The food and drink stories that shaped Northern Virginia in 2017

Have you been to The Block yet?

A block party at Annandale’s new food hall

1. This was The Block’s year. Though it technically opened in the last days of 2016, the Annandale food hall, packed with Asian eateries as wide ranging as poke, Thai food and street food mash-ups, plus a cocktail bar and an ice cream booth serving charcoal-activated ice cream cones, was the hottest place to eat.

Bites: Loudoun will welcome an all-day, all-night restaurant, beer garden and food truck

2. The end of this year is a whirlwind of excitement for the Leesburg food and drink scene and the couple in the middle of it all. Nils and Olivia Schnibbe are on track to rule nightlife in Loudoun. SideBar opens tomorrow and Falala Christmas Pop-Up Bar plays into all the right trends (and it took over the space of Schnibbe’s short-lived Captain Catoctin’s Crab & Concoctions). There’s also a new chicken-centric food truck and a forthcoming beer garden for Round Hill. Oh, and the Schnibbes are expecting their first baby together in the beginning of 2018.

Beer Garden 101: Rules, etiquette and where to find them in NoVA

3. Speaking of beer gardens, Northern Virginia is suddenly home to half a dozen, not including Schnibbe’s forthcoming More Better Restaurant & Beer Garden and another possibly heading to Del Ray.

Bites: Tarver King wins big at the 2017 RAMMY Awards

4. In the usually D.C.-dominated local restaurant awards, Lovettsville’s Tarver King, of The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, won Chef of the Year at this year’s RAMMYs.

Isabella Eatery opens in Tysons Galleria on Dec. 11: Here’s what to expect

5. If this year belonged to The Block, then maybe next year we’ll only be talking about Isabella Eatery. Opened earlier this month from Mike Isabella, this nine-concept food hall in Tysons Galleria offers both coffee and pizza, but also fine dining. This is next-gen mall food.

More favorites:

Provisions: Gentle Harvest

Marshall is a thing, and apparently is big enough for two butcher shops in as many blocks.

The source of sous vide

Is sous vide the future of cooking? Ask the Sterling-based, but global-company Cusine Solutions.

This is how much one Reston Town Center restaurant lost per month due to paid parking

Oh, Reston Town Center. Was charging for parking really a good idea?

The rebirth of food

Save the Earth people: compost! These towns are making it easy for you.

The Coffee Issue is now online, and this is what we missed

Never go to Starbucks again. And personally, the Coffee Issue was my favorite cover story I worked on this year, as you would know by the gooseneck kettle, scale, grinder and pour-over device now in my kitchen. (p.s. Know your cold coffee lingo?)

Best Asian Restaurants

Have a craving for noodles and rice? This.

50 Best Restaurants 2017

Where to eat all year long.