The Light Horse, 715 King St., an Old Town Alexandria favorite for gathering with friends to nosh and engage in a friendly game of shuffleboard or skeeball is opening its new main floor Dining Bar on October 15.
The main floor of Light Horse was reincarnated by operating partner, John Jarecki when he realized that his business model was not serving the local community and visitors to the city.
The space offers seating for up to 34 guests, with an additional 22 seats at the custom-made bar. The room is a warm and inviting place to have an upscale meal in a comfortable dining space. The centerpiece of the new dining room is the 38-foot bar furnished with comfortable seating. The back bar features individual antique mantels that hold the bar spirits. Dining tables are made of old barn wood converted into table tops.
Upstairs stays true to its Officer’s Club ambiance as a neighborhood gathering place, sports bar, and late-night destination with live music and dancing.
Chafik Hocine, the consulting chef, brings over 17 years of culinary experience both in America and abroad. His menu is heavily influenced by his Northern African roots mingled with a love for traditional French cuisine and exposure from his travels to Vietnam, China, South Africa, and Morocco. As a native of Kabylie, Algeria, Hocine credits his passion for food to his mother’s simple, yet vibrant home cooking. Growing up in a small, self-contained mountain town, he learned the value of incorporating fresh, locally-sourced ingredients into his dishes as well as creative improvisation.
I tried several of the new menu items and highly recommend them. The Smoked Chicken Wings are brined overnight, rubbed, smoked, and grilled with sauce choices of BBQ, Buffalo, Maple Siracha, or just plain old Naked. All are served with a house made ranch dressing and celery sticks. The Maple Siracha are a tasty combination of spicy and sweet which is cooled by the delicious dressing. The serving is large enough to share or as a meal for one. Another small plate large enough for dinner is the Surf & Turf Skewers. Well-seasoned steak cubes and Cajun season shrimp are grilled with onions and peppers and served on a bed of Tzaziki. The warm spices and cooling sauce are delightful.
Don’t wait until dessert to order the Candied Bacon. Maple sweetens while cayenne bites. I could eat this bacon three times a day forever.
The menu also provides a selection of vegan and gluten-free menu options for guests with dietary restrictions.
Veteran Bar Manager Christopher Hyman, recruited by Jarecki in July 2015, is responsible for the innovative and creative beverage program at The Light Horse. The Light Horse offers a boutique wine list showcasing New World and Old-World varietals rarely found by the glass. The wine list at The Light Horse also showcases wines from female winemakers in the best regions of the world while maintaining a modest price point. 20 wines are available by the glass (only) with prices ranging from $7 to $15 each. With 18 taps, the Light Horse offers a wide variety of local, specialty beers and cider. Try the Grapefruit Negroni – the hint of cinnamon is delightful!
The name Light Horse comes from Major-General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee III, an early American patriot and politician who served as the ninth Governor of Virginia and as the Virginia Representative to the United States Congress. Lee’s service during the American Revolution as a cavalry officer in the Continental Army earned him the nickname, “Light Horse Harry.” Lee was also the father of Robert E. Lee, a Civil War-era Confederate general.