ALEXANDRIA, VA – My Mom was in town last week and she told me to pick a place for lunch-she was treating! I knew instantly where to take her: Café 44 On the Potomac.
I first came across this restaurant in December because of the Alexandria Curbside Dining Facebook group. My sister selected this locale for my birthday lunch. It was our first meal “out” together since the pandemic had started. We read so many wonderful posts and reviews, plus there was heated outdoor seating, it was an easy choice.
On this particular Tuesday afternoon in April, I was excited to introduce part of my family to Café 44. Since my teenaged daughter is attending school online, it was easy to whisk her away with us. There we were, three generations, eager to feel like we were taking a short get away.
Where is it?
This gem is tucked away in North Old Town in a flashy office building complex with awesome underground parking. Locate the Cafe 44 sign near the elevators and you are almost there. Ride four flights upward and you will know you’re at the right place when you see the bigger eye-catching orange sign on the wall, giving you that Instagrammable moment to let the whole world know you finally made it to the much-talked about Café 44. And you’re there–inside their airy, open, modern restaurant with a view.
We made reservations, so the staff knew we wished to be seated on their gorgeous patio overlooking the Potomac. The balcony is long and narrow, so even though there were many guests enjoying this beautiful day as we were, you have a feeling of privacy.
What’s to drink?
We started off with drinks–simply “a must” since they were voted Best Bar in Alexandria by Zebra Readers. My Mom chose a Painkiller from one of their classic cocktails list. It was appropriately served in a tiki cup. I decided to try I’m Your Huckleberry from their terrace cocktails choices and my daughter wanted to join in the fun too, so she settled on the mocktail Lavender Lemonade. It was relaxing to sip these flavorful drinks with the water views, looking out toward the Maryland shore, where you can see all of National Harbor, including the MGM.
With our drinks we enjoyed a starter of Pimento Cheese Hushpuppies. These enjoyable nuggets are served with a pepper jam and pimento cheese.
For lunch we chose the charcuterie selections of meats, cheeses and choice of three accoutrements. We picked prosciutto, goat cheese and Manchego. This arrangement was served with crackers, bread and the three accouterments: marinated olives, house pickles and assorted nuts. I ordered the Sangria Watermelon Salad which was topped with feta and balsamic. My mom and daughter split the entrée Potomac Peach salad. This fresh combination included a spring mix, peaches, blueberries, goat cheese, red onion and was topped with house peach vinaigrette.
I will be back to try more of their menu, including some of their House Specialties. They offer Crab & Lobster Ravioli, and you have the option to add 3 oz lobster. There is Shrimp & Grits, Braised Short Rib and Bison Bolognese on this menu. They also serve Handhelds (sandwiches), an extensive Flatbreads menu, there’s a Kids Corner and of course we can’t forget Desserts. Choices include: Affogato (vanilla bean, gelato & doppio espresso), Lemon Panna Cotta and a Guinness Sea Salt Brownie.
Brunch is offered Saturdays and Sundays. Their website claims, “its’ not just brunch, it’s an experience!” Happy Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Their all-new Bar 44 is located on the rooftop terrace. Here you will also find incredible panoramic views.
Café 44 is located at 44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 401. They are closed Mondays, but open Tuesday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 10 :00 p.m. and Sundays 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. For reservations or Pick Up, please call 571-344-9100 and visit [email protected].