11927 Democracy Drive
Reston, VA 20190
CUISINE Modern American, International, Comfort Food
PRICE $$$ ($21-$30)
HOURS Open for lunch and dinner daily.
NVM AWARDS Best New Restaurant 2009
NEARBY METRO None
By Warren Rojas
Up until now, breaking with tradition has seemed taboo within the Great American Restaurants family.
But they took a gamble with the catch-all Jackson’s—and, methinks, it’s paying off in spades.
In true GAR fashion, the Reston outpost features a little something for everyone, including: indoor/outdoor bars (exterior heaters keep smokers toasty; snazzy purple halo projects an aura of cool inside), posthumous tributes to GAR toque Bill Jackson (that’s him peeking back at you from the Little Rascal-esque mural, while his many strengths—and shortcomings—are laundry-listed on an opposing pegboard) and even some experimental cuisines: Macadamia nut sushi, anyone?
Deviled eggs were fast favorites, revealing mustardy oeufs sprinkled with spiced pecans and flanked by sugar-cured bacon (woody-sweet stunners). An Asian-themed burger—automatically cooked to medium-well “because that’s how they have the best texture, flavor,” according to one server—summons succulent duck bolstered by zesty shiitake ketchup (molasses-tinged mushrooms), all parked atop a brioche bun.
A funkified marshmallow-meringue pie pours face-puckering lemon tart into a graham-cracker crust, then reaches skyward with briskly whisked meringue artfully blowtorched into waves of caramelized splendor (a pool of raspberry coulis helps short circuit any citrus overload).