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Thanksgiving Dining Out Guide

Posted by / Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Shutterstock/Brian Chase

Take the headache out of Thanksgiving and dine at one of these local restaurants.

A unique selection for a 3 course meal comprised of appetizers (Tuna Tartate, braised oxtail), main courses (chesnut ravioli, filet mignon) and desserts (pistachio parfait, sweet potato beignets). A vegetarian option is also available. See full menu here. /2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church; 703- 270-1500;; $65 per person; $48 for vegetarians; $25 for children.

Assaggi Osteria
Three-course Thanksgiving dinner with an Italian twist. /641 Old Dominion Drive, McLean;  703-918-0080;; $44 for adults; $17 for children 12 and under. 

Chefs Cristophe and Michelle Poteaux will be presenting a three course Thanksgiving meal from 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving day for $78 per person, or $110 with wine pairings. Choose from pumpkin soup and frisee mushroom salad for the first course, and pan roasted filet mignon with blue cheese sauce and pommes puree or butter poached maine lobster with black truffle and leek risotto for entrees. For dessert, Chef Michelle’s sweet treats like pumpkin cake, gingersnap ice cream or cranberry orange tart. /1201 N. Royal Street, Alexandria; 703-519-3776;; $78 per person; $100 including wine pairings.

Clyde’s (multiple locations)
Roast Turkey Dinner: sausage-sage stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, glazed sweet potatoes, turkey gravy and cranberry sauce choice of apple or pecan pie a la mode or pumpkin pie with whipped cream $25.95; children’s portion for $15.95. A la carte options also available. / Clyde’s at Mark Center: 1700 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria;. 703-820-8300. / Clyde’s of Tyson’s: 8332 Leesburg Pike, Vienna; 703-734-1901. / Clyde’s at Willow Creek: 42920 Broadlands Blvd., Broadlands.

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Vintage 51 Relocates, Renames and Reopens: The V Virginia Eatery and Brewhouse

Posted by / Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Shutterstock/Valentyn Volkov

After three years, beer-focused restaurant Vintage 51 relocated from South Riding to Ashburn last month, with plans to start brewing on premises. 

The new location opened yesterday with a new name: The V Virginia Eatery and Brewhouse.  

Anthony Cavallo, owner of the Vintage Restaurant Group, explains the idea behind the restaurant’s name change as wanting to “push the idea of local community involvement,” Cavallo says. “We are a local brewery brewing our own beer and buying local products.” The idea of the V ties into the restaurant’s namesake, Vintage, as well as Virginia. 

General Manager Ty Allison fused the menus of Vintage 51 and Vintage 50, the sister brewpub in Leesburg, pulling together the best sellers at both locations for one menu. The surviving bites include: Tuna Ahi Nachos, Lothar’s Sausage Plate, Oak Barrel Steak Salad, Chicken Caprese Sandwich and various Flatbread Pizzas. The V will also run nightly, locally sourced specials.

After the holidays, the restaurant group will start construction on the two barrel brewery system at The V. Current beers available on tap include four Virginia drinks—Starr Hill Brewery Dark Hill Stout, Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager, Lost Rhino Rhino Chasers Pilsner and AleWerks Drake Tail I.P.A.—and four non Virginia beers (New Belgium Brewing Fat Tire, Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted Ale, Avery Brewing White Rascal and Green Flash Imperial I.P.A.). 

The layout of the restaurant differs much from Vintage 51’s previous South Riding venue, which is part of the reason Vintage left for this bigger, more adaptable space. There is a private banquet room that seats 40, a patio that seats 70 with an outdoor bar and firepits and, of course, a brewery to come.

The V Virginia Eatery and Brewhouse: 44630 wax pool Road, Ashburn; 703-723-6500.


Hungry for Linkage: Will Pizza and Burgers Ever Stop Trending?

Posted by / Monday, November 12th, 2012

Pig is out. The folks behind Pork Barrel BBQ open a burger place in Del Ray. [Patch]

Butternut squash soup—with goat cheese. [Table for Two]

Today is National Pizza with Anchovies Day. [Foodimentary]

Don Rockwell explores the “almost triple-retail pricing” of growlers at Dogfish Head Alehouse. [DC Dining]

Leek American Bistro is open. [Eater]

Totally outrageous pizzas—with toppings such as hoisin-sauced shredded pork, peanuts, Portuguese Linguiça—arrive in Pentagon City at  Extreme Pizza. [ARLnow]

#meatlessmonday The LA City Council unanimously passed a resolution encouraging residents to not eat meat on Monday. [HuffPo]

Can a four-year-old appreciate the beauty of Buzz Bakery confections? [WaPo]

Huevos Rancheros offered during more than morning hours at Old Town’s not-yet-opened Dos Amigos. [Patch] 


Portner Brewhouse to Re-Open in Old Town Alexandria With Help From Fundraising Campaign

Posted by / Friday, November 9th, 2012

Photo Courtesy of Portner Brewery

Portner Brewhouse is going to reopen, almost 100 years after its initial shutter.

Sisters and business partners Catherine and Margaret Portner are carrying on the legacy of their great-grandfather, Robert Portner. An emigrant of Germany, he made his way down the eastern seaboard from New York City to Old Town Alexandria and opened up a grocery store where the best-selling item was beer. Thus began the Robert Portner Brewing Company, the largest pre-Prohibition production brewery in the Southern United States.

“My great-grandfather created a business venture that utilized the rail system,” Catherine explains. “The production brewery distributed from Alexandria as far south as Florida.” Making 100,000 barrels a year, the Robert Portner Brewing Company was on par with the quantity of Sam Adams. That was, until 1916 when Virginia passed the prohibition laws forcing the brewery to close. <<More VA Beer History>>

“My great-grandfather built a home in South Carolina using money he received from the inheritance of the original brewery,” says Catherine. “We grew up going there. We felt a conviction to do something and to celebrate that history and share it with local neighbors.” The sisters, both with business degrees, each have worked in the hospitality industry: Catherine has involved with breweries for about 15 years and Margaret has a passion for culinary arts.

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Thanksgiving Recipe: Toasted Coconut & Sweet Potato Casserole

Posted by / Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Food Desk NoteWelcome to our Thanksgiving reader recipe series. Our team of NoVA food enthusiasts submitted their favorite holiday recipes that we’ll feature throughout the month. Enjoy these dishes perfect for gatherings.

Photo Courtesy of Jen Tabbal

Toasted Coconut & Sweet Potato Casserole
Submitted by Jen Tabbal of Olive Oil and Chocolate

Growing up, my brother and I always looked forward to our Grandmother’s Sweet Potato Casserole at Thanksgiving. It wasn’t for the sweet potatoes, of course, which were canned and mixed with frozen orange juice concentrate, but for the toasted marshmallow topping.

Now, as an adult with a slightly more refined palette, I look forward to Thanksgiving dinner for the greatly improved version of this classic dish that a good friend introduced me to many years ago, and that has been a regular on our table ever since. The combination of light and creamy sweet potatoes plus the crunchy coconut crust makes an elegant and delicious dish. Don‘t expect any leftovers!


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Election Bites: NoVA Restaurants Celebrate Election with Partisan Plates WINNERS

Posted by / Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Shutterstock/Suwan Reunintr

Recently we encouraged you to cast your votes restaurant-style. Now that we know President Obama has 4 more years, let’s see how well our palates predicted the election outcome.

BGR (see full story here)

Photo Courtesy of BGR

BY THE NUMBERS: Obama Burger 1784 VS. Mitt Burger 1797 
Multiple NoVA locations.

 Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery 

Photo Courtesy of Bayou Bakery

BY THE NUMBERS: POTUS DOG 180 VS. Mitt-chigan Dog 135   
1515 North Courthouse Road, Arlington; 703-243-2410.

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Coach’s Corner Grill Open in Purcellville

Posted by / Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Coach’s Corner Grill

Western Loudouners have a new spot to watch sports: Coach’s Corner is now open in Purcellville, following the recent trend of sports bars with kicked-up food.

The menu features a number of topically sports-named digs, such as the Wolverine (a burger topped with ham, egg, apple wood bacon and swiss cheese), the Pittsburgher (pastrami, melted Swiss cheese, fries and coleslaw on French bread) and Spring Training (spinach, provolone, tomato, lettuce, sprouts and pesto mayo on multi-grain bread). If you’re looking for greasy game day grub, this is a place to find your fix. Huge onion rings, deep fried crab balls and bacon cheese fries are sure to make you wish your pants had an elastic waistband.

No game day hangout would be complete without beer. Brews available range from the likes of Miller and Coors to Bell’s and New Belgium. Those not of age can enjoy a milkshake, which is sure to pair nicely with Hockey Pucks: deep fried battered Oreo cookies sprinkled with power sugar.

Coach’s Corner: 100 East Main St., Purcellville; 540-441-7456 


Election Bites: 4 Restaurants Rewards for Casting Your Vote (UPDATED)

Posted by / Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Shutterstock/B Calkins

We can finally go back to watching our favorite television shows in peace. This week’s episode of Jersey Shore will not be interrupted by 49 minutes of political propaganda. On that note, today is ELECTION DAY, so do your civic duty and VOTE TODAY. If you need motivation to get to the polls, the following restaurants will reward you for exercising your decision-making.

Capitol City Brewing Company
Election Day at Cap City: “Come watch the results at your favorite brew pub on November 6th! Handcrafted beer-Great food-Big Screen TVs.” Select appetizers $5, half price wings, $3.50 pints (Core 4 beers), Happy Hour prices all day.
Capitol City Brewing Company-Arlington: 4001 Campbell Ave., Arlington; 703-578-3888.

“It doesn’t matter who you vote for on Election Day, just get out there and pull that lever! When you come to our place that night sporting your I Voted sticker, we will reward you with a complimentary appetizer with any meal purchase.”
Carmello’s: 9018 Center St., Manassas; 703-368-5522.

Hank’s Oyster Bar
Shell and Shuck the Vote: “Wear your I Voted sticker on Tuesday, November 6th and get a glass of punch and a few Rappahannok oysters.” Offer available from 5-close
Hank’s Oyster Bar: 1026 King St., Alexandria; 703-739-4265.

“Trademark will celebrate its grand opening on Election Day with its full new menu and a week of $5 cocktail “tastes” from 11/6-11/13 to let people try (master mixologist) Christopher Bassett’s inventive new sips.”
Trademark: 2080 Jamieson Ave., Alexandria.



MacDowell Brew Kitchen Transitions to Nanobrewery; Contracts with Mud Hound Brewing Co. for Beer-Making

Posted by / Monday, November 5th, 2012

Revelers at MacDowell’s

MacDowell Brew Kitchen / Photo by Jonathan Timmes

Today marks the beginning of MacDowell Brew Kitchen operating as a nanobrewery.

After a hold up with state ABC licensing, this corner of Leesburg’s Beermuda Triangle (Tuskies, Fireworks and MacDowell’s) finally scored their license to get the real party (aka brewing on-site) started. “We are very excited this is finally happening,” shared co-owner Nils Schmibbe. “We are really looking forward to it.”

MacDowell Brew Kitchen contracted with LoCo’s Mud Hound Brewing Co., with beers expected to flow from the tap by the end of the month. Weiz Ass Hefeweizen, a traditional German-style wheat beer, will be among the first beers available. Mud Hound is also looking to open a space of their own in the Purcellville-Lovettsville area. 

Schmibbe said something a little funkier may also make the initial lineup, with the hopeful release date of Black Friday, the Brew Kitchen’s one year anniversary. 

MORE: NoVA’s Best Bars


Thanksgiving Recipe: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Posted by / Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Food Desk NoteWelcome to our Thanksgiving reader recipe series. Our team of NoVA food enthusiasts submitted their favorite holiday recipes that we’ll feature throughout the month. Enjoy these dishes perfect for gatherings.

Photo Courtesy of Deb Yoon

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
Submitted by Deb Yoon

I always make this bread around Thanksgiving when you can easily find fresh cranberries.  It is very moist and makes a great “thank you” gift or bake sale item.  You can play with the amount of cranberries if you like it more sweet or more tart, or for a decadent change, skip the cranberries and add good quality chocolate chips.  Watch baking time carefully: some ovens run hotter than others.  I usually set the timer for 10 minutes early (or 50 minutes in this recipe).  The bread keeps for several days in a ziplock bag or wrapped in foil.


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