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Found 206 results

  1. I can't offer much more than the fact that a banner for "Mason Social" is up on the side of the building at the corner of Madison and N. Henry. The building has had a fresh coat of paint and special use permits are in place with the city for various construction-related activities. The permits were filed by the owner of the property. That's the extent of what I've found in my internet searching. Here's hoping it's something tasty and a nice addition to an area which could use some livening up.
  2. https://www.chopshoptaco.com/ Hubby and I tried to go to Chop Shop Taco Friday night, but it was so busy that they were only doing carry-out at that point. It was a little on the later side, so we didn't think our chances at bar seating were good either. Happily on Sunday there was plenty of space to be had. They make their own tortillas here, I know as I watched them press them on Sunday. I thought the tortillas quite tasty, they were sturdy enough to hold up and not fall apart even when there was a good bit of sauce, but I thought they had good flavor and weren't bland or too tough. To be honest, I would like to see how they make them, as I was a little jealous, mine are nowhere near this good. They serve the tacos to us in this little cardboard box with three taco slots. I had chicken, brisket and chorizo. The brisket was by far and away the favorite. I thought the flavor was smoky, with nice pickled onion balance, good sauce, the meat was tender, but not too soft. I also liked the chorizo- quite oily- but good flavor with lime crema. The chicken was interesting- my least favorite of the three- it had a mango salsa that was kind of mustardy. It wasn't bad at all, but just not nearly as addictive as the brisket. I would like to try more of the menu. The staff was really nice. I haven't been to Urbano yet, but will probably soon, and will do a comparison, the meat and fillings are way better than Tios and Poblano. This place was really fun, the drinks look nice. It is a small space so it fills up fairly easily.
  3. I'm surprised there's not a post yet about Hummingbird. As far as I know, it's not quite open, but should be soon. It's the latest from Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong, Todd Thrasher, and the Eat Good Food Group: the restaurant/bar at the new Hotel Indigo on the Old Town Alexandria waterfront. The bright and airy interior space looks really nice and there is a great patio area, as well. The menus are still in progress, but it sounds like there may be a seafood slant, with the occasional Irish touch, too. Some additional info at Zagat.
  4. I could not find a topic for Monterey's Pizza in Alexandria. They just opened a new location about a block away from their old location. They are going to have a patio, they have some inside seating (not huge about 7 tables of various sizes). Beer and wine license coming. We have tried DRP, Lost Dog (our previous favorite), Lena's and Monterey's so far has been our favorite delivery/eat in pizza that we have found so far in the Alexandria/Del Ray area. the crust has nice char, I think the toppings are really good. The staff is really nice, delivery is fast. We have eaten in their new location and while not amazing ambiance wasn't bad, we watched baseball and ate some pizza. I think the sauce is better than Lena's, crust is better than Lost Dog, and I am not sure why exactly, but as a whole I find it better than DRP. Anyway, just my two cents.
  5. Have you tried the espresso at Misha's? I am not a big coffee person, but didn't see it on your list.
  6. We finally made it to the new Ethiopian place on East Glebe just off Rt 1 in Alexandria (I guess I'd call it east Arlandria). Very quiet on a weekday lunch. I hope they get more customers, because we thought it was very good. We had lamb tibs and the veggie combo. Both were good, nicely spiced - I like Ethiopian a lot, but I don't think I can call myself well informed, so I'm not exactly sure how to describe why I thought it was good. I guess I'd say that everything tasted distinct, not muddy flavors like I've had at Ethiopian places I like less. Service was quick and friendly. Good place to have close by.
  7. Thought people might be interested to hear about Chef Guo, a new restaurant featuring Chef Guo Wenjun's take on Chinese banquets. This is probably the closest the DC area has had to Chinese fine dining, and I'm interested to see how it fares. The chef serves a selection of two tasting menus, the Banquet of Eternal Bliss Hot Pot ($68 lunch, $98 dinner), and the Banquet of Peace and Prosperity ($158 dinner only), both of which feature 10+ courses in the style of imperial cuisine. Scroll through the website to see the full menus, pictures of the dishes, and a press release detailing the overall concept. So far there hasn't been much buzz about this place outside of the Chinese community, but some friends who have gone reported it to be luxurious, visually and conceptually unique, and a lot of (too much?) food, mostly very good to excellent. There seems to be a mix of traditional cuisine and modern/Western techniques. If I understand correctly, the dinner they attended was a special event combining dishes from both menus, with all of the guests at a shared table and Chef Guo himself coming out between each course to explain the concept behind the dish (in Chinese); it's not clear to me how different the experience will be once the restaurant gets settled in, but from their website it seems like they are definitely interested in catering to non-Chinese clientele as well.
  8. I'm surprised we don't have a thread on this place. I was going to post about their nachos, but I kept remembering other things we like and figured that they deserve their own thread. Barbara and I were there tonight for a quick dinner of shared nachos and a couple of beers. The nachos were good, a hearty pile started with a thin layer of refried beans on the bottom of the plate, chips, shredded roast chicken, ground beef, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and jalapenos. These were good, surprisingly not greasy, with crisp chips throughout. We also go frequently for takeout chicken sandwiches. The bread is nothing special, a commercial sub roll, but the chicken inside is their roast chicken torn into large chunks. It's served with commercial french fries, but with mustard-mayo sauce and a spicy green sauce. Barbara wrote a review for her blog a few years ago. I'm glad to say that they are consistently good and we still like eating there.
  9. I look at this as "new opening" experience, but not a good one. Mia's had been open about 10 days when I dined there last Sunday evening. It retains the layout established by Carluccio's: The bar is in the back left of the 1st floor, with dining tables at the front. The former bakery area is now a pizza oven and "bar style" seating for dining. The main kitchen and a dining area on the second floor. Overall, I liked the decor and interior look and feel. The menu looks great, though our food was a mixed bag, as was the service. They have a number of issues to work out in these early days. We arrived for a 7:30 reservation at 7:21 and were told (unapologetically) it would be a few minutes before we could be seated. The place was busy, but I didn't feel welcomed at all by the host. (Perhaps he was trying to accentuate an air of exclusivity and buzz. Hmmm.) I initially thought the bar was in the front by the host stand -- and it was full. But this is bar seating at the pizza oven. There's no bartender there. So we left and had a drink at Pizzeria Paradiso, to return in a little while. When we returned we were seated with our party. Where to begin? The service was ok, with exceptions. The food was a mixed bag, as were the drinks. Definitely a lot to process here -- for me and for Mia's. They have a nice cocktail and wine list. I enjoyed their camomile tea-infused Negroni and we ordered a nice bottle of wine (delivered by a manager with radio in her ear and on her hip). But the Bellini was a problem for one of our companions. They had eaten at the bar a few days before and enjoyed Bellini's there. But this one was different. The menu lists "prosecco, peach purée, orange juice, lavender bitters." They believed the original was either missing the bitters or had much less. And the same for the orange juice. They found this one disappointing. The four of us ordered a spinach salad and capresse to share, with 2 pastas, eggplant parm, and a pizza (which looked like a "flat bread" to me). First the salad arrived. We saw a Capresse coming at the same time, but it wasn't delivered to our table. It was ~10 min before we asked about the capresse almost as one was arriving. The spinach salad was fine; solid. The Capresse has some of the best mozzarella I've tasted. Very fresh and delicious. But it was served with grape tomatoes, and not enough of them for the generous cheese slices. I could swear I saw slices of tomato on the first Capresse I saw, but not sure. About the same time as the Capresse arrived, the pizza arrived. The pizza's are rectangular and cut diagonally thought the center, and perhaps two more times--I didn't really study it.. Again, it seemed like a flatbread, though I didn't taste. (I'm not familiar with rectangular Italian pizza, maybe that's a thing.) Unfortunately, that meant that one us had his dinner too early. I ordered a "spicy" shrimp Diavolo with fettuccine (the online menu shows this as "LOBSTER FRA DIAVOLO"--that was not on offer). Other meals included RIGATONI ALLA CALABRESE, and EGGPLANT & PORCINI “POLPETTA”. The house made pastas are delicious. My pasta was light and delicate, despite the wide noodle. The Calabrese was a very tasty sauce and the pasta was a bit more al dente but delicious. I liked the eggplant, though I'm not much of a connoisseur in that department; our companion found the portion too large and the breading a little too much. Now back to the shrimp. It was devoid of spice. The only hint of spice was the red pepper I shook onto it. The tomato sauce was flavorful and fresh tasting, but the chef forgot to add several spices I suspect. That was another disappointment. The pasta dishes were still tasty enough that we took home what we didn't eat. When our waiter came back we chatted with her about all of these observations and we got nothing more than "oh, sorry" this and that, as well as an exaplainaton that the pizza kitchen is separate from the main, so food might come out differently. Uh, ok, it's still a poor experience. What annoys me is that after trying to give genuine, helpful feedback we go no acknowledgement. We should have been comped the Bellini at a minimum. Maybe offered a discount on the check or on a future visit. The manager should have been called to talk with us (they were NOT remotely busy by this point). We were told how the staff had trained for a month before opening. I think they missed a few things in training. I also wonder what the management trained on. I also have to mention that the seating is too tight in the tables by 1st floor windows. There is barely enough room for waitstaff to get between the tables perpendicular to the windows and the chairs of patrons seated in the tables parallel to the windows. I was bumped at least twice, my sweater was brushed off the back of the chair, as was my wife's coat. I looked a the layout and wondered what the managers were thinking. I saw staff struggling to get through the gauntlet of patrons' chairs and window tables with less than 3 feet of clearance. The divider between dining and bar should be moved 2-3 feet toward the bar. I want Mia's to succeed and I'm generally a fan of Alexandria Restaurant Group's efforts and what they bring to the community. This location has a history of being difficult -- it's sad to think about how long it's been vacant over the past 15 years. I note that there are several Italian restaurants on this block (Il Porto, Landini Bothers) and a pizza restaurant (Pizzaria Paradiso). So I have to wonder whether an Italian kitchen is what the 100 block of King St needed. Is this a slap in the face? The gauntlet thrown down? I'll leave that for others to decide.
  10. I haven't eaten at Peking Duck in ages, but I'll try it again soon, on your recommendation. It's really hard to find good Chinese food in this area, although we have other decent choices for food. The places I've tried in the last year (China Cafe, Top's China, China One, Green Olive, Chef Huang's (decent lunch buffet), & Great Wall (under new management & not as good) are sub optimal.
  11. Yunnan by Potomac is a new place in northern Old Town (according to google maps, it's outside the actual boundary of Old Town), that opened in early February. I went there a couple weeks ago for lunch and enjoyed it for the most part. They are a Mixian Noodle place from the Yunnan Province. Here's the blurb from their website: MIXIAN: SOUL FOOD Yunnan is a beautiful diverse region in southwest China, offering a variety of unique flavors and textures in its distinctive cuisine – not your typical Chinese food. The soul food of Yunnan is Mixian - delicious rice noodles - which are prepared with braised meats, rich broths and sweet, savory and spicy sauces. Mixian bowls are at the core of our menu and are complimented by a variety of unique small plates. They have (or did) a limited menu at this point with promises for more to come. The menu in the restaurant has more options than the one currently posted online. I ordered Pork Belly Lotus Leaf Bun and the Braised Beef Lu Mixian soup (at least I think that's what I ordered. I just asked what's their best dish/specialty). The pork belly bun was good, but not great. The meat was fine, but the bun tasted like a mass produced Wonder bread version. That may be an unfair assessment, as I'm no expert, but I was underwhelmed by taste/texture of the bun. The soup was good, but again I don't think the broth was as deep and rich as my memories of Daikaya or Momofuku's versions of broth. Like I said before, I'm no expert on this, so maybe my memory of those other soups are better than they actually were?!!? I'd love to do a side by side comparison of all the ramen/mixian broths that's probably impossible. The service was understandably a bit rough as they are brand new. When I sat down I was greeted by a server who came up to my table and said, " ". I said, pardon me, and she said, "Drink?". This time it was an audible question. Barely audible, but audible! I asked what they had and she said, "Soda, water, tea" so I just got water. I saw repeat performances of the super quiet interaction with other guests, and lots of repeat questions. The woman working the register and taking the orders was much more on the ball however. Interestingly, I didn't see a single Asian person working there, but I never saw into the kitchen. Also interesting perhaps was my second "visit" to this place. I happened to park in front the other evening for a class, and a group of 4-5 Asian people were entering and none were speaking English. I took that as a good sign, but it's likely that was their first visit (it took them a few seconds to figure out where it was along the block), so who knows if they'll return? I'll definitely go back when I'm in the neighborhood and I'm happy to have a new cuisine on the scene. Photos of the menu and my dishes below.
  12. Vermilion hosts a wine dinner each month - typically the first Monday of the month - however August will be a bit different. The restaurant is serving up a five course dinner paired with various beers from Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware. Cost is reasonable at $60 inclusive of tax and tip. Menu Passed Appetizers and Tasting Crab Cigars, Curry Russian Dressing Goat Cheese Profiterole with Basil and Mint Grilled Bison Hanging Tenderloin Crostini, Horseradish Cream Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale First Course Prosciutto Wrapped Figs with Gorgonzola, Microgreens Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale Second Course Arugula and Brie Cheese Salad, Dried Apricots, Pumpkin Seeds, Celery Root and Champagne Vinaigrette Dogfish Head Aprihop Third Course Baked Maryland Rockfish, Fingerling Potatoes, Wild Mushrooms, Green Beans, Rosemary Cream Sauce Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA Fourth Course Grilled Bistro Filet Marinated in Chicory Stout, Orange and Soy, Grilled Summer Squash, Shitake Mushroom Glaze Dogfish Head Chicory Stout Final Course Assorted Truffles and Chocolates Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 703.684.9669. These events typically fill up pretty quickly, so get in early! Cheers!
  13. I don't see a thread for Lena's Wood-Fired Pizzas & Tap at 401 E Braddock Rd, near Braddock Metro Station. Friends and family opening was this weekend, and soft opening reported for today. This is said to be a partnership between management of The Majestic/Virtue and the Yates family. The space looks great. Large bar. Extensive outdoor patio with fire pit and gas heaters.
  14. https://www.alexandriatsimyung.com/ We got delivery from here last night. I knew as soon as I saw the menu that I was not going to be thrilled with this place. There are much better Asian options on Door Dash, but Hubby wanted American Chinese food and picked this place (Maybe I should have gone with a sub. I jest.). I don't really like American Chinese food, it's not really my thing. So I got vegetable lo mein, because well, at least I could spruce it up a bit at home. They had combination lo mein, but their website menu nor the Door Dash explained if this was a meat and veggie or multiple meats, so I just stuck to veggie. To me the noodles were overcooked and didn't have enough bite, but the veggies were fine. I added some roasted lotus root and other veggies I had in the fridge, and topped it with some sriracha sauce, which made it better. Hubby got beef and broccoli and woofed it down, so it couldn't have been horrible. I am sure this place is perfectly fine for most people to get delivery Chinese. And maybe there are some items that actually are good that I just don't know about... But I likely won't order from here often enough to find out.
  15. I was getting car stuff done at Pep Boys, so after finishing, I stopped to pick up lunch at Tacos El Costallila, since I hadn't been there in awhile. I got a sope de pollo (2.75) which was good, & oddly, tasted better later on when it was cold (especially w/ the added green salsa which is spicy) & the ceviche tostada (3.20) which was great- the lady said no more shrimp ceviche, only fish (I don't know if that was just today or permanently). The ceviche was spicy & tangy & utterly delicious, I think I'll be stopping in more frequently. As I waited for my order, I looked up at the illustrated menu board & tried to figure out what 'cueritos' was, after I was home & looked at the menu postcard I picked up (very cute, w/ Speedy Gonzalez flanking the name) I discovered it was pig skin in vinegar. Maybe another day...
  16. Haute Dogs & Fries has just opened in Alexandria at 610 Montgomery St (steps from TJ Stone's). I haven't been to this location, or the original in Purcellville, but it looks like they will be a nice addition to the north end of Old Town.
  17. My boss is having a hard time finding an electrician for some small jobs here at the office and at his home. He has used Walsh Electric and will again if he has to, but he would rather find a small outfit to work with. Any recs?
  18. So I need to find a new chicken place now that we have moved... I also would like to find a place for Saltenas and Empanadas. (I really miss being close to Caribbean Grill, it was one of my favorites, we also had a Crisp and Juicy right there.) I don't mind going down Route 1 a bit, as that can be on Hubby's way home. I have been to Edy's at Bailey's before, and it's fine, but not special to me and can be crowded to get in and out of that shopping center. I have been to the chicken place by David's Car Wash, again not bad, and much easier to get in and out of. Where do you Alexandrians get your chicken fix? Where would you get Saltenas?
  19. Got a mailer for the new Bistro Sancerre last week, so I walked over to check it out. I knew there was activity in the space some months ago, but somehow missed that it had opened already. This may be telling. I walk by this area to Whole Foods frequently, but not this secluded plaza. The restaurant faces onto a plaza with fountain which is the side of the Embassy Suites. Inside, the dining space steps up 2 levels, with a private dining room and art display, extending all the way to the Duke St side of the building. I only ate in the bar. A few beers on tap, but good ones. Extensive beer bottles/cans selection. But I think the wine is more important. The bar seats about 10+ 3 or 4 high-tops for 2 people, and one for maybe 4 people. It looks nice but a bit hard (lots of stone), not much character. Had some sliders and winter squash soup. Sliders were pretty tasty. Good beef and brioche buns. The soup was a little gelatinous. Good flavor. The bartender said it was made with emulsified fish (cod? don't remember now). I'm pretty sure I heard that correctly. Anyway, it looks like the place is worth a try for a real dinner. Maybe this week... Looks like they specialize in steaks. Some pics attached.
  20. Northside 10 opened up this weekend, it took over the Chez Andree space on Glebe Rd. Brought to you by the Southside 815 folks. Drove by and saw that it looked open, and wanted to watch football. So, instead of packing into Pork Barrel, stopped by here. It was pretty crowded. Decent draft list, including Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA. They had a bunch of TVs playing the playoff games (go Packers!) and a lot of the crew were familiar faces from other Del Ray restaurants, as were many of the guests. Lady got the burger, asked for medium, probably more medium well, but she loved it. I got some pretty darn good wings. Found out we had accidentally stumbled into Friends and Family soft opening, so they didn't charge us for the food. Oops! Paid for it anyway with a big tip. Although kind of a weird location, I think it's going to do well. Very residential area, lots of family's can easily walk to it.
  21. [is there really no thread in the restaurant forum? I could not find it if it exists.] Stopped in for a bite of lunch and had the "My Turkish Cousin " - Lamb Shoulder | preserved lemon yoghurt | sultana mostarda | sautéed spinach | flatbread ~ $14. That is one excellent sandwich with wonderfully flavorful lamb. After lunch stopped in the market and bought a nice barded beef roast and some of the Leafy greens sausages (kale, collard greens, pork) for a nice weekend dinner. The space is wonderful and the market is filled with tempting purchases everywhere. It was aslo nice to see and chat with Mr. Wabeck. Looking forward to my next visit.
  22. WARNING: Shameless plug for Evening Star Cafe & The Wild Grape (JParrot)... This Monday, April 24th, the Evening Star Cafe is hosting Richard Weiss of The Wild Grape at our monthly wine dinner. If you like small production wines from South Africa, this is most definitely a not-to-be-missed dinner. Chef Matt Cordes and his staff are pairing their creations with seven wines from The Wild Grape. Menu Vischysoisse with Parsley Froth paired with a 2005 Louisvale Unwooded Chardonnay (Western Cape) Seared Scallops with Farmer Greens, Fennel & Articoke and a Lavender Vinaigrette paired with a 2005 Monteroso de Franchi Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc Pan-Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast with Savory Sour Cherry Bread Pudding, Minted Duck Jus and Micro Greens paired with a 2003 Avondale "Amira" Syrah (Coastal Region) and a 2003 Hartenberg "Ecurie" Cab, Shiraz, Pinotage, Merlot Blend (Stellenbosch) Caraway & Herb Crusted Lamb Round with Red Onion, Parsley & Black Pepper Creme paired with a 2003 Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Blend and a 2001 Vergenoegd Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch) Raisin Tart with Port & Muscat Drizzle paired with a 2005 Vriesenhof Melelo Muscat d'Alexandrie, Tinta Touriga (Stellenbosch) Price is $85 per person (includes tax & gratuity). RSVP by calling Planet Wine at 703.549.3444.
  23. The Cheese Monster (website), by Alice Bergen Phillips, is a cool company. She is currently making cheese displays, teaching classes, and creating cheese pairings for others. cheesemonsterdc@gmail.com She did an event for 20 people in my home last night that was just so much fun. We had a seated cheese tasting and wine pairing for the Junior Friends. She picked 5 cheese and we bought the wine to pair with the cheese. She can either pick cheese for certain wines you want to have, or she can come up with a whole tasting, whatever you like. she also mentioned she does a lot of beer and cheese pairings, which would be cool!!! I have attached a picture of our menu. We then had a social after where we ate her delicious and beautiful cheese board. I think it is a social event we might have to have again. I learned so much about cheese that I didn't know before. It was an exciting event and something just a little bit more special than the typical social event and really fun for our members. I realize some people on this board know a lot about cheese, much more than me, it was fun to gain a little knowledge, and delicious. Thanks Alice! Wishing you lots of success on your brick and mortar coming to DC!
  24. Zento opened a few weeks ago in the space previously occupied by Burrito Grill (North Washington near the corner of Wythe St). In addition to the sushi and sashimi menu, they have a variety of teriyaki dishes, ramen, bento boxes, and small plates. We stopped in last night to check it out and were happy with what we tried. They have a happy hour from 5-7pm daily, with a selection of discounted beverages, small plates, and roll combo (2 from a list of 6 varieties for $9.95). The spicy tuna roll and tuna avocado were both very good, with fresh ingredients. Edamame and seaweed salad are pretty standard fare - no surprises there. We shared a sushi/sashimi combo . Other than a few pieces of sashimi that were a touch on the cold side (better than too warm), we had no complaints. Pieces were generous, clean, and well-cut/prepared. Veggie tempura was fresh and hot, with vegetables still fresh and crispy. My only quibble was that it was a touch greasy. We're looking forward to heading back and trying some other things. The dishes we saw at other tables all looked very nice. Service is friendly and efficient. Free parking in the two retail lots with entrances on Pendleton and Wythe Streets (if you pull in somewhere you have to take a ticket, that's the wrong entrance). This has become a decent block to stop for lunch or dinner, with Teaism on one side and Zento on the other.
  25. Old Town Alexandria Patch states that Hank's Pasta Bar is opening on Feb. 4, 2016. The address is 600 Montgomery St, Alexandria, VA. Here is the Washington Post article from last May about this upcoming restaurant from Jamie Leeds.
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