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100 King Street, Old Town Alexandria - Dethroned.


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#1 bilrus

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:15 PM

From an e-mail to the Lebanese Taverna mailing list:

The Abi-Najm family and Lebanese Taverna Group are excited to announce the December opening of a new dining concept, 100 King Restaurant.  Located at 100 King Street in historic Old Town, Alexandria, the bi-level restaurant will seat 160 guests.  The restaurant first floor concept will encourage energetic gatherings while the second floor will offer a more elegant dining experience.

Executive Chef/Partner Denis Soriano has designed a tantalizing menu inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean Region.  It will feature an array of small plates including seafood, meats, pastas, and salads with influences from France, Spain, Greece, Italy and the Middle East.  The wine list will compliment the cuisine with an extensive selection offered by both the bottle and the glass.


Bill Russell

#2 monavano

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:24 PM

That space has been vacant forever. The location say's "tourists", but let's hope the food says "local's favorite".

http://100king.com/

#3 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:26 PM

Is this the location that used to be the Gaslight, and then a Mexican restaurant, and then a .....?
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#4 monavano

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:30 PM

Yes, across from Starbucks on the SW corner of King and Union. The building's restaurant history does not bode well. But, we'll see.

#5 JLK

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:37 PM

I'm sick of dining concepts. Just gimme good food served by pleasant people.

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#6 bilrus

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:41 PM

Eeza gonna suck

I'm normally more of a fan of Lebanese Taverna than most around these parts - I think their food firmly holds the middle ground of serviceable to good, but never great and seldom bad.

But I'm always a little leery of places that claim to draw their inspiration from varied cusines. The "Mediterranian Region" isn't exactly a few villages around some little lake.

I'm most curious to see how the higher-end upstairs comes off.
Bill Russell

#7 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:43 PM

I'm sick of dining concepts.  Just gimme good food served by pleasant people.

Whenever I see the word "concept" used within 3 words of the word "restaurant" I am immediately suspicious. I'll ask Cathal Armstrong the next time I see him just what "concept" Restaurant Eve is and see what his reaction is (I will make sure to stand just a little bit more than an arm's length away from him when I do this).

Edited by Jacques Gastreaux, 16 November 2005 - 04:43 PM.

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#8 bilrus

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:43 PM

I'm sick of dining concepts.  Just gimme good food served by pleasant people.

And small plates isn't exactly a new dining concept. Although I still can't quite bring myself to considering it "trite", mainly because I do like that style of dining.
Bill Russell

#9 goldenticket

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:56 PM

The interior is very "WHITE" - walls, tables, chairs, etc. (sounds similiar to how someone just described Oya to me). The preview menu that has been posted on the windows didn't look too interesting and the prices were on the high side. I suppose that's to be expected since the rent in that location has got to be astronomical.

Wonder when the "Irish Restaurant" is going to open in the old Bullfeathers space a few doors up...the "coming in 2005" signs will soon be out of date!

Jackie B.

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#10 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:57 PM

Wonder when the "Irish Restaurant" is going to open in the old Bullfeathers space a few doors up...the "coming in 2005" signs will soon be out of date!

Just what did they need to do to the old Bullfeathers to turn it into an Irish Restuarant?
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#11 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 05:02 PM

And small plates isn't exactly a new dining concept.  Although I still can't quite bring myself to considering it "trite", mainly because I do like that style of dining.

Isn't the "tasting menu concept" a variation of the "little plates concept?"
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#12 goldenticket

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 05:26 PM

Just what did they need to do to the old Bullfeathers to turn it into an Irish Restuarant?

Who knows, but they've been at it for nearly a year. The former "Hats in the Belfry" space is being sucked into it too. Daniel O'Connell's is the name and SUP paperwork says it's supposed to be a "high-end, white-table-linen, fine-dining experience" with the occasional musical artist "from Ireland".

[sorry Don - I know this has veered off the topic of 100 King Street... :lol: ]

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#13 Free Wilma

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 06:34 PM

That space has been vacant forever. The location say's "tourists", but let's hope the food says "local's favorite".

http://100king.com/

Boy I hope you're right. That spot has had terrible restaurant karma as long as I can remember. I am somewhat heartened that it's being fronted by folks that have shown some measure of business success over the years. Of course that doesn't mean the food doesn't become dumbed-down tourist fare. But I'll certainly give them a try!

Edited by Free Wilma, 16 November 2005 - 06:35 PM.

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#14 Barbara

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 08:45 PM

Is this the location that used to be the Gaslight, and then a Mexican restaurant, and then a .....?

Which reminds me . . . there is a space at the corner of 18th & Columbia Rd. Perfect, you might imagine. But, for a very long time is was an Eddie Leonard's sub shop. Then, it became a Long John Silver's place, then a Salvadoran/Mexican place, then a Chinese place, then a Boston Market, then I don't remember--but they had a bar (!). It is now a Starbucks (OH, GREAT!). It seems that some locations are just hexed.

#15 CrescentFresh

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 07:09 AM

But I'm always a little leery of places that claim to draw their inspiration from varied cusines.  The "Mediterranian Region" isn't exactly a few villages around some little lake.

Waiter, there's couscous in my souvlaki. And it ain't doin' the backstroke.
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#16 JPW

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 07:53 AM

It seems that some locations are just hexed.

At one point when "The Restaurant" was on someone on eG posted a list of all the restaurants that had recently been in that space and failed rather quickly.

Joe
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#17 bilrus

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 09:06 AM

Isn't the "tasting menu concept" a variation of the "little plates concept?"

Pretty much, although "small plates" gives you the added benefit of being served as little or as much as you want. There are times I like having lots of contrasting flavors and textures.
Bill Russell

#18 Giancarlo Buonarotti

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 10:03 AM

And small plates isn't exactly a new dining concept.  Although I still can't quite bring myself to considering it "trite", mainly because I do like that style of dining.

touche, smalll plates and tasting menus are so over played especially here in washington

#19 mdt

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 10:08 AM

touche, smalll plates and tasting menus are so over played especially here in washington

Why all the negativity on the tasting menus? I think that it keeps the meal interesting and allows you to see the various talents of the chef.

#20 monavano

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 02:27 PM

100 King had thier opening last week. Family and friends were invited last Thursday night, and dined downstairs. Mr. MV and I were strolling around after a visit to the Torpedo Factory Holiday party, when we spotted activity inside. We chatted with a very nice woman (family member?) who was leaving. She arranged for us to get a quick sneak peak at the place. She also mentioned the soft opening would be Fri/Sat and opening would be this week.

The interior is minimalist, with white, glass and lucite. Upstairs the Federalist windows are beautiful and left plain. Crystal chandeliers, placed sparingly, dot the high ceiling.
We plan on trying some small plates next week.
Say what you will, but here's hoping it beats that aweful Mexican joint it's finally replaced.

Edited by monavano, 05 December 2005 - 02:28 PM.


#21 Giancarlo Buonarotti

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 09:57 PM

100 King had thier opening last week. Family and friends were invited last Thursday night, and dined downstairs.

I was invited to the "soft opening" and it was quite good. The scallops were exceptional as was the filet. They did a very nice mussel dish which improved a great deal from one night to the next at the urging of a guest. The people there were delightful and I really did not know many of them before arriving. They had been working hard on the service as it is a group waitering concept that I imagen some transferrees for LT were not accustomed to. Their HR person was there and was most informative and gentile as the Italians say. It seems the decor is geared for a younger more hip crowd than I am but I was comfortable there. As far as the small plates, they were not so small! We also had a red snapper with sauteed spinach that was perfectly prepared. Ther was homus and their own breads, some Arabian others Italian. (the mediteranian is big)
I hope they break the curse of the location as they were truly very very warm people who seem to really want to deliver a quality product in a hip setting. The bar looked nice too and is non-smoking! Yippee! They toured us upstairs where they plan to serve a more traditional fare for the not so hip-but not so-they are planning a lighted ceiling"light show" that will be visable from the outdoors. Someone wrote previously about a good food nice people theme, I think you may have gotten your wish.. Grand opening is this weekend, tonight is their first night I believe. Enjoy.

#22 JLK

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 09:43 AM

100 King Street is the focus of today's Daily Candy

Jennifer


#23 Giancarlo Buonarotti

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 10:28 PM

100 King Street is the focus of today's Daily Candy

I had dinner there this past Thurs and Dinner at Zaytinya on Sat, I believe the food at 100 King to be far superior and have a lot more soul. The portions are nicely sized and just delicious. Their mussels punish, their scallops are delectible and thegreek and fatoush salads make you yearn for more! They seem to be getting busier and busier too. Give them a shot, you will not be disappointed.

#24 JeffC

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 11:47 PM

I had dinner there this past Thurs and Dinner at Zaytinya on Sat, I believe the food at 100 King to be far superior and have a lot more soul.  The portions are nicely sized and just delicious.  Their mussels punish, their scallops are delectible and thegreek and fatoush salads make you yearn for more!  They seem to be getting busier and busier too.  Give them a shot, you will not be disappointed.

That's good to know. The Lebanese Taverna catered our wedding reception eleven years ago--they did an exceptional job--so we've always had a soft spot for them. We'll probably give them that shot later this month.

#25 cucas87

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 03:32 PM

Had a nice lunch at 100 King earlier this week. With some colleagues, I tasted: the goat cheese pizza, hommus, swordfish, scallops, tabbouleh, portobello mushrooms (stuffed with serrano ham and cheese), all of which were great. I didn't taste the petite filet mignon but someone else at the table loved it. I can't wait to go back. Good service, nice atmosphere. The only odd thing was that we had to beg for more pita once the dishes came. I'll be happy to go back and work my way through the menu.

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#26 JimRice

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 05:21 PM

I was down at 100 King Thursday night.

I wasn't impressed. The host made us feel like we were a great imposition on him. Whether this was because we didn't have reservations or didn't have the right look I don't know. Anyway, after waiting a few minutes, he managed to seat us.

Once we got a table, service was good. The waiters were available without being intrusive. We had two glasses of wine each, and had 5 of the small dishes. The mussels were excellent, nice and plump, and tasty with the garlic and saffron. The Moroccan sausage was yummy, served on top of two small piles of mashed potatos. The polenta souffle and the pan fried zucchini cakes were both very good as well. The only one we didn't really like was the goat cheese pizza. Lumps of goat cheese on pita bread does not a pizza make. A few slivers of olives and grape tomatos doesn't make it better, you still think "I'm eating a lump of goat cheese on pita bread."

Prices were higher than at Zaytinya, though I think the portions may have been larger. My wife disagrees with me on that. The wine list seemed expensive as well, although I haven't compared their prices with retail.

It was loud, Loud, LOUD, louder than Ray's or any other place I've been to lately. In between the club music being played and the concrete floor and all the hard surfaces and everyone else talking over the music, it was a chore to talk across our table.

I guess for me the bottom line is that while the food is good, I didn't enjoy myself. Too loud music and the 'tude when we got there won't make for a repeat visit.

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#27 crackers

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 04:11 PM

Grover and I and a friend have reservations this coming Saturday night. Has anyone else been to 100 King since January?  I'd like to hear more experiences (good and bad) if anyone has any.

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#28 Escoffier

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 11:31 AM

Our Exciting Evening at 100 King.

Grover and I were seated upstairs and finishing up our 6 small plates and contemplating ordering dessert when the one thing that I hate the most happened: a cell phone rang...okay, actually it vibrated and I had to answer because it happened to be my brother who is having some problems. As I'm (discreetly) talking on the phone, I watch one of the large windows which overlook King Street slowly begin to describe an arc which would take it to immediate destruction on the 6 top directly across from us. With a most satisfying CRASH, the window landed on the table and spewed shattered glass over a wide area. For some reason this brought large numbers of staff flying from everywhere. In approximately 10 minutes, the shattered window frame had been removed, the glass swept up and drywall put over the (very large) missing window. Fortunately, there was no one sitting at the 6 top that was inundated with glass. Oh yeah, we did order dessert and it was good.

Okay, so here's what we had and what we thought:

SAUTÉED SHRIMP ARAK Seven well cooked shrimp. The shrimp were boiled(?) in a garlic infused mixture and served over a base of red onions, parsley and lemon juice. The shrimp were good sized and tasty but slightly tough.

GNOCCHI An excellent rendering. Soft, pillowy and full of good flavors. Grover and I split this one down to the very last.

SWORDFISH KABOB seasoned with sumac and saffron pernod sauce. Four good sized cubes of Swordfish on two skewers with a braised cherry tomato between the cubes to add a bit of color. The swordfish was nicely grilled and moist. Very satisfying.

RISOTTO Watch out local Italian restaurants. This was some of the best risotto I have eaten in a long time. A very creamy rice base nicely surrounded by a wonderful cheese sauce and topped by mushrooms. I could have made a meal from this.

BRAISED BEEF PROVENCAL With green olives and baby vegetables. This is a very tender rendition of an old comfort food. The beef was very tasty and the olives added an interesting sharp contrast to the baby veggies.

BRAISED LAMB CHOP TAGINE Moroccan couscous and okra. A good sized lamb chop "lollipop". Served on the bone and just made for picking up and eating. Grover and I managed to avoid doing so but the temptation was there. Served medium rare.

DESSERT for dessert I had the selection of 3 cheeses and Grover had the special dessert of the night. My cheese plate was unremarkable with the exception of the Stilton which was excellent. Grover had the creamy cheesecake with a orange zest topping. While it's not New York cheesecake, it was way to good to care. Suffice it to say, it disappeared.

When we ordered we asked our waitperson to order for us and bring what she thought were the best offerings of the house. For someone who has only been in this country for five months (she's from Khazakstan) Tolkyn and the restaurant did very well. Somewhat flustered at our request at first, she (and 100 King) did an excellent job.

Edited by Escoffier, 26 February 2006 - 11:32 AM.

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#29 ScotteeM

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 10:05 AM

I admit it: I saw Tom's review yesterday while Mr. S and I were trying to decide where in Old Town to have lunch. It sounded interesting. We gave it a try.

The space is lovely at mid-day, very bright and fresh. We were the second customers seated for lunch, and we had a lovely corner table with a view of the whole room. Service was well-meaning, but needs a little more practice and polish. Dishes not yet used (clean) were whisked away, to be replaced moments later by more clean dishes. Food went to the wrong tables. Servers forgot to mention to diners that they were out of the grilled calimari and the Portuguese sardines. Our server had told us that up front, but all around us we heard diners start to order those two dishes, only to have the server say, "Oh, we're out of that." And, after explaining to us that the items on the menu were small plates, meant to be shared, our orders were each brought out as separate courses--my gnocchi and his soup, and then my duck confit and his goat-cheese pizza. I had expected everything at once, and thought we would pass food back and forth and share. But the extra plates for sharing were taken away, and the food was not all plated for sharing.

I ordered the gnocchi and the confit, expecting them to arrive together, and they did not. I think that they would have complimented one another. Alone, the gnocchi were light and delicate, but bland. While visible, the sage in the brown butter didn't add as much of its character to the dish as I would have liked. Salt and pepper helped. Mr. S's seafood soup was warming and the fish were fresh and tasty, but he complained that the soup was bland--salt helped that as well.

The duck confit was crisp and tender, and the thyme-scented lentils were a wonderful background for it. I tasted Mr. S's "pizza", and while it tasted good, I didn't want to eat more than one bite. It was heavy and filling--I could have ordered more, but he was very full, so we paid our check and strolled on down to the water.

I love small plates, and I love inventive food. I may go back eventually and try it again, but there are so many other restaurants left for me to try first.

Dona Animella


#30 goldenticket

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 10:19 AM

We finally stopped by 100 King on Saturday evening and were pleasantly surprised by the food.

I guess I'm in the bilrus camp and like Lebanese Taverna more than some other folks do, so fact that the selection of small plates included some from LT's menu was fine with me. We ordered the shrimp arak (an LT favorite) and I think it was the best preparation of this dish that I've had. The shrimp were perfectly cooked - not over- or under-done and the flavor of the arak came through without being overpowering.

We also had the hommos - pretty hard to screw that up, the grilled portobello with truffle butter, and the grilled scallops with sauteed spinach and a sherry sauce. All of the dishes were well prepared, simple, with the main ingredients the focus of the dish, not overpowered by the sauces or accompaniments. The scallops also were very nicely grilled, soft and sweet inside, but with nice caramelization on the outside.

I enjoyed the Oasis cocktail - sort of a lemony gin and tonic - Tanqueray and lemonade with a sumac-dipped glass.

The one disappointment was the pita bread. I love that puffy bread you get at LT - what they brought out at 100 King was not it. Boring, standard pita bread. Worked just fine for the hommos, but I much prefer the other stuff.

There was no wait for an outside table, which was very enjoyable temperature-wise - traffic-wise (human and auto) it could get old fast. This wasn't the case, as we were done in about an hour, and for just over $50 with a drink apiece and tax/tip included.

It probably won't be a regular destination, but it was nice for what it is - a good place to sit outside, have some pretty decent food, and watch the world go by.

Jackie B.

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Wonka/Dahl/O'Shaughnessy


#31 joncephine

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:15 PM

E and I visited 100 King for lunch on Labor Day on our way back from Mount Vernon.

The Pros:
-The blue cheese that they chose for the cheese plate.
-I liked the polenta souffle (though I do not remember blue cheese in it) with the mushrooms underneath
-the baba Ghannouge (is that spelled right? that's from their website) was so great it had us licking the plate
-The sourdough sandwich - though we were not asked how we wanted it cooked, it was still great.

The Cons:
-We had two wineglasses on the table (good). One of them looked like someone tried to wash it, but then it got dusty, with little hairs and was greasy (bad). When we brought it to our waitress' attention, she expressed dismay and immediately whisked it away.
-We were seated right away but it took about 8 minutes for anyone to come and ask us what we wanted to drink, where we then ordered our meals. Then, we didn't get drinks for about 20 minutes -- after we had gotten our meals.
-The two tables behind us (at the end of our corner of the restaurant) had dirty plates on them when we got to the restaurant -- and were not cleared until we already had our food.
-The shoestring fries that went with the sourdough sandwich were cold by the time we got them.

Overall? The food was pretty good, and enough for us to consider visiting there the next time we are down in Alexandria. However, the service made the restaurant not good enough for a special trip (for lunch, at least).
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#32 Escoffier

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 06:34 AM

I heard from a friend in the restaurant biz that 100 King might become a victim of the waterfront's high per foot rental pricing. Not verified but that space on King St has been known to swallow a lot of money and restaurants.

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#33 plunk

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 08:15 AM

I heard from a friend in the restaurant biz that 100 King might become a victim of the waterfront's high per foot rental pricing. Not verified but that space on King St has been known to swallow a lot of money and restaurants.

That would be a shame. 100 King is a good option if you're in the Old Town area.

#34 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 04:22 PM

Is this the location that used to be the Gaslight, and then a Mexican restaurant, and then a .....?

and now, while it's still called 100 King, it's a different 100 King?:

I had last visited 100 King in July, and had been eagerly looking forward to a repeat visit, on an empty weeknight it took fully twenty minutes to get a glass of wine, “where’s the tapas menu,” I asked the server, not recognizing what was just handed to me, “oh, we changed a couple weeks ago, we have a French chef and he wanted to make the menu more French,” so now I’m sitting there staring down such French classics as “Cheeseburger,” “Mixed Grille,” “Greek Salad,” “Seafood Angel Hair Pasta,” "Grilled Salmon," "Pork Chop," and “Crab Rigatoni,” a Lobster Chowder ($6) tasted of fish stock but was lifeless and bland, Onion Soup Gratinee ($5) was exactly what you’d expect in a hotel, a salty broth covered with gooey cheese, the server touted the Tilapia Fiah and Chips ($13) as having fresh tilapia, but it didn’t, and the French fries were as bad as frozen French fries can be, “do you make the ravioli here,” I asked him, and he assured me they did, but then I said “are you sure” and he replied, “well, we buy it already made, but we cook it here," Sautéed Sea Scallops ($21) were fibrous and overcooked, served atop a bed of rice with a sherry sauce, I found out later that the restaurant had just changed ownership two weeks before, 100 King was a very good restaurant, one of the best and most interesting in Alexandria, but now it’s done,


Please unload all firearms and remove ski masks before entering establishment.

#35 CrescentFresh

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 04:49 PM

“do you make the ravioli here,” I asked him, and he assured me they did, but then I said “are you sure” and he replied, “well, we buy it already made, but we cook it here,"

Classic. All I can think of is the scene when Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau asked, "Does your dog bite?"
"Give me a Sandwich and a Douchebag and there's nothing I cannot do." -- Lord Salisbury

#36 bilrus

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 07:21 PM

First Majestic and now this - another disappointment in Old Town. We had a very good meal there over the holidays from both the mezze/tapas menu and the entrees. But there were only about two other tables taken on what should have been a busy night.

The Eve people can't keep opening up more new places. Can they? Southern-Irish? Irish tapas?
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#37 jparrott

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:15 AM

Weren't they part of the Lebanese Taverna empire? (Which, BTW, will soon have a new outpost at the Inner Harbor end of Aliceanna street in Baltimore. Bear down on a 4-iron well enough, and get a good bounce, and you can get to Pazo from there. Good luck, LT.)

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Anyway, I need f (4, 2) resolved to an integer value....


#38 christopher

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 10:57 AM

Weren't they part of the Lebanese Taverna empire? (Which, BTW, will soon have a new outpost at the Inner Harbor end of Aliceanna street in Baltimore. Bear down on a 4-iron well enough, and get a good bounce, and you can get to Pazo from there. Good luck, LT.)

100 King is up for sale.

#39 monavano

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 01:17 PM

Walking by 100 King I noticed they are now emphasizing Certified Angus Beef on their "100 King Steaks" menu. They continue to offer a lot of seafood dishes too. This seems to be another iteration of their evolving identity.

#40 monavano

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 12:01 PM

I keep walking by 100 King expecting it to be closed, or the name to change to 100 Prime. Neither has happened thus far. Now, Local Kicks is reporting that the latter will happen when Neighborhood Restaurant Group takes over the space, with a dual concept restaurant in the 2 level building. The first level will be light fare, while upstairs will be a steakhouse. Which.......is pretty much the same :lol:
No word on the new chef and restaurant name.

#41 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 06:28 PM

I keep walking by 100 King expecting it to be closed, or the name to change to 100 Prime. Neither has happened thus far. Now, Local Kicks is reporting that the latter will happen when Neighborhood Restaurant Group takes over the space, with a dual concept restaurant in the 2 level building. The first level will be light fare, while upstairs will be a steakhouse. Which.......is pretty much the same :lol:
No word on the new chef and restaurant name.

Hmmmm....new chef doesn't want to be named yet....? I love the intrigue! Could Jonathan Krinn have found his new destination? Or maybe Cathal Armstrong will continue buying up the rest of Old Town?

I'm heading to Old Town with two old buddies tomorrow night for an evening of eating and drinking, and I just might try this place. Any other places that the Abi Najm family punted on?

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#42 goldenticket

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 10:55 PM

I keep walking by 100 King expecting it to be closed, ...

It is. Closed, for good, as of Sunday... Hate to see that space sitting empty yet again :lol:

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