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Boxwoods, in the Mason Inn at George Mason

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We ended up having Mother's Day dinner at Boxwoods, a restaurant in the new Mason Inn hotel on the George Mason University campus in Fairfax. This restaurant opened about seven months ago, and you can still see the evidence. The service is a little disorganized, for example, and a new chef is still getting his sea legs. The restaurant clearly has high hopes of being a fine dining establishment in Fairfax, which could use more fine dining. Unfortunately, Boxwoods is hampered both by being new, and by being part of a conference center. This means that the space is fairly spartan, there are no tablecloths, and the glassware, especially, is straight out of the restaurant supply store.

However, the decorating, while minimalist, is attractive, and the food is good. They seem to be able to come up with roast beef that's actually fairly rare, the fish is nicely seared without being overcooked. There is a shortage of sides, however. Nearly everything is served with gratin potatoes, although you can get saffron rice or steamed rice on request. The restaurant was able to accommodate my daughter who has a serious milk allergy, which is more than a lot of places can manage.

Overall, it was a pleasant place to eat. The prices are a little steeper than the experience justifies right now, but you can still get an entree for $20.00, and the wine list is reasonably priced. You can find out more at the Web site: http://www.acc-masoninnandconferencecenter.com/dining/

This is no Trummer's, but it's one of only a few non-chain, upscale choices in the area of Fairfax City.

Wayne Rash

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