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Fireflies, Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray - Italian and American Neighborhood Restaurant - Closed


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Fireflies in Del Ray for a late dinner of pizza and a glass of wine. The pizza was really very good. The crust was just right - tender, nice crunch, not soggy at all. I had the pepperoni, sausage and mushroom version, but I like the Cheesetique one as well. Plus the new bar is open and they had live music.

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FireFlies' whole wheat pizza crust is surprisingly tasty. Were there Wednesday and they were celebrating the bar renovation with discounted new cocktails. Had a tasty gin & ginger concoction. A good place to stop if you're in the neighborhood. They're also great for kids, with complimentary popcorn and a ball of pizza dough to play with while you wait.

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FireFlies' whole wheat pizza crust is surprisingly tasty. Were there Wednesday and they were celebrating the bar renovation with discounted new cocktails. Had a tasty gin & ginger concoction. A good place to stop if you're in the neighborhood. They're also great for kids, with complimentary popcorn and a ball of pizza dough to play with while you wait.

It's actually not a wood burning oven but a gas fueled one. Look closely.

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Just an update - Fireflies has changed their menu a bit (the big entrees, like roasted chicken, are gone), added more salads, added some pasta dishes, and expanded the beer list since the bar opened. It seems they are subtly shifting their focus here, with bands twice a week and movie nights on some Saturdays (independent unrated films). They now stay open later, and are now open Sunday and Monday nights. I definitely see more young locals hanging out later (and the families are there earlier). I picked up a pizza to go last night, and it was very nicely blistered on the bottom. The place has been packed when we've been there recently.

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ohstate- Glad you noticed the "shift"! We actually relaunched in August after some renovations (new paint job, new layout, bands 7 days/week). We are definitely shifting into being a place to catch some great local music! We also have movie nights 1-2 times/month (we have a 10ft screen at the restaurant that comes out for football and movie night)! Our beer list has now grown to over 40 beers--- including 5 draft beers! Our menu is much more casual- definitely focusing on our pizza and burgers (on a homemade bun, oh my!)

For up-to-date info on what's going on-- check out our blog at www.firefliesdelray.blogspot.com, our facebook group (FireFlies DelRay), our myspace page (www.myspace.com/firefliesdelray), our calendar of events on our website www.firefliesdelray.com. On our web page and blog, you can join our mailing list and get newsletters and coupons via email.

Our next big party will be on New Year's. The Kelly Bell Band will take the stage and rock the house! Tickets are on sale now- $20 in advance, $25 at the door- limited tickets available... so buy early!

Cheers!

Marylisa

co-owner FireFlies Restaurant & Bar

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We've been trying to walk off the Christmas holidays, so last night we hoofed the mile and a half to Fireflies. We both ordered the veggie burger with mushrooms and swiss, and they were great. Cooked on a very hot grill so the outside was crunchy and a homemade bun. The fries were excellent - crispy, hot, and nicely salted, and Mr. lperry enjoyed his bourbon drink. I ordered a mojito and was disappointed. It was very bitter and the mint hung in gelatinous clumps. I think it may have been frozen instead of fresh, or it had been shaken beyond recognition, and the drink had an overpowering vegetal bitterness. I won't order it again. I also ordered the fruit instead of the fries and got apples in a spiced cranberry sauce. The sauce was really good, but the apples were no longer crisp, as if they had been sitting a while. The service was excellent. So it was a bit of a mixed bag, but we will probably go back.

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Hit the Flies of Fire this morning for early breakfast with a friend. Although close to home, today was my inaugural venture into this comfort-food-by-day, groovy-tunes-by-night local hangout. Based on this visit, I’ll return for certain, and want to ensure this venue is included in the upcoming Brunch Guide.

We both ordered Italian Eggs Benedict ($10.99), hash browns, a side of fruit salad, and coffee. Breakfast delivered perfectly poached eggs and tender prosciutto, with the classic, tangy whip from smooth hollandaise. Fruit salad offered visual interest along with palate-sharpening bite, raw Granny Smith apples mixed with reduced cranberry preserves and a touch of lemon. “Hash browns” turned out to be deftly roasted, skin-on potato chunks with the perfect crunch of salt. This was much more inspiring than the usual flat weave of pan-fried boredom typically behind a hash brown moniker. The coffee was a miss for me, far more bitter than my palate prefers (exacerbated by the fruit?), but clearly fresh and made from filtered water.

Seated comfortably in a booth as we experienced gracious and well-paced service, we enjoyed this satisfying and low-key start to a snowful Saturday. Simple, hearty, welcoming fare in a relaxed and caring environment like this is sure to be a crowd pleaser. We had arrived to a nearly empty restaurant. By the time we left, only a few tables remained bare.

(i rarely photograph restaurant food)

(but figured bathroom doors were fair game)

(+10 to my inappropriate behavior ability modifier)

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I'm glad you had a good experience there. Inasmuch as people complain that the reviews are overly positive here, I will throw in that we used to go to Fireflies quite a bit, but they were really inconsistent in both freshness and quality of the food, and particularly in service. Both the food and the service tended to be better at lunch time than at dinner, and we have had service that was wonderful, and then service that was never-go-back bad. The latter experience was our last trip there, and it was some months ago. I genuinely hope that they have stepped up their game because we like both the menu and the feel of the restaurant. I'll continue to watch the reviews.

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I'm glad you had a good experience there. Inasmuch as people complain that the reviews are overly positive here, I will throw in that we used to go to Fireflies quite a bit, but they were really inconsistent in both freshness and quality of the food, and particularly in service. Both the food and the service tended to be better at lunch time than at dinner, and we have had service that was wonderful, and then service that was never-go-back bad. The latter experience was our last trip there, and it was some months ago. I genuinely hope that they have stepped up their game because we like both the menu and the feel of the restaurant. I'll continue to watch the reviews.

I've been there a dozen times, and about 50% of those visits featured horrible service. The last time I went (which was my "last time ever" as well) I had the aforementioned Eggs Benedict, and the English Muffins weren't even toasted - just plucked cold from the package and thrown on the plate under a decent effort at poached eggs, canadian bacon, and hollandaise - although the entire dish was barely luke warm. We never got the drinks we ordered, but were charged for them. We pointed out the charge, and the waiter said we should have complained about the drinks earlier, and he didn't offer to remove them from the bill because they "had been poured, just not brought out." These were not alcoholic drinks - it was Sweet Tea and a Coke.

Contrast this to, say, the Eggs Benedict from Vermillion which are $.01 more expensive and are served over toasted Brioche...

I mean, I love Del Ray, and I would love to support Fireflies, but I've given up at this point.

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Stopped by tonight for a quick bite with my wife and daughter...and had some of the best service I've been on the receiving end of in quite a long time.

Blair was our server and she was just perfect. Friendly without being overbearing, knowledgable about the menu, she displayed a true willingness to accommodate our 4 1/2 year old and she was quick and efficient without making us feel feel rushed. She made good, honest recommendations for my wife and cheerily sold the food specials and beer specials without sounding like she was in a trance.

Servers like this should be cloned and sent to every restaurant in the world...or at least just to a little restaurant in Clarendon that I know. ;)

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This just came over the wire - looking forward to a report on the visit later today.

WH Pool Report #4

Motorcade came to a stop at 12:38 pm.

Background, from the White House:

The President and Secretary Duncan will be having lunch at FireFlies Restaurant in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA. The restaurant has been owned and operated by Marylisa Lichens and her husband since 2002. In March,  Ms. Lichens wrote to the President and asked that he visit her restaurant to try the best burger around.

TSchaad

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I watched the motorcade go by while I was getting my hair cut this afternoon.  Our guess was that he had gone to the Dairy Godmother with his girls for an early Fathers' Day celebration.  I wonder if his staff research boards such as these before they choose the restaurants. 

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BHO really loves Del Ray. Few of the places have had him (Dairy Godmother, Del Ray Pizzeria). For one neighborhood, he's visited it a relatively high percentage of the places. Interesting... 

Relatively quiet, nice neighborhood that would be easy for the Secret Service to 'secure' -- and it's an easy motorcade down the Parkway. Kind of makes sense to me. The administration also seems to like Cap Hill, H St and Arlington for these jaunts as well.

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I'm going here tonight to see a friend of a friend play in a band. Has anyone been there for some live music? Any advice on the menu?

How was it, Mike? I haven't been to Fireflies in a few years. For me, it was always "okay" but never reached the next step up.

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7 hours ago, goldenticket said:

After 15 years in business, Fireflies closed on Christmas Eve. The guys behind Live Oak will be bringing their 'next concept' to the space, according to their Facebook page.

The first time I went there you had to walk up to the counter and give someone your order and they would (eventually) bring it to you. I went back when they changed to real, actual table service.  Neither bunch of times did anything strike me as being overly-great or overly-horrible, just reasonable food at a reasonable price. And then I stopped going for no apparent reason.  I still notice the place as we drive by to another dining destination in Del Ray and always ask myself why I never go there any more. I guess I can stop asking now.

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Lovely! I can't watch enough of the exciting sportsball at Pork Barrel and Del Ray Pizza. Just not enough TVs and 2 bars with DirecTV just doesn't cut it in a 1 mile stretch. NEED 3 DIRECTV NFL SUBSCRIPTIONS!! 

All I ask for is a decent Chinese, Korean, Middle Eastern, or Thai place. Even a reasonable deli. A place does fresh pasta. Oh well ... 

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Del Ray has the demographic (money, education, cultural explorers) that an independent operator should be able to earn an honest living putting their heart and hands into something. It takes all types, surely the neighborhood can foster a gem or two and  still get wings and sportsball covered too.

Edited to change exploiters to explorers. My life with the autocorrect exploiter cult.

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While an authentic restaurant of another worldly cuisine would be awesome it would most likely never merit enough foot traffic for what most landlords ask for in rent. A true Hoagie Hut would be awesome and family friendly, not sure how much lunch traffic could be generated but that would be someone else's issue.

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