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Favorite Dishes - Northern Virginia Edition

Kibbee Nayee

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It's raining outside, and while there's still electricity, why not start a topic on recent favorite dishes in the northern Virginia area. [Don, feel free to move this to a more frivolous board at some point.] All, please weigh in, and maybe someone can start one for DC or Maryland too.

Let me start with the kibbee nayyeh from Mount of Lebanon. Not only is it the best version I've had in a restaurant, it's a bargain at $9.95.

But if I have to have a table full of mezze, please let it be at Layalina in the Ballston area. They have about seven different kinds of hummus alone...not to mention a glass of wine.

The meat and rice stuffed grape leaves, or warak enab, at Mediterranean Gourmet Market in Franconia have to be ordered ahead, but they're well worth it.

Just about any sushi or sashimi offering at PassionFish in Reston works for me, but I love the Captain Crunch Roll.

Both Akasaka in Alexandria and Blue Ocean in Fairfax serve a righteous grilled yellowtail collar.

China Star in Fairfax has lamb in sizzling pot or 干锅羊肉 -- and it may be the best lamb dish around.

My recent experience with the braised tofu at Wu's garden was simple perfection, or perfect simplicity.

Four Sisters has a really nice 5 course beef sampler, Bò 5 Món, for $19.95.

The bánh mì combination sandwich at Le Bledo and Dalat Bakery is easily the best version not made in the Eden Center. I usually eat two, for less than $6.

The roasted bone marrow burger at Ray's Hell Burger is the perfect cardio-vascular sin.

I'll take the Pad Thai at Thai Basil in Chantilly as the best version of this dish I've tasted.

That $20 omelet at Michel's in the Tysons Ritz-Carlton may be pricey, but there's hardly a better way to start the day.

I've had lots of osso buco, but the best version in recent memory was at Zeffirelli's in Herndon.

The marinated octopus appetizer at Nostos in Tysons is worth returning for, but I can't wait to try the grilled version at dinner soon.

Whenever Ocean Joseph is making branzino at Cafe Renaissance, get it.

That's my first cut at 15 of the finest dishes I've encountered over the past year or so, and I'm sure there are many more.....

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