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Geranio Ristorante, Chef-Owner Troy Clayton's Italian Fine Dining in Old Town Alexandria


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grover said:
I would recommend Geranio other than Al la Lucia because my experience at Geranio is more consistent than at Al la Lucia.

For $30 pp, Geranio has a 4 course menu offering right now. I recieved a notice via mail, but the dates are confllicting, so I'd call to be sure if you're going after August. The notice states on one side, that the 4 course fixed price menu will be offered throughout the month of August. On the other side it says it's available Aug. 1 thru Sept. 30.

Choice of:

Loster Bisque with Tarragon

Fried Calamari with Lemon Caper Sauce

Choice of:

Salad of Vine Ripened Tomato and Mozzerella with Prosciutto and Field Greens

Field Greens with Herb Mustard Vinaigrette, Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Choice of:

Veal Scaloppini with Braised Mushrooms, Roasted Garlic Fingerling Potatoes and Marsala Reduction

Grilled Atlantic Salmon with Mashed Potatoes, Pancetta and Roasted Garlic and Shallots, Red Wine Sauce

Choice of:

Tiramisu

Homemade Ice Creams and Sherberts

http://www.geranio.net

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I didn't see a topic for Geranio's in the Dining Guide, so if I missed it, my apologies and please move this to the right spot.

A friend and I ate here tonight for RW and I was excited to try it out. Four courses on a limited menu, although the selections looked interesting and varied. I wish it had lived up to my hopes. It's a pretty, cozy, old-school dining room. Service was correct and efficient but impersonal, although it started off friendlier until it was clear that we weren't drinking anything tonight.

For starters, Friend got the butternut squash soup and I went with a gorgonzola & walnut salad w/ vinagrette. She said her soup was slightly sweet but she really liked it. The cheese in my salad was excellent -- nice soft creamy and a little stinky, just like I like it; greens were fresh, plenty of walnuts. Odd, though, that the dressing was sort of just plopped into the middle of the salad; at first I thought it missing entirely but found the puddle hidden in the center after a few bites.

Second course, Friend had capellini with mushrooms and spinach -- it came with chicken but she asked for it without and was accomodated without hesitation. "Fine, but too oily" was the verdict on that one from her. I got penne with a tomato-caper-olive-lemon sauce with seared tuna. Sounds wonderful but wasn't good at all. The pasta was properly cooked, but the tuna was very very fishy and unpleasantly strong tasting, and medium to well done and sort of stewed in appearance, not a seared rendition. If I had liked the tuna, I would have complained that it was a very skimpy serving -- 3 or 4 cubes about 3/4" in size -- but that wasn't an issue as I only ate a few bites of the dish, enough to verify that it was not at all to my liking.

Next, Friend got a roasted chicken breast on a pea shoot & mushroom risotto. She liked the risotto more than the chicken, but she is not much of a meat eater, so I cannot speak to the quality of the preparation there. The risotto looked good but she didn't remark much on it except that it was better than the chicken. I had duck leg confit on lentils. It was just over the edge of being too salty, although my tastes are such that I like saltiness against the richness of duck, but the flavor of salt was the first & last taste note on each bite instead of the duck meat. The lentils were fine and cooked properly, tender without being mushy.

Final course, Friend had tiramisu and I had pear & almond tart w/ hazelnut cream. She sucked the tiramisu down blindingly fast so I imagine it was quite good. My slice of tart was tiny, stale and tasteless -- one slice of what I assume was pear, it could have just as easily been apple, no almond flavor, and so tough that I thought one half of it was going to skitter off my plate as I tried to cut thru it.

I really wanted to like this place but found it "meh."

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54 minutes ago, Finatic said:

after 42 years, Geranio has closed.  What a loss for Alexandria!

Here's something few people know or remember:

In the 1980s, when I lived in Maryland, I went to Sergio more than any other fine dining restaurant.

When I moved to Virginia, and in the mid-1990s, I went to Geranio more than any other fine dining restaurant.

In both places, we were allowed to bring our own wines, and have dinner in a "private room." ;)

Here's what few people know or remember:

Between the closure of Alison Swope's Santa Fe East, and the opening of Restaurant Eve, Geranio was - to my way of thinking back then - the best restaurant in Old Town Alexandria.

This is one that hurts, even though I haven't been here in twenty years.

I partially blame this one on me, for not having raised awareness - or even giving Geranio a chance - during the lifetime of this community.

I remember, Troy, even though you may not remember me. I know this might not mean all *that* much, but I'm putting it here anyway:

Screenshot 2018-03-02 at 11.34.39.pngScreenshot 2018-03-02 at 11.34.51.png

I'm going to retire Geranio in Italic, making it the only closed restaurant in Old Town with that honorific, though I'm questioning why I didn't have La Bergerie there as well - Le Gaulois would have been there also, but it went downhill late in its life.

When I last checked, about 20% of independent restaurants were ranked in Italic, so it isn't *that* special.

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57 minutes ago, Finatic said:

after 42 years, Geranio has closed.  What a loss for Alexandria!

28 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

When I moved to Virginia, and in the mid-1990s, I went to Geranio more than any other fine dining restaurant.

In both places, we were allowed to bring our own wines, and have dinner in a "private room." ;)

Here's what few people know or remember:

Between the closure of Alison Swope's Santa Fe East, and the opening of Restaurant Eve, Geranio was - to my way of thinking back then - the best restaurant in Old Town Alexandria.

Geez.  I too went to Geranio's a healthy amount through the 90's; I too thought it the best food quality restaurant in the area at the time and I too haven't been back in a long long time...and I don't know why.  Sorry to see it closed.  It got virtually no mention here over the years.  Did it become passe?

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2 minutes ago, DaveO said:

Geez.  I too went to Geranio's a healthy amount through the 90's; I too thought it the best food quality restaurant in the area at the time and I too haven't been back in a long long time...and I don't know why.  Sorry to see it closed.  It got virtually no mention here over the years.  Did it become passe?

I don't know, but I was negligent, and weezy was right: This thread wasn't in the Dining Guide - I missed it.

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54 minutes ago, Finatic said:

I do not remember Santa Fe East as being fine dining.  Before Santa Fe East, if my memory serves correctly, it was a dark dim lit English restaurant named Wayfarers.  Certainly not fine dining!

It wasn't fine dining, but it was good!

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