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The Majestic Café, King and N. Alfred Street in Old Town Alexandria - Indigestic Passé.


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I have always found Majestic Cafe to be a nice go-to place when we are in Old Town. It's not too upscale/formal, yet not too casual, not too expensive (entrees hover between $19-$21), and fresh and seasonal cooking. We've found it to be a good place for our out-of-town parents, none of whom is a particularly adventurous eater. It's also been a great place to stop by for lunch-- we've had some good curry chicken salad sandwiches in the past.

Our latest trip on Saturday confirmed that we have been away for too long. I had carefully-laid plans for an afternoon stroll in Old Town, an early dinner at Majestic Cafe, culimating in an evening tour of the monuments. Well, the first part fell through given the ungodly heat, but the dinner plan was stayed intact.

I was initially turned off by the host who answers the phones. As Tom S. and others have pointed out, it's so important to have courteous people answer the phone as it's the first impression someone has of the place. When I called initially for the reservation, and gave my first name, the host said, rudely, "well, is there a last name?" I considered a retort that no, in fact, I was one of those "one name" entertainers, but refrained. Then, when our afternoon plans fell through, I dispatched my husband to see if we could get a later reservation. He was told, again, rudely, no, and "if we wanted to eat later with such a large group, we should consider going elsewhere or trying another night." I was amused when we did show up, on time, and waited a bit because our table wasn't ready...

But any feelings of hostility quickly dissipated upon being seated. Our server was lovely, inobstrusive, and competent. We started with a bottle of the Philip Staley Zinfandel ($32), and shared three appetizers:

CREOLE POACHED SHRIMP SALAD (with chayote squash, jicama and corn pancakes), GRILLED CALAMARI with Spanish romesco sauce and sautéed almonds, and HOUSE CURED GRAVLAX with a red and yellow beet salad and brown bread toasts. All three were big hits. The beets were outstanding, and we fought over the last pieces of yummy gravlax. The calamari was excellently cooked and tender. I did not try the shrimp, but my husband gobbled up the jicama.

For entrees, my mother and husband had the SEARED TUNA with green olive tapenade and grilled summer vegetables. While my husband's came out a bit overcooked for medium-rare (as ordered), the excellent olive tapenade made up for it.

My father had the SAUTÉED CORNMEAL CRUSTED HALIBUT with meuniere sauce and yellow squash casserole. He enjoyed this dish as well, and I was the fortunate recipient of the casserole...excellent! I polished this off even though I was pretty full from my entree. He and my mom also had a side of the broccoli spears, and both thought they were great.

I had the SAUTÉED SOFTSHELL CRABS with East Indian coconut-peanut slaw and turmeric potato salad. The crabs were excellent. Crispy and flavorful, I savored each bite. The potatoe salad could've had a bit more turmeric for my taste, but was still very good. I have to admit that I did not like the slaw...perhaps the cabbage was too bitter for me, but it just didn't have any flavor. Just a LOT of cabbage and peanuts.

My sister had the GRILLED SCALLOPS with charred tomato sauce, sautéed arugula and corn. I got to have a bite, and and the scallops were also excellent and well-cooked. She loved the sauteed corn too. She also ordered a side of green beans, which she finished off.

Even though we were all pretty full, my husband and I convinced everyone to get the desserts. We shared the Boston Creme Pie (the American Layer Cake of the day), the peach and rasberry cobbler (seasonal fruit dessert), and the almond and plum pie. The cobbler was made to order, so we had a 10 minute respite. The Boston Creme Pie was great and not too dense. My husband loved the almond and plum cake. The cobber was also a hit.

The place was pretty full of what appeared to be mostly locals, including families (with children), older folks, young people on dates, etc. We loved not feeling like we were in a downtown expense account type of place.

All in all, the night was a success. It was very leisurely and well-paced, and were were never rushed. Total bill for the above was about $210, including tax and 20% tip. All of us agreed that for a meal of this quality, the price was very reasonable.

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Majestic also has a great brunch: shrimp and grits, hush puppies, orange pecan waffles, and coffee from Misha's are some items I've taken to. It takes awhile to be seated without a reservation, so call ahead or sit at the window bar and watch people trot up and down King.

Has anyone else heard that the chef is leaving and turning the kitchen over to the sous chef?

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Has anyone else heard that the chef is leaving and turning the kitchen over to the sous chef?
It's true....This was in the "Weekly Dish" column in last Wednesday's Post Food Section:
SAYING HER GOODBYES: The heart and soul of the four-year-old Majestic Cafe (911 King St., Alexandria; 703-837-9117) is leaving the restaurant, and the Washington area, next month. Susan McCreight Lindeborg recently announced that she and her husband, Richard Lindeborg , are returning to the place she grew up -- Las Vegas, N.M. -- "before we get too old to do the hiking." While the chef says she has no plans to open a restaurant out west, she hopes to "still be involved in food" there, perhaps in connection with a local university. Fans of her southern-style cooking shouldn't fret too much: Taking her place in the kitchen will be the current chef de cuisine, Joe Raffa , a graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg who worked under Lindeborg when she was the top toque at the Morrison-Clark Inn in Washington. Lindeborg plans to visit and to consult from afar. But first, the veteran chef has to tackle something foreign: "I have to learn to cook at home," she jokes.
Edited by goldenticket
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Majestic Cafe! I'm glad it's getting some attention finally (it's not too late). I haven't been more than a handful of times over the years, but I really like the balance of creative comfort food with clean, seasonal ingredients, particularly in the first courses I've tried. Within the last several months I've eaten

( lots of seafood):

CREOLE POACHED SHRIMP SALAD 8.75

with chayote squash, jicama and corn pancakes

MUSSEL SALAD 8.00

with herbs de Provence-tomato-mayonnaise and fried zucchini and fennel

SMOKED SALMON PÂTÉ 9.50

with wheatberry salad and brioche toasts

POACHED ASPARAGUS SALAD 7.50

with pistachio-orange vinaigrette and goat cheese toasts

Since time has passed, I won't make up a story about my sensations at the time--I cannot even recall what I ate last night. What I do remember is that all the ingredients were really fresh. The mussels were succulent, the shrimp velvety, the asparagus resembling something that comes from the earth, not overcooked. As for the mains, I enjoyed the pork chop with yucca fritters and a special soft-shell crab with an East Indian type sauce (coconut/peanut). Actually, thinking back, the mussel salad was outstanding. I can't think of a better taste of mussel (esp. a cold one in a salad dish) in quite a while. Overall, the service is friendly and the prices more than fair... The last time I was there the chef expedited and was really warm and welcoming, and the bartender made me a special blood orange martini with their yummy blood orange juice (we all need a girlie drink from time to time).

I truly hope this place has a bright future.

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Arlington Farmer's Market

Chef at the Market Series presents

Joe Raffa of Majestic Café will be at the market this Saturday, Aug. 20

Go and talk with the guy that will be taking over to see what he may have in store.

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After some firkin good beer and apps at Vermilion, JG, jparrott and I walked down to Majestic Cafe for dinner. The other two had never been there and it has been a while for me. Chef Joe Raffa was manning the kitchen and we found that the restaurant will be in very capable hands.

I had the pork chop (new on the menu) topped with a very tasty salsa that had a hint of ginger I believe. The chop was served with some of the best grits I have ever eaten. jparrott also got the chop and JG had the tuna which I will let him chime in about as I know he wants to talk about the grits. With dinner we had a bottle of Couly-Dutheil "Les Gravieres 2002, a Cabernet Franc from Chinon.

For dessert, because a meal is just not complete without it, the three of us shared cobbler of the day (nectarine and blueberry if I remember correctly) and a piece of chocolate pudding cake. While I enjoyed both well prepared desserts, my favorite was the cake. I mean come on, chocolate cake with chocolate pudding?! :P

We had a short chat with Chef Susan to wish her luck. While chatting she told us that the grits were cooked in water and milk for a long time. Of course salt and butter were present too. She said she was going to be around for a little while longer so stop on in for dinner and say hi.

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My wife and I had a late brunch at Majestic yesterday -- my first time there, her second time. One-word review: Mmm.

There was some service-related oddness. When we came in (sans reservation), I saw a bunch of open tables at the back and thought, "Oh good, no wait." But we still waited about 15 or 20 minutes. When we were finally seated, those tables were still empty. I'm sure there was a good reason for it. I just don't know what it is.

It always makes me nervous when the waiter takes our order without writing things down, like the Majestic waiter did. Sure enough, two or three minutes after taking our order, he came back and basically asked us to repeat it.

I had the shrimp and grits (cheese-and-garlicked up), with hushpuppies on the side. My wife had ths biscuit and gravy, with applewood-smoked bacon. The grits were deliciously creamy, slightly garlicky but not overpowering. (A wilted green onion laid across the top seemed unnecessary.) The biscuit and gravy was prodigious in size, and I got to assist my wife substantially with it. Bacon was thick and smoky. The hushpuppies were also good and plentiful.

The worst part was my wife's Coke, which was so watery as to be undrinkable. Something was obviously amiss with the fountain system. She, however, hates returning things, and hates it worse when I try to do something like that for her. So it sat unconsumed. My lemonade, however, was tart, just the way I like it.

Majestic has just the atmosphere for me: Quite casual, but a strong sense of quality and exactness in service (except as discussed above) and on the menu. My wife just started her new job a few blocks down on King Street -- I look forward to a convenient return trip.

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There was some service-related oddness.  When we came in (sans reservation), I saw a bunch of open tables at the back and thought, "Oh good, no wait."  But we still waited about 15 or 20 minutes.  When we were finally seated, those tables were still empty.  I'm sure there was a good reason for it.  I just don't know what it is.

Perhaps they don't have enough staff to handle a full restaurant for brunch on Sundays. Did they seat people at those tables while you were there?

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Perhaps they don't have enough staff to handle a full restaurant for brunch on Sundays.  Did they seat people at those tables while you were there?

I think at least one of those tables was filled while we were there. (Of course, perhaps other tables had vacated, so there may have been no net increase in occupied tables.) Your guess is probably the right one, although one would think a restaurant as popular as Majestic would be equipped to fill the tables. (We weren't the only ones asked to wait.)

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... although one would think a restaurant as popular as Majestic would be equipped to fill the tables.  (We weren't the only ones asked to wait.)

Might be one of the waitstaff who was supposed to work was still drunk and in bed after a late Saturday night. Edited by Sthitch
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The worst part was my wife's Coke, which was so watery as to be undrinkable.  Something was obviously amiss with the fountain system.  She, however, hates returning things, and hates it worse when I try to do something like that for her.  So it sat unconsumed. 

Why does she hate returning things? Particularly something that you're paying for that you've both deemed undrinkable? Did you at least tell them about it so they didn't go on pouring bad drinks to other customers?

Sure, no two people are alike and maybe my actions are guided by the way they do things on Pluto, but it seems kinda stupid to me to just sit there with that Coke. :lol: Sorry to be so coarse about it.

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Why does she hate returning things?  Particularly something that you're paying for that you've both deemed undrinkable?  Did you at least tell them about it so they didn't go on pouring bad drinks to other customers? 

Sure, no two people are alike and maybe my actions are guided by the way they do things on Pluto, but it seems kinda stupid to me to just sit there with that Coke.  :lol:   Sorry to be so coarse about it.

You're the preacher and I'm the choir. :P For whatever deep-seated psychological reason, she doesn't like to do it. And for some different deep-seated psychological reason, she doesn't want me to do it for her.

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I forgot to add this right away, so my memories are fading, but I'll give it a shot.

Over the holidays momrus was in town and we always end up having a few dinners out. Our first meal during her visit was a disappointment, so we were obsessing about where to go here last night in town. I have a reputation to uphold, after all. :) Casual but nice. Good food, but not too fancy. Not too adventurous, but I wanted it to be up to my ususal, impeccable standards. I know about too many good restaurants, why does do I stress about it?

Then I remembered that Busboy had posted a similar query on eG a few weeks back for a similar family/holiday event and I recommended Majestic. He ended up going to Clyde's, but how could I not heed my own advice? I'm glad I listened to myself.

The menu read even more Southern than it had on my last visit a few years back. Cracker-crusted, inch and a half thick, juicy pork chops with mashed potatoes and cream gravy, seared chicken breast posing as fried chicken with cornbread stuffing studded with bacon and pecans, grilled salmon with a savory low country red rice. And the hush puppies. The first cook to drop dough into hot oil may not have been a southern cook, but they were undoubtedly a genius. These managed to be not only crispy but light - not an easy task.

And I'm a sucker for cake - a huge slab of chocolate cake and chocolate fudge icing. I only wish I'd thought to order a glass of milk.

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I work a few blocks from the Majestic Cafe, but don't get to go there as often as I'd like because my office mates claim that its menu is "limited." But I did end up there for dinner on my birthday last month, and it was the first time I'd been there since Susan left the kitchen.

The meal was outstanding. The breads comprising the bread basket were, as usual, better described than eaten; the biscuits were unnecessarily dry, the corn bread was neither the cake-like texture preferred by some or the classic, drier texture preferred by others, and the French bread was bland. But that was the beginning and the end of the disappointments.

I split an entree and three sides with my dinner companion. The entree was the inventive, unique, and ultra-satisfying "Napoleon of Spicy Creamed Mushrooms with glazed pearl onions, carrots and spinach." The layers of mushrooms and other goodies were divided by wafer-thin, crisp dough, and the glazed vegetables were slightly sweet, but not cloying.

As an aside, I should note that the Majestic Cafe has a history of coming up with well-thought-out and well-executed vegetarian entrees that go far beyond the practice of some restaurants of just throwing together a few side dishes or boiling a little pasta. This is true on both the Majestic Cafe's dinner and lunch menu; the current vegetarian lunch entree of black-eyed pea cakes is like a Southern version of falafel, and I mean that in a very positive sense.

Getting back to my birthday dinner last month: The baked sweet potato is a side that I order automatically; it's always perfectly baked until it is so soft that it is falling apart, and the hazelnut butter it comes with could be a (heart-stopping) dessert on its own. The broccoli spears with garlic sound so simple as to be boring, but they were amazing; seared brown and cooked with a lot of garlic and (I suspect) a lot of butter, they were out of this world. Finally, the "maple-glazed spaghetti squash" tasted even better than its description, and led me to conclude that I will have to seek out spaghetti squash on other local menus.

We enjoyed the meal so much that there was no way we had room for birthday cake. But I have zero regrets.

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I actually agree with your office mates that the menu is somewhat limited. However, I can always find something to eat AND the red velvet cake, when it's available, is the best in town. I honestly believe I could eat an entire cake. In about ten minutes. And sometimes I feel like crying when I get there and they don't have it. :)

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However, I can always find something to eat AND the red velvet cake, when it's available, is the best in town.

In all seriousness is there any other red velvet cake in town?

This reminds me of my aunt, who once wrote in a letter, "Donnie has always been one of my favorite nephews." She only had two!

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In all seriousness is there any other red velvet cake in town?

This reminds me of my aunt, who once wrote in a letter, "Donnie has always been one of my favorite nephews."  She only had two!

DCist says:

There's not even a Colorado Kitchen version? Not even in pictures on the walls in the bathroom?

Oh, well.

Edited by Meaghan
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My special other and I had dinner at Majestic Cafe on Thursday night. Joe had the entire normal menu. Place was packed at 6:30, service, as usual was very good (thanks Kent), Alex the bartender found just the right wine, and the food was excellent. For a first effort at Restaurant Week, Majestic did a great job.

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Brunch at Majestic yesterday was terrific. House made corned beef hash with poached eggs followed by a piece of Kahlua pecan pie made for a great meal to start the day. And they serve Misha's coffee!

The place was pretty empty around 1130a, but filled up by the time we left.

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Brunch at Majestic yesterday was terrific.  House made corned beef hash with poached eggs followed by a piece of Kahlua pecan pie made for a great meal to start the day.  And they serve Misha's coffee!

The place was pretty empty around 1130a, but filled up by the time we left.

We were there too, on the late end. I really think Majestic's brunch is a terrific deal, considering the quality of food and service. My wife's huge plate of sasuage gravy and biscuits was less than $10. It is when she orders something like that that I look to the sky and thank God for giving her a tiny appetite and me a capacious stomach.

The service was ultra-quick -- I mean, fast-food-quick -- because by the time we got there, the rest of the clientele was digesting and coffee'ing. The kitchen staff was relaxed and laughing (probably at my bed-head). I enjoyed watching them whirl into action when we placed our order.

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The kitchen staff was relaxed and laughing (probably at my bed-head).  I enjoyed watching them whirl into action when we placed our order.

We would never laugh at a customer's bed-head, particularly on a Sunday morning. What do you think we're hiding under our hats? Thanks for the kind words, hope we can whirl for you again soon.

Joe Raffa

Chef

Majestic Cafe

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Got this from Chef Joe Raffa yesterday and thought there might be some interest. If the wine is as good as the food, it should be nothing less than great.

VINTNER’S DINNER

with

LINDEN VINEYARDS

Please join us for our first Vintners Dinner on Monday May 22 at 7:00pm.

The Majestic Cafe is proud to be featuring wines from one of Virginia’s finest wineries, Linden Vineyards. Winemaker Jim Law will be with us, speaking about his wines and answering your questions. Seating is limited to 50 people, so make your reservation today by calling (703) 837-9117. The cost of the dinner is $105.00 per person, taxes and gratuity included.

MENU

First Course

Pecan Crusted Softshell Crab, Southern Greens and Spring Salsa

1999 Linden Hardscrabble Chardonnay

Second Course

Smoked Trout Tartlet With Pursalane and Mache Salad

2005 Avenius Sauvignon Blanc

Third Course

Rabbit Two Ways

Grilled Leg

and

Ravioli with Sweet Potato, Country Ham, Spinach and

Bourbon Rabbit Broth

2004 Linden Cabernet Franc

Fourth Course

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries

Linden Late Harvest White

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The Linden Vineyards dinner was great. I hadn't tasted any Linden wines before last night, so it was nice to have such a good introduction and to hear Jim Law talk about the wines and winery. Majestic did a lovely job with the dinner. In brief: the softshell crab, which is now on the regular menu, was terrific, and the 1999 Hardscrabble Chardonnay was excellent. I've been on an anti-Chardonnay kick for a while and this was a good way to remind me that Chardonnay can be very tasty. I'm a big fan of sauvignon blanc and really enjoyed the 2005 Avenius Sauvigon Blanc and the flaky smoked trout tartlet (with goat cheese) accompanying it. Could have had more of both but there were 2 courses to go. The rabbit two ways (a grilled and then braised or "graised" rabbit leg and rabbit ravioli in a rich broth) was very good, though I much preferred the leg to the ravioli, and the 2004 Cab Franc was lovely. In my real life I rarely drink dessert wine, but I enjoyed the Late Harvest White and the vanilla bean panna cotta very much. Thanks to all for this fun and tasty night.

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Went to Majestic for dinner for the first time last night. We were coming back from the International Wine and Food Festival so were "wined-out" for the day and ended up not getting wine. This pushed us to the non-wine drinks though, which was great. Both the sparkling peach and the lemonade were top-notch. The lemonade was among the tartest I've had, which I really liked.

We had wanted to go to Palena since we were only 1 metro stop away, but I remembered they were closed on Sunday. Then Ray's, but remembered they were also closed on Sunday. Finally I called Majestic and found them open :-)

Having not read this thread all that closely I didn't know of the Linden wine dinner they had so was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that the suggested wine pairing for the Rabbit Leg was Linden Cabernet Franc. I'm a big supporter of Virginia wines and like Linden quite well (and it's a gorgeous winery) so was very happy to see that.

The entrees were quite tasty. I had the grilled salmon with a blood orange sauce that was both creamy and delicious. It didn't overpower with the blood orange taste, but it was there. My GF had the Mahi-Mahi, of which I'm not a huge fan as I find it to not have a very distinctive taste. Her's was very lightly friend and she enjoyed it quite a bit, though predictably I didn't find it all that wonderful. The hush puppies we got were overcooked to my taste, though again my GF liked them very much. I'm the Southern boy of the two of us and just used to hush puppies that are lighter in color and texture. These weren't bad at all, but not something I'm craving (unlike the grilled salmon, which I am craving right now!).

Dessert was the coconut and chocolate pudding pie. Very good. The cake of the day was chocolate and fudge which we actually had the night before in our first time to Majestic (as opposed to the first dinner at Majestic). We had gone to Malaysia Kapitiam for dinner and were extremely full and didn't get dessert there, but after a movie at the Old Town Theator ("Thank You For Smoking!", very funny), we decided to pop into Majestic about 20 minutes before it was closing for a glass of wine and a slice of the cake. I had hoped for the Red Velvet as well as I haven't had one in forever, maybe next time.

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Both the sparkling peach and the lemonade were top-notch.

I really like the peach too. I assumed that it was made in house, but it is a commerically available product that they told me was available at World Market. Haven't looked for it yet, though.

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Brunch at Majestic Cafe seems to be overlooked for some reason. Too bad, because it's extremely good. This morning Grover and I decided to make the short journey to King St and indulge ourselves. For breakfast, we had the following:

Mixed Breakfast Fruit: A plate of grapefruit and orange slices on chunks of pineapple with a dusting of coconut. A very nice start.

For mains, I had: Corned Beef Hash with Poached Eggs: A great homemade corned beef hash with two perfectly poached eggs. Not runny but with soft, golden yolks. Accompanied by stewed tomatoes and grilled toast.

Grover had: BBQed Shrimp with Garlic-Cheese Grits: 6 huge shimp on a bed of Garlic-Cheese grits. Surprisingly good for breakfast. The grits were almost custardy with a distinct cheese flavor.

And for dessert (as if we really needed it): Kaluha Pecan Pie and Apple-Raspberry Cobbler. Let me start by saying that my mother made the best Pecan pie I ever ate (probably true of everyone's mother, but ....), this was better. Smooth, not cloyingly sweet, perfectly balanced by the pecans. I was hesitant about dessert but after one bite, I ate almost the entire piece. The Cobbler was full of fruit and had a light flaky crust. The scoop of vanilla ice cream was the piece de resistance. Grover and I fought over the last bites (she won, she got the last of the pecan pie).

Lot's of fresh, hot coffee and we left full, satisfied, and ready for the day. Well worth the Sunday morning trip.

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When Joe Raffa called me last night to tell me he was leaving Majestic Cafe, it took 5 minutes before the news sank in. When Susan left, Majestic continued the fine food tradition she had started and added more adventurous but Southern inspired dishes to the menu. I thought when Valerie left to become the dessert chef at Johnny's that the desserts would suffer. Joe found that he had a natural dessert chef on staff and the desserts became more varied and as good (dare I say it?) or better than when Valerie was there. That management problems should end a relationship with a restaurant that Grover and I have had for over 5 years is painful. Joe Raffa, wherever you go, I wish you the best, a clientèle that appreciates your fine cooking and a group of investors who appreciate what a great chef they have.

Ken & YHC

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Ken, thank you for the compliments. I'll still be working until the 15th before I turn the restaurant over. I've had a wonderful five years at the Majestic and I leave with no regrets. Susan, the staff and I created a restaurant that we have loved and nurtured. Some of the investors have a different direction in mind for the Majestic, one that I don't support. In the end, it is their money and I have to step aside to let them have a restaurant they will be happy with. I'd like to thank all the Rockwellians who supported us over the years. I've loved feeding you. Now, the important stuff can begin: my first vacation in several years to my home in Honolulu..time to lay on the beach, spend some quality time with my wife Mary and worship at the culinary temples of the Hawaiian Islands. I shall return.

Aloha and Mahalo to you all,

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My sense is the restaurant will take a turn more towards the mass market. The core investor group have never been fans of Susan's or my style of cooking. Too eclectic, too wierd, too something. We'll have to wait and see. I sincerely hope they find success. The Majestic, with its long history in Alexandria, needs to be a continuing part of the city.

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Well that is distressing. Your style of cooking is what makes it the Majestic. We will miss it. I do not know what kind of "mass market" they are looking for, but it has always seemed plenty busy when I have been there.

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Another pair of shoes have dropped. My Pastry Chef/Sous Chef, Bob Beaudry, and General Manager Joe Gelchion, will both be leaving the Majestic on October 22.

Bob will be taking a short break up North before finding a new kitchen to give his talents to. Joe is reviewing his opportunities as I write. If anyone knows of positions for these two talented and loyal men, please let me know.

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Another pair of shoes have dropped. My Pastry Chef/Sous Chef, Bob Beaudry, and General Manager Joe Gelchion, will both be leaving the Majestic on October 22.

Bob will be taking a short break up North before finding a new kitchen to give his talents to. Joe is reviewing his opportunities as I write. If anyone knows of positions for these two talented and loyal men, please let me know.

If you want a Pastry Chef who makes some of the finest cakes and pies and pastry you've ever eaten, Bob Beaudry is it. When he took over for Valerie I was afraid that the quality of the desserts at Majestic would suffer. The quality and taste live on. Some of the best German Chocolate Cake I've ever eaten Bob made. It would be a shame if he leaves the area.
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If you want a Pastry Chef who makes some of the finest cakes and pies and pastry you've ever eaten, Bob Beaudry is it. When he took over for Valerie I was afraid that the quality of the desserts at Majestic would suffer. The quality and taste live on. Some of the best German Chocolate Cake I've ever eaten Bob made. It would be a shame if he leaves the area.
The best red velvet cake I've ever had came from Majestic. I assume Bob made it. I'd love to know where he lands because I've always said I want the Majestic red velvet cake for my wedding. Now, I just need to find the husband... :)
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The best red velvet cake I've ever had came from Majestic. I assume Bob made it. I'd love to know where he lands because I've always said I want the Majestic red velvet cake for my wedding. Now, I just need to find the husband... :)
I don't think you'll have any problem finding a husband if you hold out the promise of Red Velvet cake after marriage (he won't need to know who made it and I won't tell)
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Knowing that the window of opportunity to eat at Majestic (as we know it) was narrowing by the day, my husband and stopped in and had a wonderful dinner there tonight. It was sweet sorrow enjoying our meal knowing that the times are a changing.

Tonight's dinner was like warm arms wrapping themselves around me on a cold Fall day which invites you to eat the flavors of the season. The pumpkin soup served with smokey pulled pork and pumpkin seeds was a wonderful combination of flavors.

My entree was chicken breast over papardelle with ham broth. Carrots, green beens and nicely carmelized shallots made this a really home-like comfort meal. My husband enjoyed the breaded pork, with mashed potatoes and honest to goodness sausage gravy. The southern greens had a bit of smoke and just the right tartness to almost bring a pucker to the lips.

Let me not forget the layer cake tonight was delightful. And HUGE!

Referring upthread, what is not to get about this food? I wouldn't change a thing and am saddened that Chef Raffa et. al. are leaving, but I do understand.

Best wishes to all.

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Last night was Chef Raffa's last night. Grover and I and M-I-L trooped off to Majestic to pay our respects and eat the last Joe inspired dinner. It was quite a shock to see Joe glad-handing people in the dining room. Usually you find him overseeing every detail of every dish coming from the open kitchen. The pockets have all been torn from his Chef's whites (one for each of the 5 days leading up to his departure), he was wearing Hawaiian patterned chef's pants and looked more relaxed than I've ever seen him. From now until the end of the year, Bob Beaudry is going to be chef and so the excellent food from the Majestic will be available. After the first of the year? Who knows?

Joe, you're one hell of a friend, one hell of a chef, and one hell of a nice person. You will be missed. The dining scene in NoVA is the worse off for your departure.

Ken

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Has anyone been there since October and Chef Raffa's departure? I am supposed to go on Sunday with some friends and have always heard good things. The online menu still looks good. Any reports from the field?
There has been no drop off in quality of the food. The menu really hasn't changed too much since Joe left and Bob Beaudry became head chef. There have been some nice additions (the crab cakes come to mind), and as usual, the desserts are outstanding. After December 31, I'm not sure I'll be able to say any of this, but go now so you can remember some really good upscale Southern cooking.
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There has been no drop off in quality of the food. The menu really hasn't changed too much since Joe left and Bob Beaudry became head chef. There have been some nice additions (the crab cakes come to mind), and as usual, the desserts are outstanding. After December 31, I'm not sure I'll be able to say any of this, but go now so you can remember some really good upscale Southern cooking.
So - can you still say what you said a few weeks ago? Any (more) changes in the kitchen at the Majestic as the new year begins?
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So - can you still say what you said a few weeks ago? Any (more) changes in the kitchen at the Majestic as the new year begins?
Things are good through the end of January...after that nobody knows what's going to happen. Grover and I were there tonight and they're almost fully booked through Restaurant Week and Bob said he doesn't know what's planned after that.
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