sign up saying the space is reopening as a Vietnamese restaurant.
We tried Present Restaurant this weekend. Itís at 6678 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. (703) 531-1881. Website here, and it has their menu. The restaurant was full of customers. We enjoyed our dinner and definitely want to go back to try more dishes.
The Washingtonian had an interesting story on this restaurant and chef. See article here. According to the article, Present is owned by Gene Nguyen who owns Pho Hot, and the chef Luong Tran came from Vietnam.
The menu has many choices, and the names of the dishes make for some entertaining reading. I had the Silken shawl imperial autumn roll described in the article, and although I want to try other dishes, I definitely want to get this again next time. Itís filled with a mixture of pork and prawns and had a very crackly fried but not greasy mesh surrounding the roll. My husband had Honestly white cloud, a vegetarian appetizer of steamed rice cakes in little plates topped with chopped gluten. It came with a soy based sauce and a little dish of chopped raw spicy peppers to dress up the rice cakes. We really liked this appetizer too.
For my entrťe I had the Hard-working piglet, which was small pieces of ribs in caramelized sauce. My husband had a tofu dish that sounds like it was Strolling in a lemongrass field (fried tofu with lemongrass) though he thought he ordered tofu with sweet and sour tomato sauce, but what he got was fine with him. We liked both entrees. For dessert, we got the caramel custard and the golden tropical orchard winter roll, which was a fried spring roll with pureed bananas and chopped fruit. We liked the custard better than the winter roll (the pureed bananas just werenít our thing). All the dishes were presented very nicely. The restaurant staff was very nice. Our bill was about $44 before tip (3 courses each and soda, tea). We thought this was a great inexpensive dinner.
Have any DR folks been?