1250 S. Hayes St.
Arlington, VA 22202
CUISINE International, Modern American
PRICE $$$ ($21-$30)
HOURS Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
NVM AWARDS Best Restaurant 2009
Best Restaurant 2008
NEARBY METRO Yellow Line(Pentagon City) Blue Line(Pentagon City)
SPECIAL FEATURESBreakfast Weekend
By Warren Rojas
Food: 8 Ambiance: 8.2 Service: 8.3
Accommodation is key to surviving in the cutthroat world of corporate dining.
But rather than bending to the will of generic “safety” dishes and dumbed-down buffet fare, fyve toque Amy Brandwein keeps business diners and curious locals intrigued with Mediterranean-style mains supplemented by intriguing lounge snacks.
Her $5 bar menu (available from 5 p.m. till closing each weekday evening) features: global charcuterie (Serrano ham, zesty Italian soppressata), local cheeses (sheep’s milk blends from Everona Dairy, mountaineer from Meadow Creek Dairy), mini pizzas (margherita, spicy sausage) and other inventive offerings (mozzarella skewers, parmesan-parsley arancini).
Fresh figs and dreamy mascarpone burn tangy-sweetness into the core of chewy bruschetta; another version bearing roasted red peppers sprinkled with cracked black pepper and nutty olive oil runs a close second.
A pocket-sized foccacia bulging from moistened meatballs, brazen pine nuts and smoky provolone pumps out more authentic Italian flavor than professional sandwich shops can muster in their embarrassingly feeble, foot-long offerings.
Glistening strips of yolk-laden noodles initially appear naked—only to manifest the camouflaged confluence of calorific butter, well-aged parmesan and robust pepper better known as al burro.(November 2008)
By Warren Rojas
Food: 8.1 Ambiance: 7.9 Service: 8.4
The student is indeed becoming a master over at fyve, as Roberto Donna protege Amy Brandwein carves out a place for herself among the area’s marquee chefs with a bold Mediterranean vision.
The reconditioned property (Brandwein was brought in to revamp the Ritz-Carlton’s sputtering Grille concept) mostly services business travelers, but appears to be making inroads with nostalgic locals as well.
During one visit, confirmed regulars didn’t just greet their waiter, they celebrated his arrival—“Maurice! How are you?” the pair gushed upon spotting a familiar server—and then quickly begin comparing notes about the new restaurant (they were both impressed).
Grilled octopus tastes of sea and smoke, while cherry tomatoes supply tart freshness. A signature salmon dish summons roast fish (anise and cinnamon shine through) parked atop a checkerboard of black and white lentils (pretty, but otherwise bland).
Pasta with pancetta, mushrooms and sweetbreads comes two-thirds of the way through (broad noodles fold over on themselves, creating jolly pockets of pancetta au jus; ill-prepared sweetbreads elicit doughy nothingness).