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The Wine House, Old Town Village in Fairfax


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Four of us recently ventured to Wine House a combination wine shop and bistro in Fairfax City. Wine House has been open about 10 months from what I can gather and seems to be developing a loyal following. We were there last Thursday evening at about 8PM and waited for about 30 minutes for a table. The restaurant / bistro is small but comfortable with high tables and chairs as well as a small bar. Wine shelves line 2 walls with several hundred offerings covering all regions and price ranges. One of the attractive aspects of the Wine House is you can enjoy any wine from the "shop" in the bistro for an additional $10 corkage fee.

Michael, the owner from Australia, is very hands on and makes one feel like an old friend even though you have just met. He is committed to you having a nice time and understands the concept of good value.

We enjoyed two bottles of wine that Michael recommended ( $20 and $32) along with a very nice meal. Apps of mussels in garlic broth, a garden salad and mushroom risotto ... all well prepared and nicely sized... they could serve as a small entree. Prices were in the $7 to $15 price range. Entrees were in the $18 - 28 range. I enjoyed the rack of lamb which was two double chops over mashed potatoes and spinach... perfectly prepared and very tasty. My wife enjoyed the roasted chicken which was also very good. Dessert was a perfectly done bread pudding.

While Wine House is not a "bargain" it is a good value. We spent $140 including tax and tip for a nice 3 course meal and wine (for my wife and me). The owner does seem to understand what it takes to attract diners in this challenging economy ... something being missed by many owners and chef's with empty dining rooms who have not caught on that substance is in and big plates with little food is out.......

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My wife and I have been going to The Wine House, just about every week, since they first opened a couple of years ago. The thing that we like about The Wine House is it is a wine shop where I can eat and not just a little serving of cheese, sausage and crackers, but a plate of good food to go with my wine. Their wine selection is outstanding and the prices reasonable. I am particularly fond of their Spanish wine selection where I can always find a great wine. As an eatery, it is a fun place to go. The food is good, the people are friendly and the ambiance is welcoming. What we mostly like is being able to pick a bottle off the wall and then pair it with a meal. We are never disappointed.

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Have been to the Wine House several times over the past few years and find the experience to be mixed. Good selection of wines and all seem priced relatively competitively to other wine stores in the area and in DC in general. Menu is nice and plates are small but nice. Our food quality has been mixed - one visit delicious, the next not so much. For example, a lamb dish noted on the menu with a mint sauce reduction of some sort was presented with jelly. Corking fee is acceptable, particularly compared with DC corkages, but becomes tiresome after the first bottle for a large-sh party (more than 5 and more than 1 or 2 bottles). Overall, a nice place to visit but they could do much to make it more attractive for the frequent visitor or as a "neighborhood" destination. Fun if you're in the area - not worth the drive on a regular basis from DC unless dining with local friends.

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Horrid experiences at the Wine House. Only adequate food and the worst service I've ever had -- on all three visits. (One wonders why I went back after the first time).

What was so bad about it? I ate there once, last autumn, and I remember it as being moderately pleasant. I haven't rushed back, but I don't have any lasting feelings of repulsion. Could you bolster this post with another level of detail?

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What was so bad about it? I ate there once, last autumn, and I remember it as being moderately pleasant. I haven't rushed back, but I don't have any lasting feelings of repulsion. Could you bolster this post with another level of detail?

I would also be interested in the details. My wife and I ate there about a week ago and had a nice meal. We had crab cakes and a pear salad, both of which were quite satisfactory. We had no problem with the service.

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I'll join the chorus of moderately pleasant and decent service. While nothing has wowed me, it's a nice place to stop in for a casual dinner. Sure, stuff happens sometimes, but hard to imagine a "horrid" experience there on multiple occasions

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My wife and I usually eat at the "bar" rather than at a table, and have decent food and decent wine and somewhat decent prices. I can imagine, however, that with their patio fully open it would double the seating capacity and stretch the small kitchen and staff.

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