Congratulations to Bill Blackburn, a managing partner of the Home Grown Restaurant Group named as the 2017 Business Leader of the Year by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. Bill is a familiar face at Holy Cow, The Sushi Place, and Pork Barrel BBQ, all in Del Ray. Not only is he a great restauranteur, he recently finished his second term as the president of the Del Ray Business Association and is a current board member of the Alexandria Small Business Development Center. Speaking of the Home Grown Restaurant Group and Mike Anderson, Whiskey and Oyster, 301 John Carlyle St., should be open by the end of the year. Mike is putting on the finishing touches and has already applied for the liquor license.
The Snack Bar, in the former location of the Caboose, 2419 Mt. Vernon Ave., has also applied for a wine, beer, and alcoholic beverage license. They’ve been working on updating the exterior and interior while updating the menu. Chad Breckinridge’s Bagel Uprising bagels are featured on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The Happy Tart, 2307A Mt. Vernon Ave., has reopened with a lovely dining room and patio seating. This gluten-free venue offers a variety of crepes, quiches, and sweets that will please anyone with or without gluten sensitivity.
Another new restaurant in town is Lori’s Table in the former Nickell’s & Sheffer location at 1028 King St. Lori Leetz and Ann Feeley, the owners, are open 7:00 am to 10:00 pm daily serving breakfast, lunch and take-out family meals at dinner. These TAG (Take and Go) Dinners are limited to 20 meals and include a main course with various side dishes and dessert. Although they had an uninvited visitor (car) to their front door on October 24, they are already back in business. Stomping Ground, 2309 Mt. Vernon Ave., is getting rave reviews around town for their fried chicken biscuits. You can order them two ways: Classic Style with pimento cheese and house pickles or Not So Classic Style with benne seed tahini, hot sauce, honey, red onion, and za’atar. They make everything (except Duke’s Mayonnaise) from scratch using local and sustainable meats, dairy, produce and grains whenever possible.
Alexandria restaurants are getting noticed. London Curry House, 191 Somerville St., was listed as one of Washingtonian’s Great Cheap Eats. The restaurant is beautifully appointed and the food served is delicious. The lamb biryani is a show stopper as it is served in a copper pot covered by naan. It is cut opened by your server releasing a wondrous blend of aromas from the rice, spices, and lamb inside. La Mexicana Bakery & Taqueria, 2907 Arlington Dr., near Mt. Vernon Square Apts. is recommended for their tortas on house-made bread, tamales, and sopes. You should definitely try some of their bakery items.
The November issue of Northern Virginia Magazine lists their 50 best restaurants in Virginia. Number one on their list is Nasime, 1209 King St. This 20 seat storefront features a $48 prix fixe menu that changes daily based on what is fresh in the market that day. The five course meal include dishes such as soup, sashimi, roasted meat or fowl, and other well prepared and interesting plates. Make a reservation to ensure you get a seat. La Fromagerie, 1222 King St., also made the list. This cozy cheese and wine shop expanded into a sit down restaurant featuring Mediterranean dishes that speak to owner Sebastien Tavel’s French roots. Restaurant Eve, 110 S. Pitt, is always a welcome spot for lunch or dinner. The menu no longer features the Asian tasting menu but does offer Chef Cathal Armstrong’s take on many other cuisines. My favorite is the Tom Kha Pla, a Thai inspired dish of fresh fish in a light coconut broth.
Live Oak, 1603 Commonwealth Ave., also got a nod. The menu includes dishes that are an ode to low country Charleston tastes. This Southern restaurant only offers fried chicken on Monday but not to worry, there are plenty of other choices including shrimp and grits and a vegetarian gumbo. The deal of the night is the restaurant’s family meal only offered at the bar after 9 pm. Namaste, in its newest location at 1504 King St., offers Indian and Nepalese food at a modest price. An unusual and tasty dish is their Palak chat, a dish of crispy fried spinach dressed with yogurt and tamarind. They feature a variety of curries and tandoor flavors for everyone. Also on the list are Jamie Leeds Alexandria spots, Hank’s Oyster Bar, 1026 King St. and Hank’s Pasta Bar, 600 Montgomery St. The Oyster Bar is well known for its crab cakes. They are some of the best around. The pasta bar offers an assortment of house-made pastas and sauces to meet everyone’s preference.
Until next month, eat well and enjoy!
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