Alexandria, VA – So much time has passed since the pandemic began and we have all adapted as well as we can. Many local restaurants have closed while many have hung in there – thanks to all of you who have continued to buy their offerings. Many restaurants have changed their menus and how they operate as they continue to meet the needs of us, their customers, and their staff. There are even new restaurants opening to a brave this new world. And whether you eat in, carry out, or get delivery, be sure to tip, tip, and tip!
New to you and me…
There are several new places that have opened over the last two months. Making a splash is Alexandria Restaurant Partner’s Ada’s on the River, 3 Pioneer Mill Way. Opened on Jan. 14, the establishment is receiving rave reviews for its food and décor. The building is actually a custom-outfitted shipping container that was built according to ARP specifications. It was dropped into place with its partner container that will house Barca Wine Bar at the Robinson Landing development. Brought in by barge, the site will eventually provide some 300 outdoor seats. Ada’s provides 170 indoor seats and another 100 outdoor seats. Ada’s is named after Ada Lovelace, 19th century mathematics pioneer who was also honored by an eponymous programming language. The restaurant has a wood-fired grill which drives a menu of steaks, chops, seafood, and vegetarian offerings. Some of the items include huge tomahawk veal chops, jumbo lump crab cakes, lobster mac and cheese with Old Bay, and a doughnut topped with foie gras. Chef Randall J. Matthews attributes the vegetarian and vegan dishes to his mother. Look for a vegan dish of smoked ricotta gnocchi topped with a vegan sausage ragu. By now, Ada’s should be open for lunch and weekend brunch.
Also new to town is Taco Rock, home of the homemade Blue Corn Tortilla, at 6550 Little River Turnpike. Chef Mike Cordero is serving classic Tex Mex street food. The large airy space provides electronic ordering from a menu featuring classic, vegetarian, and specialty tacos ‘with attitude.’ Another section of the menu labeled Not Tacos include an assortment of flautas, bowls, nachos, tortas, and burritos. They offer a breakfast taco and burrito as well as huevos rancheros. You should consider trying their ice cream churro sandwich for dessert too. There is also a full-service bar to help you quench your thirst with Mexican beers and assortment of tequilas. Visit Sushi Jin at 3470 Berkeley St is a new family-owned traditional Sushi bar and izakaya with authentic Japanese street food. They are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner delivery or carryout. The menu includes multiple styles of ramen and udon noodle bowls. There are lots of choices for nigiri and sushi rolls, and sashimi. You can order omakase of 6, 8, or 12 nigiri too. Stop by the second location of St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub, 529 Montgomery St. when you are in the Old Town North. In the works since February, 2020, the new location serves the same great coffee, sandwiches, soups, sweets, craft beers, and wine as the original in Del Ray. You can also pick up many of the same products such as yogurts and parfaits. The new location offers flip out windows to allow you to walk up and pick up your orders from their patio. According to owner Larry Ponzi, “We really like being in neighborhoods. We love to get visitors from out of town, and we do, but we really want the base of customers to be from the neighborhood.”
Coming soon to a location near you
Me’shelle Armstrong of Eat Good Food Group and wife of Cathal, has let me in on a secret new restaurant planned adjacent to Hummingbird. Still unnamed, it will join the ranks of Kaliwa, Hummingbird, and the beloved and now closed Restaurant Eve, Eammons, and PX. No other word other than their chef will be a well-known favorite, Mikala Brennan, former owner and chef of Hula Girl food truck and restaurant. Can’t wait until we can try their food! Stomping Grounds is bringing more good news by reopening the former location of Society Fair, 277 S, Washington St., in the fall of 2021. They will be taking over some 15000 sq. ft. of space where Nicole Brown, Stomping Ground owner, plans to open Mae’s Market & Café first, followed by Virginia’s Darling Restaurant.
Good bye and farewell
We all learned on January 17 of the imminent closing of Atlantis Restaurant, 3648 King St. Owners Bill and Jim Patrianakos posted a sign on their window telling customers goodbye. The note said simply that “the pandemic has proven to be too difficult” and that on January 24, they would lock the doors forever on the iconic neighborhood family business. Atlantis has been a fixture at the Bradlee Shopping Center for 38 years. “We have so many, good, good neighbors. They come to patronize us 3-4 times a week over the years, but so many, they don’t want to go out. We tried for so many months. So much has changed in the restaurant industry because of the virus,” owner Bill Patrianakos told The Zebra. All we can say is thank you from all of us who you fed with your wondrous food. We will miss you.
Until next month, eat well and enjoy!
Do you have news of an opening, closing, or an especially good bite? Contact me at email@example.com