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Heavy Seas Alehouse, A Baltimore Alehouse Comes To 1501 Wilson Blvd. in Rosslyn - Closing Oct 27, 2019

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Heavy Seas Alehouse opened up in Rosslyn this week :)  Based on the crowds there for both the soft open and official open, its arrival has been eagerly anticipated by many!  The service was fantastic at the soft open -- despite the crowd (almost every seat was taken), our waiter was friendly and attentive and every staff member who passed by made us feel welcome.  The beer was excellent as well, but of course that's no surprise.  It's a big, well-used space -- lots of seats without feeling too crowded.

Great photos and food menus are here.

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The dinner menu lists a Duck "Cassoulette". If you're wondering what that is, I suggest looking it up on Urban Dictionary.

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The dinner menu lists a Duck "Cassoulette". If you're wondering what that is, I suggest looking it up on Urban Dictionary.

:o

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I had to work late on Thursday and strolled over to Heavy Seas around 5:20 figuring I'd get a burger or something to go and take it back to my office, or maybe have a quick bite at the bar.  Ha! Looked like half of Rosslyn was in there already and the other half was waiting to get in.  Every bar seat was taken and there was a crowd 2 deep standing behind those lucky enough to have snagged a spot to sit.  So, I still have no idea how good the food or drink is here, but I guess the area has been starved for a place like this to go for happy hour. I mean, besides the Continental (bleh) where would you go? Ruby Tuesday?  Cafe Asia or Piola?  Not very good choices.  Someone or some people have "lost" a lot of money not having opened this sort of place a long time ago.

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I had to work late on Thursday and strolled over to Heavy Seas around 5:20 figuring I'd get a burger or something to go and take it back to my office, or maybe have a quick bite at the bar.  Ha! Looked like half of Rosslyn was in there already and the other half was waiting to get in.  Every bar seat was taken and there was a crowd 2 deep standing behind those lucky enough to have snagged a spot to sit.  So, I still have no idea how good the food or drink is here, but I guess the area has been starved for a place like this to go for happy hour. I mean, besides the Continental (bleh) where would you go? Ruby Tuesday?  Cafe Asia or Piola?  Not very good choices.  Someone or some people have "lost" a lot of money not having opened this sort of place a long time ago.

It's obvious that - other things being equal - restaurant investors value residency more than Metro traffic - Clarendon and Courthouse have many more people living there, but Rosslyn is the junction of the Blue and Orange lines.

(Never thought about that one, did ya?) ;)

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All about the weekends, right? Rosslyn sees lots of transient traffic Monday through Friday, but is a dead zone Saturdays and Sundays.

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Happened to walk by this place today around 3PM today (Saturday) expecting it to either be not open until dinner or dead.  Surprisingly, the entire restaurant and bar appeared full.  So maybe the Rosslyn weekend traffic is increasing.  

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I had to work late on Thursday and strolled over to Heavy Seas around 5:20 figuring I'd get a burger or something to go and take it back to my office, or maybe have a quick bite at the bar.  Ha! Looked like half of Rosslyn was in there already and the other half was waiting to get in.  Every bar seat was taken and there was a crowd 2 deep standing behind those lucky enough to have snagged a spot to sit.  So, I still have no idea how good the food or drink is here, but I guess the area has been starved for a place like this to go for happy hour. I mean, besides the Continental (bleh) where would you go? Ruby Tuesday?  Cafe Asia or Piola?  Not very good choices.  Someone or some people have "lost" a lot of money not having opened this sort of place a long time ago.

Exactly. When I worked at 1525 Wilson 2007-2008, there was *NOTHING* to do in the area. All of our happy hours, etc., were up in Courthouse or Clarendon. We would have killed for a place like this.

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Happened to walk by this place today around 3PM today (Saturday) expecting it to either be not open until dinner or dead.  Surprisingly, the entire restaurant and bar appeared full.  So maybe the Rosslyn weekend traffic is increasing.  

There are probably 10 large hotels within walking distance of Heavy Seas that arepacked to the brim with tourists right now.   Never underestimate the appeal of not having to walk across the bridge or get on the Metro when you are dealing with tourists who are probably exhausted from walking around the Mall all morning.  And if it is that full now, imagine what it will look like in August.

I doubt the hotels and few residential buildings could support a concentration of bars on par with Clarendon, but with the lack of competition, I am not surprised at all that they are able to fill the place on a Saturday.

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I have had lunch there twice now and have had very solid salads both times.  First was the chopped salad--the smoked chicken and fried artichokes were both nice touches. The second time I had the grilled mesquite salmon salad--salmon was cooked perfectly.  The only  almost-disappointment on the second visit was that we were not offered the rather addictive Old-Bay caramel popcorn that came at the start of our first meal.  The waiter said they stopped offering it at lunch but brought us a couple of bowls anyway.  Good sit-down addition to the neighborhood, esp. because they have decent outdoor seating.  

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All about the weekends, right? Rosslyn sees lots of transient traffic Monday through Friday, but is a dead zone Saturdays and Sundays.

We wanted to watch the Netherlands play Costa Rica in World Cup, and we wanted something hopefully not crowded but also tasty.  Heavy Seas Alehouse met all expectations and then some on a quiet Saturday in Rosslyn on July 4th weekend.

Heavy Seas wasn't crowded at all.  (heck it is Rosslyn on a weekend)  but it wasn't empty either.  Its a sizable restaurant with a very long bar, I read about 170 seats, some seating in backrooms for partys, an outdoor patio for seating...and on this weekend ....you virtually can't get better weather in DC.   The bar area has 3 large wall tv's across its width.  Ample to watch from any point.

Unfortunately neither of us are beer wizards these days.  That is too bad because Heavy Seas provides many of its own brews plus others that are well known and appreciated in the area.  Cripes ...they have beer cocktails.  They offer flights of mini's for tasting and have simply a huge inventory.  I know the beer experts on this board can speak to the various opportunities.  All I can say is that my friend and I were very pleased with our orders.

As to the foods we ordered small plates and bar food.  Hey everything was good, tasty, well made, well presented.

We split a paella referenced on the menu as a chorizo something or other...paella.  No chorizo, folks but clams, mussels and shrimp, all nicely done over an excellently prepared rice, tasty moist, just excellent.  A nice dish.  We also shared the sausage sliders and fried calamari.  Everything was tasty, well prepared, nice spices and touches.  Service was excellent, the environment was upbeat.   This is a surprising and attractive addition to Rosslyn.

Just a note.  The address says 1501 Wilson.  That is the address of the large office building it sits in.  That address is at the corner of Wilson and Oak Street.  The restaurant is on the far corner of the building on Oak Street.  (doesn't get close to Wilson Blvd.)   So be prepared when trying to find it.   Rosslyn is a weird little area.  Lots of office space.  Probably a fair amount of residential also, but hard to discern.  Rosslyn has no feel at all as a residential area.  It never has.   Regardless this is a restaurant and home of ample beers well worth visiting.  We or I will be back to try some more of the menu.

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Heavy Seas may be the single loudest restaurant I have ever experienced in my life. After a 90 minute meal Wednesday night, my ears were ringing when I walked outside. This was a frankly unpleasant dining experience--in which it was nearly impossible to converse with my dining companions--made worse by feeling ripped off by a preformed, tasteless, almost certainly previously frozen $18 "Kobe" burger. The saving grace was a delicious house Saison on cask. None of my colleagues voiced displeasure with their meals but it was a business dinner so people were probably unlikely to be critical.

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On a weekday (Tuesday) night I can acknowledge this is the right restaurant/bar in the right location.  The place was pretty crowded at Happy Hour.

There is simply a scarcity of similar places to go in lower (down the hill) Rosslyn.  The bar was crowded, tables toward the front were filled with groups and the entire patio was packed.  Everyone was drinking.   Great or not, this is a needed Happy Hour restaurant for Rosslyn, an area with an abundance of office workers and virtually no alternative for happy hour and after work dining.

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On a weekday (Tuesday) night I can acknowledge this is the right restaurant/bar in the right location.  The place was pretty crowded at Happy Hour.

There is simply a scarcity of similar places to go in lower (down the hill) Rosslyn.  The bar was crowded, tables toward the front were filled with groups and the entire patio was packed.  Everyone was drinking.   Great or not, this is a needed Happy Hour restaurant for Rosslyn, an area with an abundance of office workers and virtually no alternative for happy hour and after work dining.

I completely agree with DaveO - this place is a triumph of market research and real estate, filling a much needed void.  I'm sure between those packed happy hours and the nearby hotel business that it will remain a very viable business, however having been there on a half dozen or so occasions, I've stopped counting on having dinner there.

Smoked Short Rib Tacos ($8) have been the most popular snack among our group, though I've found the short rib varies from good to dry and stringy between evenings.  The HSAH Fried Chicken ($9) is a set of bone-in drumsticks with your standard sweet/spicy glaze.  The Alehouse Salad ($7) may be the biggest bang for your buck - it is very large salad considering its on the small plates menu, but the night we ordered it was overdressed (and I'm not a person who minds some dressing), and they'd replaced the olives listed on the menu with capers, which unfortunately my +1 can't handle.

I've had better luck with the pastas, enjoying a Braised Rabbit Garganelli ($19), though the pastas do trend toward the heavy and creamy.  I will admit I haven't tried the open grill section of the menu yet, but with most prices there north of $25 per plate, it's not in my target zone for a brewpub.

It is a shame they don't offer more from their lunch menu at other times of day.  The Woodgrilled Tuna sandwich ($12) was the best thing I've had here and the Cuban ($12) was pretty good, but they are only available at lunch.

Slightly nitpicky thing - please please please if you are an 'alehouse' please keep your beer list a little more up-to-date.  The Hell or High Watermelon was still on the menu two months after selling out, and that wasn't isolated.  Also seems a bit odd that they seem to run out of their own line of beers on draft so often.

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- this place is a triumph of market research and real estate, filling a much needed void.  I'm sure between those packed happy hours and the nearby hotel business that it will remain a very viable business, however having been there on a half dozen or so occasions, I've stopped counting on having dinner there.

Smoked Short Rib Tacos ($8) have been the most popular snack among our group, though I've found the short rib varies from good to dry and stringy between evenings.  The HSAH Fried Chicken ($9) is a set of bone-in drumsticks with your standard sweet/spicy glaze.  The Alehouse Salad ($7) may be the biggest bang for your buck - it is very large salad considering its on the small plates menu, but the night we ordered it was overdressed (and I'm not a person who minds some dressing), and they'd replaced the olives listed on the menu with capers, which unfortunately my +1 can't handle.

I've had better luck with the pastas, enjoying a Braised Rabbit Garganelli ($19), though the pastas do trend toward the heavy and creamy.  I will admit I haven't tried the open grill section of the menu yet, but with most prices there north of $25 per plate, it's not in my target zone for a brewpub.

It is a shame they don't offer more from their lunch menu at other times of day.  The Woodgrilled Tuna sandwich ($12) was the best thing I've had here and the Cuban ($12) was pretty good, but they are only available at lunch.

Slightly nitpicky thing - please please please if you are an 'alehouse' please keep your beer list a little more up-to-date.  The Hell or High Watermelon was still on the menu two months after selling out, and that wasn't isolated.  Also seems a bit odd that they seem to run out of their own line of beers on draft so often.

I only wanted to reference the location, business, and opportunity above, but alas, the fried calamari at the bar ended up sinking my ship; literally, figuratively, and physically. It was heavy, greasy, a large portion, which I stupidly finished off, and ultimately did its damage yesterday.

I think the location is superior to the food.

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FYI, Heavy Seas Ale House in Rosslyn is currently offering 1/2-price growler fills on Saturdays & Sundays. I got a growler of their Loose Cannon IPA today for $9.99. Xtra Fathers Day bonus - the growler itself was free!?

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6 hours ago, u-bet! said:

FYI, Heavy Seas Ale House in Rosslyn is currently offering 1/2-price growler fills on Saturdays & Sundays. I got a growler of their Loose Cannon IPA today for $9.99. Xtra Fathers Day bonus - the growler itself was free!?

Nice! I have yet to meet a place that requires customers use the place's own growlers - has anyone else? 

Enjoy your beer (if you haven't already!)

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Met a friend here the other night for chatting, football watching and eating and drinking at the bar.    Very nice, knowledgeable bartender.  Great service.

My old buddy enjoyed his beers and burger.  Bully for him.  Everything I ordered was lousy, beer, onion rings and I don't know why I ordered this at an ale house...."their version of shrimp scampi".

I'm sure, in fact I know via my friend that there are worthwhile things to order here.  Don't order the scampi.   The house made pasta was as non al dente as could be cooked.  Still, if you are going to eat somewhere at the bottom of the hill in Rosslyn where else can one go?

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

Met a friend here the other night for chatting, football watching and eating and drinking at the bar.    Very nice, knowledgeable bartender.  Great service.

My old buddy enjoyed his beers and burger.  Bully for him.  Everything I ordered was lousy, beer, onion rings and I don't know why I ordered this at an ale house...."their version of shrimp scampi".

I'm sure, in fact I know via my friend that there are worthwhile things to order here.  Don't order the scampi.   The house made pasta was as non al dente as could be cooked.  Still, if you are going to eat somewhere at the bottom of the hill in Rosslyn where else can one go?

I had the scampi. . . once.  Stick with the Powder Monkey draft, the Mahi Taco, the Steak or Spinach salad, and most of the sandwiches and you can do alright here.  The bartenders have all been very friendly and efficient in my opinion.  Mostly the food is OK, you just need to choose carefully.  Also, to my taste some other items here are not bad, just overproduced (hello, North Carolina Ruby Red Trout).

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9 minutes ago, dcs said:

I had the scampi. . . once. 

Going forward.....me too.  LOL

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On 11/28/2016 at 3:26 PM, dcs said:

Still, if you are going to eat somewhere at the bottom of the hill in Rosslyn where else can one go?

well, since you asked...

went to the recently-opened Continental Beer Garden on Saturday afternoon. They are dog friendly and have dual bocce courts. Menu is standard beer garden fare but was apparently put together by Marjorie Meek-Bradley (some staff were sporting Smoked & Stacked shirts). Beer list  - not huge but had some interesting cans. Very small interior portion.

One thing I really liked is the roaming wait staff can run cards and print receipts right at your table. I assume they're anticipating this as a way to deal with peak crowds.

IMG_20170709_002904_527.jpg

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The staff is still friendly but the menu here has ossified.  We are going to lay off for a bit.

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2 hours ago, DaveO said:

Heavy Seas Alehouse is not that good.

I don't know what the hell happened to that place.  It's like they just stopped caring.

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