Reston, VA. What is exceptional?
I'm heading for Reston Va for a conference. I'm looking to identify exceptionally good restaurants for dining.
I don't necessarily mean expensive, or offering wonderful atmosphere. I mean places where the food is top notch (clean is nice, too).
I have a car, so I can drive a bit.
Our favorite "everyday" hangout is Thai Luang on Baron Cameron Ave, just west of the Fairfax County Parkway. Her duck with sweet basil is A+ as is the green tea ice cream. Mukutta owns and runs it, a bother is the chef and the table staff is loaded with nieces and nephews.
Top place for food is Jasmine Cafe located in the old town center (at Lake Anne) -- 5 min from the new town center. Eduardo does wonderful sauces and is a wizard with both fish and pork. My personal view is that he's the most innovative chef in the area. Prices are moderate and the atmosphere is bistro-local. The menu is limited, but varied enough for all tastes. My recommendation for "if you have only one meal in Reston." 703.471.9114
Just outside Reston is Le Relais (off Georgetown Pike where it meets Route 7) -- 10 min from the new town center. One of the up and comers in the DC area. Innovative and well executed. Decor is Santa Fe (go figure) and the food is classic French. First place in the DC area I found to do pigeon (a personal weakness). My recommendation for "if you can only do two meals in Reston." Prices are "moderate" (in between Jasmine and Chez Francois, below). 703.444.4060
Further afield, near Great Falls on Springvale Road at Beech Mill Road, is Washington legend, L'Abuerge Chez Francois. On a Michlean scale, I think he'd pull two stars, at best, but it's a place with character and charm. Food is B+ to A- French country, but hasn't changed much in 15 years. Can be expensive if you load up on extras. Also hard to book (one month is the rule), esp for the weekends. Midweek can be easy, however.