50 Best Restaurants: La Fromagerie brings vegetables to life in Alexandria

Doubling as a wine shop, this Old Town favorite is a one-stop shop for delicious eats and well-aged sips.

chef of la fromagerie
Sebastien Tavel (Photo by Rey Lopez)

By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano

La Fromagerie

Alexandria | French & Modern American | $$$

Okra at a French wine bar? Yes, if it’s served from the kitchen at La Fromagerie, a genre-bending alcove in Old Town Alexandria where modern American seasonality influences the Lyonnaise chef and owner, Sebastien Tavel. Okra is served almost whole, save for the tips sliced off at an angle, where it mingles with spiced pecans and corn kernels in a buttery sheen. It’s a primer on how to love this oft maligned vegetable: It’s not oozy or slimy, it’s sleek and fresh. A bowl of chanterelle mushrooms transcends expectations, thanks to a heavy hand of Madeira; roast duck cuts like a steak, with a serious crust to boot; and housemade nettle pappardelle conveys lightness, even with fennel sausage and egg yolk. The restaurant doubles as a wine shop with a wall lined with worldly bottles, and ones out of this world, like a rosé from Charlotteville’s cutting-edge Lightwell Survey. But before ducking out with a bottle for another night, don’t leave without ordering the signature dark chocolate pot de creme, a rich, life-affirming ending. // 1222 King St., Alexandria

This post originally appeared in our November 2019 issue’s 50 Best Restaurants cover story. For more food reviews, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

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