Foodie Newz

Popular Alexandria Restaurant Debuts Outdoor Dining Bubbles

ALEXANDRIA, VA–Dining bubbles are popping up outside restaurants across the U.S. and restaurants in Alexandria are joining the fun. Osteria Marzano set their dining bubbles up a few weeks ago, and yesterday, Delia’s of Alexandria set up theirs.

As the air chills, outdoor dining becomes less and less attractive, but as cold and flu season flirts with the ongoing pandemic, some remain wary of indoor dining. Delia’s Mediterranean Grill & Brick Oven Pizza in Alexandria has just debuted its solution to this dining dilemma. You might have seen those large, outdoor dining tents that host multiple parties. Delia’s is introducing single-party dining bubbles.

George Theodorou, owner of Delia’s in Alexandria, saw a version of these bubbles outside a restaurant in New York, and then outside another Alexandria establishment, Osteria Marzano. With temperatures dropping and indoor dining still under heavy restrictions, George knew these bubbles would be a perfect compromise.

Providing several advantages over indoor dining and larger tents, the bubbles allow for social distancing, air circulation, sanitizing, and warmth. They also bring some winter fun, as they imitate igloos and are accompanied by festive lights.

Delia’s patio fits five bubbles, and each bubble comfortably fits up to six people. The bubbles are ten-by-ten in dimensions and are secured by PVC pipe rods and sand bags, so parties can remain safely spread out while dining.

The bubbles’ single-party capacity adds another layer of safety. Individual bubbles keep diners socially distanced from other parties at the restaurant.

The bubble design keeps the air inside the bubble ten-degrees warmer than the outside temperature, so patrons may continue to visit their favorite restaurants well into the winter months. But do not worry.The bubble is equipped with vent slits all around the top for air circulation. This ensures the air remains filtered and healthy.

Delia’s also sanitizes each bubble between parties. A Ryobi fogger-mister disinfects not only the bubble itself, but all the air and material inside, guaranteeing a clean slate for the next guests.

“We wanted to offer an individual atmosphere where people can feel safe, eat a good meal, and go home,” says George. These new dining bubbles allow customers to do just that.

Accompanying the five bubbles outside are four full-sized space heaters for the patio, and a smaller space heater inside each individual bubble. George has also selected ambient globe lights for decoration and fun.

Guests can eat at ease, as Delia’s dutifully maintains its safety and health measures throughout the entire dining experience. When you enter a dining bubble, you scan a QR code to view Delia’s digital menu. Delia’s dinner selection includes house made pastas and pizzas, a selection of entrees and sides, and an extensive wine and cocktail list. “Everyone goes for pastas right away, if not for pizza,” notes George.

Delia’s most popular pasta is their Seafood Asparagi, adorned with perfectly cooked scallops, fresh asparagus, and a delicate rosé sauce.

Seafood Asparagus, featuring shrimp, scallops, jumbo lump crab meat, asparagus, and a rosé sauce.

They also feature herbed grilled chicken wings, which were in the running for the D.C. Cheap Eat’s best wings contest.

Herbed Grilled Wings, featuring chipotle honey sauce, Greek vinaigrette, and sweet parsley cucumber ranch.

If you have special dietary restrictions or requirements, like gluten-free or vegan, do not hesitate to ask for accommodations. George and his talented kitchen line will create the perfect dish to suit your needs and your tastes.

“We’ve got to be flexible nowadays,” explains George. That flexibility is not exclusive to the menu. All restaurants have had to alter the entire dining experience they offer, which has been no quick or easy feat. But Delia’s is certainly on the path to progress, thanks to inspiration from other innovative restaurants like Osteria Marzano, implementing whimsical ways to combat the oncoming winter season.

“Feeling safe is our number one priority and we wanted to try something different,” George states. Something different is perhaps what our community needs right now. Small businesses like Osteria Marzano and Delia’s are truly pioneering the way for Alexandria’s outdoor dining scene.

George Theodorou-Owner, and Luke Bello-General Manager


Delia’s Alexandria 

Swamp Fox Rd

Alexandria, VA 22314

(703) 329-0006

Osteria Marzano

6361 Walker Ln #140

Alexandria, VA 22310

(703) 313-9700

ICYMI: The Meal Train Diary of a Grateful Food Editor

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  1. What is happening to the restaurant industry right now is tragic, but “dining bubbles” are not a viable solution. From the perspective of mitigating the spread of COVID-19, they may actually be worse than dining inside a large restaurant with adequate ventilation. A plastic bubble with slits at the top is going to contain any aerosolized droplets for far longer than dining in a large indoor area with good circulation. Such a structure completely defeats the purpose of dining outdoors.

  2. I don’t think Delia’s was the first. I’m pretty sure OSTERIA MARZANO was the first in ALEXANDRIA.

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